Did you ever wonder … why your marketing content doesn’t have the stamina and vitality it did when you first released it. What healthy choices have you made to breathe new life into not just one piece of content, but the entire strategy?
It was back in 2010 when John Osborn, President and CEO of the ad agency BBDO, declared their new strategic plan for the future. They were going to have to change their approach … The highlights were shared in an interview with BtoB Magazine.
One of their biggest goals was to “uncover the soul behind clients’ brands. In other words, what energizes them, sparks that emotion, and drives meaning and purpose. This would be their new mission.
That year they collaborated with General Electric Co., and created the “Healthymagination” campaign. Their mission, better health for more people at improved affordability. It generated over 15 million video interactions on YouTube. But more than that, the campaign turned into a movement and commitment with experts and the community.
Fast forward to today, 2013 …
As a result of this movement, their mission for “better health for more people” lives on. They’re enabling all of us to get involved through free apps that monitor our daily routines and empower us to improve our own health.
They also created an Entrepreneurial Program to help educate early-stage consumer health companies to be successful and grow. In fact, five seed winners were just awarded $100,000 each for their breakthroughs in emerging breast cancer research. It’s part of the $1Billion GE Cancer Commitment.
3 Key Tips
These are three key tips I’ve extracted from John Osborn and GE that can be used to give your content marketing strategy a healthy boost.
1. The Mission
One is to “uncover the soul,” or mission, behind your company. A mission helps you stand out and gives you a purpose to work towards and inspire change in others. Then infuse this mission in all your content. This will be the foundation to make your content healthy, and stay healthy.
2. Customer-Centered Content
Two, if you want more satisfied customers over the long haul, content marketing must be part of your mix, if done right. The content has to be written and planned with the customer at the CENTER and not on the sale. You’re not advertising, you’re informing.
GE’s Healthymagination may have started out as a campaign, but ended up being an ongoing cause through education and useful information. The fire starter was the campaign. Now it’s growing even stronger, as they partner with experts around the world to “empower and educate their audience to overcome barriers to good health.” These are things that all of us care about.
Clever ad campaigns capture short attention spans. They fuel content that’s focused on products , services and the company. However, buyers today require more meaningful information to make decisions they feel good about first. Then they’ll be more open and interested in ads and product information. Through customer-centered content, there’s a better chance of prospects not only becoming a customer, but being an advocate of your company.
3. The Personal Touch
Three, personalize. There’s fierce competition from companies of all sizes. Content popping up faster than you can snap a finger at. And new devices, like smartphones and tablets. They make it easier for us to access information while on-the-go, but increase demands for companies to adopt—or be out.
All of us want information that stirs up a desire inside of us. It’s the personal touch that gets, and keeps, our attention.
GE’s Healthymagination has created ways for people and companies to get involved and actively pursue the get healthy mission. They’ve got their attention, they’re engaged, and people are taking action.
They’re engaging communities and experts to share ideas and partner up. One of their partnerships is with StartUp Health, an academy for health entrepreneurs. Together they’ve designed a three year program for early stage consumer health companies trying to improve the quality of healthcare. As of April 4 2013, GE and Startup Health selected 13 companies for their Entrepreneurship Program.
In October of 2013, GE launched 14 new Industrial Internet Technologies to assist Aviation, Oil & Gas, Transportation, Healthcare and Energy. These solutions will optimize complex machine operations to help them run better, consume less fuel, lower maintenance costs and minimize downtime. They’ve partnered with AT&T, Cisco and Intel to improve wired and wireless machine connectivity.
What does all this mean. In a new GE report (October, 8, 2013) the Industrial Internet can save industries close to $20 billion each year and hundreds of millions of man hours. This drastically improves how information is gathered, stored, accessed and shared. Unplanned downtime in any of these industries can impact the entire economy.
Speaking of the economy, the Industrial Internet is expected to create a host of new jobs and retrain workers from field engineers and pilots to doctors and nurses. Instead of workers reacting to failures they’ll be able to access and receive information more efficiently and be more productive. They’ll have a better work experience.
GE also partnered with the NFL and Under Armour. They’ve created a Head Health Initiative to improve the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and protection against mild traumatic brain injury. Their research and results will be used in sports-related concussions, brain injuries in members of the military, and in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that have touched the lives of many of our families and friends.
For the consumer they’ve partnered with app developers and to date are offering 9 mobile iOS apps geared toward personal health for consumers, students and professionals. Three apps that caught my attention were Healthline Body Maps, by Healthline Networks, Inc., ($14.99 in iTunes). It’s a 3D learning tool to understand the human body. It can be used as a reference for medical students, professionals and consumers.
Stats of the Union, a free App by Ben Fry, LLC, that lets you monitor health issues like diseases, at-risk groups, and pre-mature deaths in your state or country. One customer review gave it 5 stars with the comment … “Offers visual evidence of where health care is working and where there is still a lot of work to do.”
And the best for last …. This is for all you snorers and sleep ditchers who spend too much time working and stressing and not enough sleeping—a sleep tracker by MedHelp called Sleep On It. The cool thing is you can see what affects your sleep, and how much you really need to feel your best to tackle those crazy days.
GE is taking their mission and forming partnerships to proactively solve serious problems that are life changing. To sum it all up, if your marketing plan is running out of steam, revisit these 3 key areas.
1. Uncover the soul of your company, like John Osborn of BBDO did for his company and his clients, like GE. Come up with a mission to empower positive change in your customers and society. Then plan a strategy to carry out that mission.
2. Add content marketing to your mix. But make sure it’s centered around your customers needs and interests first, or it won’t be effective. It serves a different purpose than advertising copy and can make it much more successful. In this digital world, it’s the best way to spark growth in your business.
3. Make it personal. To really connect and engage with your audience, think of ways to get into their minds and hearts. Get them to interact and be a part of your mission. To make it an even bigger mission, partner up with a company or an expert and create something that no one else is doing. Besides you’ll be exposed to an even larger audience to help more people.
To read more about how to create a mission see this post, “Wake Up Your Website” – Boston Workshop Part 1.
Photo Credits: Top photo courtesy of Dreamstime. Healthline Body Maps, Stats of the Union, and Sleep On It apps screenshots in iTunes.
Questions to think about?
Does your company have a mission?
Are you effectively creating content marketing?
Can you think of anyone you can partner up with that can solve a problem in a different way?