Sep 05, 2012

Using Consumer Insights: 5 Key Tips from Kraft

The anatomy of a viral hit. A recipe started out on Facebook, and ended up being one of Kraft’s top recipes for the year.

400 million emails, 90 million site visits, 6 million video views, 1.1 billion advertising impressions, 1 billion recipes viewed … and a food magazine with more than a million paid subscribers that’s on par with the Food Network’s magazine, and is bigger than Food & Wine.

Kraft is a scale publishing platform, according to Julie Fleischer, director of CRM Content Strategy for Kraft Foods.   So what can the rest of us learn from Kraft’s enormous content marketing and social CRM programs, even if our own brands don’t have the scope, reach and depth of content that Kraft has developed?  As it turns out, a lot.

” We have an audience that is coming for our food solutions, staying longer than they do on other sites, and are likely to click through to more information,” noted Julie.

Kraft has developed an engaged audience that they don’t need to go find – the audience willingly comes back.   Kraft’s magazine, Food & Family, has a million subscribers – more than Food & Wine.  As Julie noted, “People pay Kraft to receive our ads.”

Kraft’s content marketing brief:  Create delicious meal solutions that inspire amazing food stories which spread to drive sales and create value for Kraft Foods.

This brief offers a few lessons.  It’s clearly focused on driving an outcome (getting people to make the recipes), with an eye toward encouraging user generated content, with the ultimate goal of moving the needle on sales

Content marketers, Julie noted, need to know how the consumers’ minds work, as well as their habits and their rituals.  Then you need to intercept them at those moments of need.  An example, in January, themes include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Slow cooker recipes
  • Bowl game recipes
  • Black eyed pea recipes (during first week.  It’s a ritual)

But there’s more to developing an editorial approach than customer rituals.  Kraft takes a comprehensive approach.  Here’s a look at a sample of their editorial calendar:

As you can see, the calendar blends events, trends, rituals and a lot of customer and search data.  Julie noted that Kraft is constantly updating, testing and tweaking the calendar.  In particular, she noted the need to be spontaneous. Retain flexibility that lets you take advantage when you see something is working, and see how far you can make it run.   An example she gave is illustrated at the top of this post.  Kraft published a recipe for a cookie bar on Facebook, and when it took off, they recognized that, highlighting it on Pinterest and in the magazine, which triggered a fresh round of viral sharing and visibility for the recipe.

The top tips from Kraft for developing a content strategy that works:

  1. Add value to your consumer’s life.
  2. Be captivating. You have to be as interesting and compelling as all other media out there if you want anyone to pay attention to you.
  3. Location.  Be where you consumer is, where she goes.  Be easy to find.  Don’t require people to come to you, go to them.
  4. Timeliness matters.  Develop processes that get you to real time. Use nimble distribution methods.  Adjust on the fly.  Be of the moment.
  5. Measure.  Engagement, return rates, satisfaction, virality.

Julie wrapped up by reminding us that consumer relationship marketing is about a value exchange. You give each other value.

Author Sarah Skerik (@sarahskerik525252)  is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

At PR Newswire, content marketing is powered by an agile communications approach – built on effectively listening to online conversations, targeting of active influencers, creating content based on the insights gleaned and syndicating content that is relevant, compelling and trustworthy on an ongoing basis to drive visibility and deliver results.

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