If you haven’t seen The Scarecrow video from Chopotle Mexican Grill, you should consider watching it. Not because it’s the latest viral video on YouTube—although at almost 7 million views it’s faring quite well. The reason why is because it has sparked a lot of talk in the social media community about content marketing, and how brands are shifting their strategies to stay relevant in the ever-changing market.
The Scarecrow campaign includes a video and game app, whose underlying commentary—albeit no voices—is about the sinister processed food industry and the superior nature of “wholesome sustainable food” as they put it. The eeriness of the animation is striking, the game is engaging and fun to play.
But what is most striking is there is little no mention or exposure of the brand Chipotle at all. This campaign achieved much more than just brand awareness for Chipotle, it achieved thought leadership.
What is so important about thought leadership for brands? Because thought leadership is what will keep your brand relevant. Relevancy is one of the most sustainable and valuable qualities to have.
As people are more and more tuning out milquetoast marketing jargon, they are tuning in the brands that stand for something. The brands that have an opinion. The brands that have a personality. The brands that are influential in more than just their own industry. And they’re connecting with these brands that demonstrate all of this through the content they post on social media.
So ask yourself —does your content include a sales pitch for the latest facial treatment available at your spa, or does it include commentary on the importance of keeping your skin healthy? Are the comments you leave limp and lifeless, or do they inspire people to talk story with you?
If you’re content strategy includes posting “whatever” a few time a week to keep the profiles alive, you are digging yourself into a deeper hole of irrelevancy every day.
How can you get started? Forget the pitch. Forget how awesome your brand is, and what awesome products you sell. Forget your specials. I challenge you to try it, just for a month and watch the difference. Start posting content that speaks to the topics that surround your brand, and don’t be afraid to show some personality!
If you’re a sneaker company, it’s not about the sneakers. It’s about fitness, healthy eating choices, outdoor exploring, you can even take a stand on something controversial like free trade or sweat shops.
Bottom line, invest in your content and strategize how that content can position you as a thought leader.