Karim Kanji

Karim Kanji

Digital Content Manager

Coca-Cola’s Journey Into Content Marketing

After a year of testing, Coca-Cola’s new corporate website (and digital communications strategy), Coca-Cola Journey, was unveiled earlier this month.  Many will discuss the new web design from a user experience perspective. However, the focus is definitely on content and storytelling.

Earlier this year, we discussed the role that content plays in helping companies turn profits. That blog post was Part One. Consider this Part Two.

Why? Because the second role that content can play is softer. Content Strategist Jay Baer, in his book Youtility, argues that companies need to start providing real value to their customers and prospects (before even asking them to buy their product or service).

With Coca-Cola Journey, the world’s most popular beverage maker is tugging at the heart strings, attitude and lifestyle of their consumers.

While Coca-Cola’s website does include videos and articles specifically about their product, it is also heavily populated with stories and information that its users will find valuable.

There is a story about local celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie as well as a debate between the vinyl and digital music camps. (During American Thanksgiving, Coca Cola also featured articles related to volunteering and Thanksgiving recipes.)

kevin-gillespie-coca-cola

In a blog post answering why the beverage maker revamped their digital presence, Ashley Brown (Group Director, Digital Communications and Social Media) stated, A year ago, Coca-Cola made a big bet that storytelling is the cornerstone of 21st century communications. We believed that great, brand-created stories matter, that exceptional writing wins the day, and that building a digital newsroom would lead not only to a transformation in how we engage with our consumers but also how we work. Like a modern election campaign, we believed that the best content is social at the core, digital by design, and emotional.”

And like the core of Catalyst, Coca-Cola invests heavily in data to help it understand the type of content they needed to produce: “Like any winning campaign, we let the data guide us and inform our content decisions. Replacing a transactional corporate website with a digital magazine upended how we work. With KPIs focused on engagement, the new newsroom meant publishing content based on what readers want to read.”

What Coca-Cola (and other savvy brands) understands is that they are not only competing against the likes of Pepsi and RedBull for consumer’s attention. They are also competing against our friends and family members, charities and non-profits, our favorite movies, celebrities and bands, and even other brands.

Social media and the connected web long ago created an even playing field to compete for the attention of others. My sister’s blog and her Facebook and Instagram updates now compete with Coca-Cola for my attention.

Creating dynamic digital experiences (rather than static websites) like what Coca-Cola has done and even RedBull’s long standing tradition of supporting extreme sports further entrench the notion that content marketing is here to stay.

Karim Kanji
Karim Kanji

Latest posts by Karim Kanji (see all)

One thought on “Coca-Cola’s Journey Into Content Marketing

  1. Interesting case study, Karim.

    The transition from static website to digital newsroom is an innovative but potentially risky move.

    One company I’ve worked with made the same decision to convert their website into a branded online magazine last year. The content is highly engaging but from a web analytics perspective, the initiative underperformed. Their presence in social media, however, has met or exceeded expectations. They’re still working on a framework to identify the move’s impact on their bottom line, if any.

    I’d be interested in learning about the performance management side of Coca Cola’s journey into content marketing and how it measures bottom line impact, if at all.

    Might be a good topic for a future article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *