Unilever take content marketing mainstream and control the data

njerBkchbdadbWhen brands such as Unilever spend more and more money on sophisticated content marketing you know that it’s become mainstream. The way they have done it also means that they control the data and save significant media costs.

Unilever have realised that traditional advertising can only communicate a brand so much to so decreasing few consumers (especially bebeautifulin Asia) so they have invested heavily in on line magazine formats to really connect with consumers, especially women. Unilever have created BeBeautiful.in to engage consumers.

The portal has become so popular in India that it has over taken traditional beauty and food magazines in ratings. Unilever has effectively become a media publisher.

The clever thing about the brands is that it does not promote their beauty products overtly but clearly everyone knows that’s why they are there and the brands are promoted subtly and contextually. However the site lives and dies on the compelling and very targeted content.

The on line content portal was created as a result of research from on line searches  which showed that people searched for items like what is the best hair care, best oral care and best body and face care. Consumers were shouting loudly and clearly that they needed help, guidance, information and advice on these needs.

Consumers expected brands to be able answer this question more than traditional magazines and this  inspired Unilever to create this compelling portal. They now have the power over their consumers and their rival brands’ consumers through content engagement. Plus they don’t have to pay any media costs to do so.

knorr2The other key aspect to this clever bit of content engagement is that unlike facebook pages, Twitter pages, Instagram pages and Pinterest pages Unilever control the data not the social network site. I have always wondered (and in fact wrote a blog about this years ago to ask) why brands spent so much money on marketing a rival media platform. Why does all the marketing creative say go to my facebook/twitter page? You’re just handing your data to facebook/twitter to exploit and make money out of your consumers rather than you.

What Unilever have done ensures that they control the data and therefore they control the entire CRM strategy around this data in relation to how these people interact with this content brands and ultimately how they engage with Unilever brands. This is a great example of how content marketing and data marketing work hand in hand more cost effectively than giving money to the publishers where you have no control and you hand your data to rival publishers to exploit.

Unilever have done something with Knorr around ”what’s for dinner” as a result of researching searches saying “what’s for dinner” and “how do I make curry”. The site is branded Knorr so people know you will need Knorr in all the recipes so it doesn’t work as well as the unbranded BeBeautiful brand but nevertheless they are leading with content and capturing data long with way.

Both of these content themes are also backed up with extensive content engagement. Knorr have almost 7 million fans on facebook and BeBeautiful have over 400,000 facebook fans in India. The brand engagement continues with updates on these platforms too. All round content really is king for Unilever.