Content marketing is proving its value time and time again. Creating content (or allowing people to create content for you) is the best way to build a relationship with your fans or customers. Earlier, we talked about the necessity of content marketing and how the lack of content creates problems in the long term. This time we take a look at one of the best practices in content marketing: LEGO!
Around the turn of the century, the Danish toy manufacturer clearly had a problem when distributing giants Walmart, Toys “R” Us and Target told the company they had lost the connection with their audience. The company’s new toys were far from successful and it began to deviate more from its core business. LEGO was also marketing solely towards kids or their parents. Meanwhile, they forgot about their adult fans. After an organisational overhaul, it became clear that these adult fans had already formed the base of the new business-customer relationship, Lego wanted to build.
Of course, there wasn’t a culture of B2C relations back then... Businesses were simply too busy "doing business" to talk to, and interact with, their customers. Turns out they were wasting a huge marketing potential... The changes didn’t happen in one swift movement. First the content platforms were created. Once these were in place, the B2C communication became a lot more natural. The content strategy is paying dividends. Fans are creating most of the content and LEGO facilitates it to near perfection with tons micro sites and story lines. Their Ideas platform is the perfect way to help fans dream. The LEGO youtube channel is the most watched channel with over 4,2 billion views! The result of all this? While the late 1990s and early 2000s the LEGO group seemed to be feeling the effect of being a traditional toy in the digital age, the profit has only increased. The net profit increased with 76,7% since 2009! The year after the LEGO Movie was released, net profit went up by 23,46%. These results shouldn’t be solely attributed to the marketing style, but it’s clear that LEGO now is finally reaching their complete audience: children, parents and adult fans.
Other creative companies like Pokémon, Nintendo or Marvel have gone on the same route and made content marketing their focus point in the marketing mix. These brands grow stronger everyday because of it, they grow with their fans. But where are the sports brands? The only content generating brand that has a decent following are the FIFA, Madden and NBA games. Other than that, it’s quite poor. The major sports consistently attract less viewers. So maybe the time to bring change and start engaging the fans is now!