Want Your Customers To Do Your Marketing For You | The Coca-Cola Method

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Want Your Customers To Do Your Marketing For You | The Coca-Cola Method

By Samantha Brooks on 24 January, 2020

Now more than ever, authentic social media posts are difficult to pull off. Influencer costs are rising as demand increases and the benefits of social media marketing are becoming more obvious. For smaller businesses, getting a social media personality on their side can be extremely costly, and may not even provide the desired result in the end. In a landscape where consumers are clued in on most marketing techniques, having a campaign successfully create buzz without feeling like a sneaky sales tactic is rare.

Here’s where to start. 

There are many ways you can promote chatter around your brand on social media. As we mentioned in our 2020 Social Media Predictions blog, data shows that people are twice as likely to respond to a friends post about a product than one that came from an influencer or celebrity, so having employees or consumers creating content is also valuable for sales.

By crafting a product or campaign that is new, innovative, or promotes a message that catches the imagination of the public, you can start to get your consumers promoting your product for you. Create product and packaging that is so uber-Instagrammable that no customer can look at it without snapping a photo to show a friend. Train your team in helping to facilitate positive reviews attributed to your brand online. Write posts that people see and instantly need to tag their friends. Encourage people to create content surrounding your product and share it on their page by placing them front and centre.

How it’s done! Let’s have a look at the ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign. 

For Coca-Cola, summer is a key sales period. Amidst a sales decline in a saturated market and tastes shifting away from fizzy drinks, Coke launched a campaign in 2011 to cement its position in the beverage market Down Under … a campaign that still continues to evolve to this day due to its enormous success.

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign would reunite Aussies with the idea of sharing a good time with friends over a Coca-Cola. It started with the introduction of 250 bottles with the country’s most popular names printed in place of the company logo. We don’t need to explain this campaign in detail; unless you’ve been living under a rock these past 8 years you would have seen Coca-Cola bottles labelled with names pretty much everywhere, but nowhere more than your social feed.

Before any collateral was released promoting the campaign, the newly packaged bottles began popping up in fridges all over the country. This allowed consumers to discover the names themselves, sparking both online conversations and media interest. People were prompted to create online content subtly, placing control in the hands of consumers. They were made to feel that their lifestyles were at the centre of the narrative, instead of feeling like tools in the company’s promotional machine. While Coke used traditional methods of advertising like newspapers and TV, it was social media channels where the campaign took on a life of its own.

Throughout the campaign, Coke constantly listened to what consumers were doing with the bottles in order to be able to continue to surprise and spark further conversations. The company continues to evolve the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign to this day based on customer engagement to further create personal relationships with consumers, and of course, sell more product.

The campaign was successfully expanded from Australia to over fifty countries, with each country’s message customised to the local culture and language. The most popular names of people living in each region were printed – a perfect example of effectively applying a localised positioning strategy to a global market. What’s more personal than your own name on the product?

The Result

The campaign exceeded expectations with millions of Australians ‘Sharing a Coke’ either virtually or literally. The results of the campaign showed young adult consumption increased significantly – up by 7%. Traffic on the Coke Facebook page increased by 870% and the Facebook page grew by 39%. In Australia, they were the number one most talked about Facebook page, and 23rd globally. Online, 76,000 virtual Coke cans were shared, while 378,000 custom Coke cans were printed at local Westfield malls across the country.

The campaign also changed attitudes: over the campaign, teens claimed it gave them a ‘very positive’ impression of Coke. Scores on ‘always doing new things’, ‘is a brand I love’ and ‘for someone like me’ all improved with the young adult audience – arguably the hardest demo to reach!

In the changing landscape of digital marketing, we recommend looking at what online content you are producing, either directly or indirectly. This includes the authenticity of your company social media pages, as well as who is posting about your product and how you can increase the buzz around your brand. Watch trends in your consumers’ interests and give them something to get excited about!

Have a look at our blog How to Nail Instagram Advertising If you’re curious about the power of advertising on Instagram. For help creating a marketing strategy that is right for your brand, we’re always here to help.

If you have a question and want to get in touch, contact us or call us 07 3198 4890. If you are interested in keeping up to date with Fuse, subscribe to our enews.