Getting through to the target audience is a great priority for brands on social media. Paid efforts go a long way in ensuring that branded content reaches a specific number of people. However, brands can’t bank on paid efforts alone. This is where shares and retweets matter. Moreover, content that is shared by someone you know has more credibility than when it comes from the brand.
What makes a piece of content shareable on social media?
Here we look at the most shared pieces of brand content from different industries on Facebook. Different narrative strategies might work in different industries. But a close look at top performing pieces of content might offer valuable takeaways and common elements.
Volvo tapped into a social media obsession – unboxing. They took it to a whole new level by unboxing a Volvo VNL truck. This now holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest unboxing. This video was also how they unveiled this new truck to their audience. Rather than have an expert talk you through the innovative features, they got a 3 year old truck enthusiast. Joel Jovine’s genuine awe of the state-of-the-art truck made it look all the more impressive.
Members of the Baylor University Men’s Choir performed Ryan Cayabyab’s ‘The Coconut Song’ for the crew as a sign of their gratitude. This video got over 14 million views. Emirates explained the idea behind this gesture in the following comment:
Budweiser featured their CSR efforts in a video with Adam Driver and won big on engagement. In association with Folds of Honor, the brand was able to provide a scholarship to the daughter of an army veteran. This was published on the heels on 4th of July. Driver himself was discharged from the military following an injury. This background helps highlight his commitment to this initiative. Showing the problems in a real family and the difference Budweiser could make (with the contribution of every customer) heightens the viewers’ involvement. This way, they care enough to engage with and share your content.
Fender used a niche approach in their July 4th campaign. In celebration of individual freedom and creative expression, the brand published a video featuring top artists and beginners playing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ on their guitar. Not just that, fans who wanted to learn how to play were directed to a link to a free tutorial. The campaign resonated with their target audience. Moreover, the approach bore the brand’s signature, reminding viewers what the brand is all about.
Red Bull gave their audience what they promised – wings. This 360 video, shot from the perspective of an eagle takes the viewers around the Dolomites in Italy. A critical reason for the video’s success in addition to the visual brilliance, is the clear handle they have on the content that works for them. In the past, videos around adventure sports and crazy feats got them outstanding engagement. Combining that with the millennial obsession with wanderlust, Red Bull has struck gold.
Every brand can take a different route to join the conversation around July 4th. For a substantial portion of the population, the holiday is incomplete without a barbeque and fireworks. Camp Chef gave some timely advice on how to do a BBQ right. Content that comes with a direct value-add for your target customers can establish your brand as a thought-leader in the space. (And of course, bring in engagement)
Hefty is getting a lot of mileage from their content that starred John Cena. In this video, they brought in an even more formidable force – John Cena’s mom. Who apparently takes a more aggressive route to convincing customers about the product’s superiority. Some well-executed humor is a big win any day.
One of the most striking features of Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 is its Infinity Display. The brand came up with a great way to show this off. They posted a 360 photo that had a number of these phones hidden away. Facebook users were asked how many phones they could spot. Giving your content an interactive bent is a surefire way of getting engagement.
When your audience cannot get enough of cat memes, there is no better industry to be in than Pet Care. KitNipBox capitalized on this to amass engagement. Other Pet Care brands like Bark Box have used a similar strategy and saw impressive results. It is important that brands are aware of trends in their industry.
Integrations with TV shows are a big hit among brands now. When a cult TV show mentions your product, you’d have to be a fool to not jump at the opportunity. In Rick and Morty, Morty was determined to get another taste of McDonald’s Szechuan sauce that it had released for a short period in the late 1990’s. The QSR chain obliged by sending one of the show’s creators some of their famous sauce.
Back to school content does not have to be about discounts. Remember Jasmyn Wright, the teacher who kindled positivity among her students during the US presidential race? The video she posted on Facebook had over 3.7 million views and close to 50,000 shares. GAP’s video features Jasmyn and her students engaged in a call-and-response exercise. They end the video with ‘Back to school. Forward with confidence’. Instead of tying their messaging to the product or the brand, they draw association to values. This in turn adds to the brand personality.
All the pieces of content we’ve discussed so far have one thing in common. They tap into a trending topic. This could be by:
- Creating content around a holiday or event
- Using a popular content format like 360 photos, videos, or live videos
- Talking about a current topic
- Leveraging a popular obsession be it memes, food videos or wanderlust
In addition to having a handle on what your audience is interested in, you should also have a clear idea of what your brand is all about. The key to creating shareable content is a combination of these two factors.
Unmetric Discover’s repository of brand content is a great way to see what topics are trending at the moment. Discover concept evidence and whitespaces here.