Fashion brand Free People sends pictures of jeans out with hashtags, then asks fans to take photos of themselves in the jeans and include the hashtags. Tiffany & Co lets people send in photos of fans with their significant others, then tag the photos as #TrueLovePictures.
Red Bull reached out to sports fans on the site; It offered tickets to the Red Bull King of the Rock Finals basketball tournament to fans on Instagram who posted photos of themselves in weird places holding a basketball.
The ads are similar to those that BuzzFeed runs for JetBlue and Virgin Mobile. Labeled “paid political content,” the ads represent a step in a more journalistic and serious direction for the site.
“For a company discovering its footing in the world of journalism, political ads represent an important step. BuzzFeed’s beefed up its reporting staff, adding a bureau in Washington D.C. and most recently expanding to Los Angeles,” according to the Neiman Lab article.
Content marketers’ budgets have increased from 26 percent last year to 33 percent this year, and “all content tactics are being used more frequently than they were last year, with the use of research reports, videos, and mobile content having increased the most.”
For example, the Health Hub of Cleveland Clinic provides “health tips and news, videos, physician blogs, expert Q&As and live online chats — and has been popular since its official launch on May 1.”
On YouTube, Miami Children’s Hospital posts up video of surgeries and receives tens of thousands of hits, and Children’s Hospital in Boston created an app called MyWay, which “helps patients navigate the hospital and satellite locations, find local restaurants and hotels, and even locate activities to entertain siblings during a child’s hospital stay.”
BuzzFeed Starting “Social Music Advertising”
BuzzFeed has been busy this week — According to AdAge, the blog is partnering with Rdio, a streaming-music site, and allowing users “to react to stories with a song. So for example, if you’re looking at a story about Lana Del Rey being the new face of H&M, you can, in addition to commenting or reacting with an ‘OMG’ or ‘LOL,’ scroll down a bit further and react with a song from a customized playlist by BuzzFeed music editors.”
On the BuzzFeed homepage, there will also be links where people can listen to songs Rdio.
Nearly one quarter of the engagement occurred on mobile. A huge chunk of the engagement increase is attributed to the fact that last February, the site rolled out the new Timeline.
Storytelling Is Marketing Darling
Fast Company’s Kathy Oneto writes that in 2012, “storytelling is the ultimate branding technique du jour.” The reason for telling stories is to engage consumers and use “the construct of stories and storytelling to create powerful connections.
While the transition to digital media drove a focus toward content, today with ever more social tools and communication media, there’s a need for cohesive and meaningful connections in a marketing world that is now labeled ‘always on,’ demanding more of brand communication.”
She highlights Lego and its 80th anniversary video and Canon’s Project Imagin8ion as storytelling done right.