Content Marketing Cage Match- Retail Brands


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Welcome to the second in our series of content marketing cage matches!

This time we explore the content marketing approach of the two major retail outlets in Australia. Who will be crowned retail content marketing champion?

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Content Marketing Cage Match- Retail Brands

  1. 1. The battle of the retail brands.
  2. 2. Welcome to the second in our series of content marketing cage matches! One of the best ways to learn how to execute effective content marketing strategies is to examine what others are doing. Join us as we soak up the mistakes and triumphs of major brands adapting to meet their increasingly savvy digital audiences.
  3. 3. Vs. The battle of the retail brands.
  4. 4. Since 1910, Myer has revolutionised the retail arena, constantly staying ahead of the game that is the world of fashion, beauty, electrical and homewares. David Jones has long nurtured a reputation as Australia’s great dame of department stores, and this year marked its 175th anniversary. One enjoys the prestige and cultural clout of being Australia’s oldest department store, the other has continued to evolve into the market leader of Australian retailing, almost doubling David Jones stores nationally. Both are strong and recognisable brands, but how are they performing in the online content marketing race for consumer engagement? Let’s find out. Introducing the retail giants…
  5. 5. Blog Content The writing is on the wall - retail fans crave content. Fashion and beauty blogs have become one of the most frequently accessed content types on the web. Created and consumed by millions everyday, their popularity has even created a new industry of professional bloggers. This level of content consumption presents both a challenge and a significant opportunity for major retailers who wish to engage online audiences. Let’s find out how our retailers are utilising their blogs to capture and engage fashion audiences online.
  6. 6. Blog content
  7. 7. Blog content First up, David Jones! Named Black & White – a nice throwback to their iconic houndstooth logo and branding – the David Jones blog is an example of one done well. Resembling a well-curated online fashion magazine, the blog features a minimalist design that is visually led with strong, enticing images and videos. User-friendly and easy to navigate, readers are able to filter content by categories including fashion, beauty, bridal, lifestyle, as well as WEARE (their current campaign dedicated to self expression, young fashion designers and online mediums). It also has a search function with all of David Jones’ related social media platforms prominently promoted and easy to access. Posting blogs around six times a week, content includes: trend reports; brand and designer profiles; new arrivals; campaign highlights; style tips; beauty tutorials; runway reports; shopping and seasonal gift guides; event and ambassador related news, events and more. Visually, they also keep it interesting with a mix of videos and images including campaign shoots (both their own and of featured designers and brands), runway and social photography that are all beautifully and professionally captured. While all of the content has a clear connection to David Jones – whether it’s a brand they sell, an event they hosted or a campaign starring one of their ambassadors – it doesn’t take a heavy-handed sales approach (readers can click through links to view and purchase any products and brands featured on the blog or head to the ‘Shop Online’ tab). Instead it is inspiring, engaging and informative. Established in November 2012, the Black & White blog captures what David Jones is – aspirational yet accessible. This is reflected in content where a Father’s Day gift guide and a childrenswear buyer’s top clearance picks sit alongside blogs on Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and ambassador coverage of Jessica Gomes, Montana Cox and Jason Dund. A winning mix, we think. Our only tip would be to add a little more content around lifestyle, home and interiors to counter the strong focus on fashion and beauty.
  8. 8. Blog content
  9. 9. Blog content The Myer website is intrinsically all about fashion – the heart of what makes Myer Myer smacks you in the face the minute you visit their homepage. But are pretty images, an impressive layout and fonts enough to drive consumers to want to explore their site? To be blunt, no. It’s not enough. Myer has unfortunately forgotten to focus on a core aspect of any smart marketing campaign: content. Institutional brands such as Myer need to deliver more pizazz both in store and online to stay ahead of the thousands of other fashion bigwigs that are continually creating bigger and better marketing campaigns. Myer does not have a dedicated blog. The only content apparent on Myer’s website – and you really have to search for it – is the online edition of their print publication, Emporium, and a sporadic news section showcasing fashion and beauty product launches. While this online edition of their print publication has been optimised for online viewing (and shopping) by hyperlinking each fashion item to a page with relevant purchasing details, re-purposing content that is produced monthly and clearly designed for a print environment (retains full page, designed for print product ads) demonstrates Myer’s inability or desire to create online specific editorial content that moves beyond the hard sell. On a happier note, the recent This is Australia content campaign - which focuses on established and up-and-coming Australian designers - is both visually impressive and effective in taking the online viewer on a visual style journey . However, once again this content is essentially hidden on the site and has to be deliberately sought. The effectiveness of online editorial content has essentially been ignored by Myer, who need to both create more blog content to engage their online audiences and make this content far more prominent on their website.
  10. 10. The verdict? David Jones wins. David Jones’ blog content demonstrates the concerted effort they have made to engage with their consumers online. Their content is easily accessible, informative and inspirational. By providing this value to their online audience, alongside appropriate calls to action, the David Jones blog is undoubtedly more effective than Myer’s lack of any blog/re-purposing of print material.
  11. 11. Video content With over 4 billion hours of video viewed each month, it’s fair to say that online audiences absolutely relish video content. And why wouldn’t they? Video is dynamic and a welcome relief from the sea of text we all wade through when browsing. So let’s take a look at how David Jones and Myer are utilising this tactic online. First up, the numbers! David Jones Joined YouTube: 2011 Total videos: 211 Subscribers: 644 Myer Joined YouTube: 2009 Total videos: 579 Subscribers: 1,061 From numbers alone it appears that Myer is investing much more time and resources into their video content, but quantity isn’t everything. Let’s take a closer look at the quality of the video content being produced.
  12. 12. Video content Going up against Myer in a video-content cage match would make anyone nervous. With over 1000 subscribers, 579 videos and one million views, it is clear that Myer has invested a lot of time and money into their impressive YouTube channel. Myer’s video content focuses primarily on fashion and beauty titbits, designer profiles, and launches; only a select few videos published cover kids and toys, events, homewares and electrical. Unfortunately, the majority of these fashion and beauty videos are purely product focused. They offer short, sharp insights into the latest trends available at Myer, with no narration. The Myer Spring Summer 2014 Trend Report: Black & White video exemplifies this format, showing sixteen seconds of polished models posing in Myer clothing set to booming contemporary music. While these videos may epitomise good online advertising, they hardly qualify as valuable, helpful or engaging content. Myer does deliver some more value to their video audiences in the form of expert make-up tutorials, but these are rare and overwhelmingly outnumbered by hard-sell ‘product and feature’ videos. In summary, Myer essentially use their Youtube channel for advertising rather than content marketing. These videos may have a luxe look, but they fail to promote online engagement.
  13. 13. Video content While David Jones publishing and consumption figures are a little less impressive than Myer’s, their YouTube channel is still well established with over 200 videos, 640 subscribers and over 518,000 views. Like Myer, David Jones utilises their channel to publish product centric videos. The critical difference however is that David Jones’ videos actually attempt to connect and engage with their online audience. A great example of this is the video Weekend Wear with Jason Dundas . Unlike Myer, this video features a presenter who invites the viewer to explore the latest trends available at David Jones and discusses where and how the viewer can utilise these trends. There is also a clear call to action for the viewer to visit the David Jones blog if they would like more information or to purchase. David Jones’ attempt to genuinely connect with and engage fashion fans with helpful and interesting video content doesn’t just stop at their use of presenters in trend reports. They also have a dedicated beauty tutorial playlist, interviews with both upcoming Australian designers and iconic international designers like Diane von Furstenberg, and a great Street Trends series set in New York. More so, video is a medium that David Jones has been embracing in a bigger way in recent months, which sees the number of videos they are sharing on YouTube increasing significantly. Their most recent video We Are David Jones particularly exemplifies the exciting and clever direction David Jones are taking, allowing the video to interactively shape their viewing experience by selecting adjectives they most associate with.
  14. 14. The verdict? David Jones wins. David Jones wins ‘Best in show’ for video content, not because of the quantity they have produced but because their videos have been developed to connect with their online audience, offering them insights, as well as interesting and helpful tips. By moving beyond purely self-serving advertising, David Jones’ video channel offers a more valuable brand experience for online audiences than that of Myer.
  15. 15. Social media Myer versus David Jones in a social-presence showdown is going to be a close one. Both fashion houses have a hand in the relevant social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Let’s start with Myer.
  16. 16. Social media Facebook Let’s start with Facebook. In terms of Facebook likes, both Myer and DJs are sitting pretty at over 200,000. Myer certainly takes the lead with fan interest however, with around 10,000 people talking about them at any one stage, whereas DJs only has around 4,000. In terms of posts, both Myer and DJs use a lot of visually appealing images to populate their pages. But unlike DJs, Myer takes things one step further by adding personality to their page with interest pieces, style suggestions and trend reports instead of just pictorials, closed competitions, events and behind-the-scenes images and lookbooks. Myer do their best to field comments and questions on their Facebook page, but don’t seem as eager as DJs to sooth disgruntled users.
  17. 17. Social media Twitter Myer has a strong following of over 15,500 on Twitter and rightly so. Their feed is regularly updated with promotions, product launches, gift ideas, runway show updates, quirky day-of-the-week mentions and so on. While they may fall short on customer service on their Facebook page, the level of personalisation that Myer brings to their Twitter account is impressive. Constantly fielding and answering customer queries, providing updates and even personal suggestions, Myer’s Twitter followers are certainly well looked after. Instagram and Pinterest Like David Jones, Myer has a strong following on Instagram, but falls somewhat short with their Pinterest account. With just over 1400 followers exploring their 38 boards, the Myer Pinterest page leaves much to be desired. What Myer lacks on Pinterest they certainly make up for on Instagram. Myer boasts over 31,000 followers on Instagram and a rich array of real-life shots that are beautiful, inspirational and innately Myer.
  18. 18. Social media David Jones has a strong following on Facebook with over 240,000 likes on their page. The page is set up well with a clear description of their business, an outline of the function of their Facebook page and the inclusion of contact details in the ‘About’ section. Their page tabs direct fans towards their other social media channels, and also include handy information such as a store finder, brands guide, catalogues, offers and events. Cover photos regularly change to reflect what’s happening across the stores – whether it’s a key trend, sale or new season launch. Another nice touch is the addition of key events to their Facebook timeline – dating back to the founding of the company in 1838 and including events such as Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1954 and the launch of the David Jones online store in 2000. Content is varied and generally visually led, including updates around fashion, trends, promotions, events, catalogues and offers. David Jones posts a minimum of once a day and seems to actively field and address questions, criticisms and compliments in a way that is polite and professional. The David Jones Facebook page is well managed and could teach other retailers a few lessons. https://www.facebook. com/davidjonesstore
  19. 19. Social media Twitter David Jones has over 15,000 followers on Twitter. They like to mix it up on this social channel using it for everything from promoting new brands and in-store events, offering advice in the form of gift guides to running giveaways and giving followers a sneak peek at new collections, campaigns and runway shows. David Jones also uses Twitter to support and promote content on their other social media channels – like Instagram and the Black & White blog. They are proactive at re-tweeting comments, answering questions and tagging designers, brands, their ambassadors and celebrities they are working with. Instagram Started in February 2012, David Jones currently boasts over 38,000 followers on Instagram – and rightfully so. Their images are beautiful, bright and well shot and encompass everything from red carpet and runway shots to products and style looks. They post frequently (some 671 posts to date), field questions from followers and have high levels of user engagement with most being positive in sentiment. Pinterest To date, David Jones has 79 boards and 1352 pins on Pinterest, with over 1800 followers. The main themes explored are: fashion (trends, looks, seasonal collection and runway edits, street style, bridal); events (fashion shows, annual celebrations like Christmas and Mother’s Day); their ambassadors (key looks, wish lists); and interiors. All the products are tagged by designer and style and include pricing and a link to their online store. They have a well managed and inspirational approach in place.
  20. 20. The verdict? It’s a tie! Both David Jones and Myer have an impressive social media presence. Their social content is engaging, shareable and promotes user-generated content and social interaction with their brands. Although they could improve their real time response strategies (social media is not 9am- 5pm after all), both Myer and David Jones deliver great content and a valuable brand experience on social media. Kudos!
  21. 21. Final scores Category Winner Blog content Video content Social media content So who’s the retail grand champion of content marketing? David Jones Although both Myer and David Jones should be commended for the ease with which they have transitioned into the digital age, David Jones considered approach to providing interesting, helpful and engaging content across all of their website and social media properties ultimately makes them the winners.
  22. 22. Wrapping up! Four content marketing lessons from David Jones and Myer 1. If you’re a major retailer without a dedicated blog, you’re missing out on an enormous opportunity to build brand reputation and advocacy by providing value to online audiences. 2. Creating online specific blog content is more effective than re-purposing from print because the content is tailored and optimised for the online environment (not full page ads!) 3. Videos produced on their own merit – whether it’s to educate, entertain or inspire – are always more engaging than videos with a pure advertising focus. 4. Social media has created a 24/7 customer service cycle. This means that to become a truly social brand, platform managers need to implement real time response strategies ( - there’s no such thing as 9am-5pm social media for major brands).
  23. 23. Presented by King Content, Australia’s most-awarded digital content marketing agency. Check out our blog for more ideas, facts and advice. @King_Content