Look outside of your team for great content marketing

Outside voices can improve your content marketing. British soccer star Marcus Rashford, for example, is helping Aldi UK to spread the holiday mood. Gen Z’s UGC makes Abercrombie & Fitch a hit on TikTok. And a new study from Semrush shows one way to get better content from outsourced talent.

Aldi UK makes Christmas great for everyone (with a little help from their friends)

Aldi UK has launched a new animated video starring the famous vegetarian Kevin the Carrot and the soccer star (the kind of Ted Lasso) Marcus Rashford.

In his appearance this year, A Christmas Carrot by Charles Chickens, Kevin takes the mean Ebanana Scrooge on a journey where she meets Radishford (voiced by Marcus) and Ebanana becomes a new, more beautiful banana.

Kevin is not a one-off character. Also, A Christmas Carrot is not a single advertisement for Aldi at Christmas or the company’s donation of 1.8 million meals to Neighborly, a partnership for which Marcus, who is publicly committed to ensuring that no child goes hungry, wholeheartedly supports. (As a child, his family relied on the local table for their Christmas dinner.)

Kevin the Carrot also leads the brand’s vacation-related content adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Aldi UK Christmas website.

Aldi’s robust holiday website goes beyond product-related functions and offers detailed instructions for home-made decorations and gifts as well as recipes and tips for the favorite dishes of the season.

HOT TAKE: Aldi UK knows how to wrap content in a festive and useful package. Many companies create holiday commercials; some donate to charity during the holiday season; and others use celebrities and athletes to sell their wares. But Aldi pulls everything together to get the maximum benefit from every last crumb of content. Whoever decided to make Kevin the Carrot a recurring character is a smart biscuit, too. The character looks familiar to the public – for several years he has been the star in Aldi’s vacation stories. It’s also a unifying presence across all content types, platforms and channels. And Marcus’ presence as Radishford is a fun twist with a message that is authentic to both the sports star and the brand.

@AldiUK shows how to wrap #ContentMarketing in a festive package – with a little help from an animated carrot and the voice of @MarcusRashford via @CMIContent. Click to tweet

SELECTED CONTENT: B2C content marketers, get ready for more responsibility in 2021 [New Research]

TikTok and social-first marketing are helping Abercrombie & Fitch avoid a wipeout

In a recent Teen Vogue article, Abercrombie & Fitch explains how it turned to social-first marketing to shed its early 2000s “preppy surfer” look. The fashion brand shone TikTok to get credible with Gen Z.

The company placed sponsored ads and affiliate posts on the platform. But user-generated content made the difference. By posting their own #AmbercrombieHaul and #AbercrombieStyle content, the Gen Zers helped the brand’s style go viral.

For example, Teen Vogue points to a TikTok on the brand’s logo-less hoodies posted by Andy Lobos that got over 1 million views. Once a product goes viral on TikTok, it is usually sold out on the Abercrombie website.

@andy_lobos Reply to @gunnawut surprisingly there are no logos on this just a good blank hoodie #fyp # abercrombie ♬ original sound – led

Carey Collins Krug, senior vice president and director of marketing at Abercrombie Brands, told Teen Vogue, “We’re looking at reviews and deliveries of our products. We take notes on how people describe the quality and fit. TikTok and its entire community have an innate authenticity that has enabled us to humanize Abercrombie. “

HOT TAKE: Abercrombie doesn’t have a lot of TikTok followers (less than 12,000) or a lot of TikTok videos (and the ones that have them aren’t that great). However, the brand’s success on the platform shows that user-generated content can do more than an internal marketing engine (or social accounts). Household, think first about how you will really connect with your audience – and become a trusted brand. You may find that looking outside is better than staying at home.

You don’t have to stress your in-house marketing # team with every new platform. User generated work for @Abercrombie on @TikTok via @CMIContent. #UGC Click to tweet

SELECTED CONTENT: User Generated Content: Let your fans do the content creation for you

Survey says: too few marketers value a creative brief for outsourced YouTubers

According to a recent Semrush survey of 700 brand marketers, roughly half (49%) of brand marketers say they outsource at least some of their content creation.

Why? Some of the most common reasons cited include the need to scale content production, the lack of enough in-house writers, and the inability (or unwillingness) to hire in-house writers.

One interesting finding of the study came from the role (or lack thereof) of the creative brief. Two-thirds (67.65%) say their content letters cover the topic and 64.71% say their briefings describe the keywords in detail.

Only about half say they include details of the target audience (50.29%) and content goals (49.71%) in the briefing. Even fewer are:

  • SEO writing instructions (36.76%)
  • Information on tone, message and style (35.88%)
  • Notes on content structure or outline (34.12%)
  • References to other content on the topic (31.47%)
  • Information about the company and its products and services (17.06%).

Given the lack of detail in (or total lack of) the creative briefing, it is not surprising that numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 most frequently cited challenges of outsourcing are low-quality content (41%) that demand a lot from the editor ( 36%), the content did not produce the expected results (29%), and spent too much time explaining the specifics of the industry, product, or topic to a writer (28%). (No. 1 was to find authors with practical experience on the subject.)

HOT TAKE: The Semrush study shows marketers have the opportunity to get more out of their outsourced content creation. Give the Creative Brief the attention it deserves. You could eliminate or drastically reduce the back and forth with content creators and internal revision time. A creative brief helps you keep on top of your outsourced talent by identifying expectations from both your brand and audience’s point of view.

A quality creative brief could solve many of the #content outsourcing challenges uncovered in a new survey by @Semrush of @CMIContent. Click to tweet


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Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute


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