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Think You Aren’t Familiar With Content Marketing? Think Again.

October 10, 2019

Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 promoted by the ALS Association? Then you are familiar with content marketing. As you probably recall, nominated participants dumped a bucket of ice water on their heads and then nominated a minimum of three others to do the same. Nominated individuals had 24 hours to complete the challenge or opt-out by making a charitable donation to the ALS Association. And of course, the entire episode was filmed and posted to social media. The campaign went viral and was a smashing success with 2.4 million tagged videos circulating on Facebook.38 A mind-boggling $220 million dollars was raised for the ALS Association. One year later the ALS Foundation followed-up with another piece of content marketing, an infographic showing a break-down of how the contributions were used.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was so successful because it took the basic components of great content marketing and customized them.

  • It was user-generated. The content was developed by the fans in the form of video.
  • It was fun. The challenge tapped into the need for escapism we discussed in the chapter on the psychological make-up of fans. It was silly and fun, a great diversion from the stress of everyday life.
  • It featured the fans. The challenge featured the fans and allowed them to shine instead of focusing on the organization.
  • It championed a good cause. Most fans want to help and contribute to anything that promises to alleviate suffering. For that purpose, the challenge asked very little from each person individually. Even so, the social media coverage went viral and created a major firestorm of awareness and contributions for a worthy objective.
  • It fostered a sense of belonging. The nomination process created an instant tribe made up of those who had doused themselves in ice. Fans found themselves wanting to belong to the group who had participated.

In summary, it should be said that content marketing can be very daunting for brands to develop, but it’s not impossible. Remember the Chad Collins approach, or look to the example of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Following one of these models is sure to help you generate content marketing that will earn you more and more fans.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Then you’ll love Meredith’s book, FANtastic Marketing. Don’t miss it!

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