Content Marketing Inspiration from Direct-to-Consumer Brands

Today’s consumers have become savvier than ever, demanding more value for less money than ever before. Enter the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand. With their ability to cut out the middleman and sell their products and services to the end customer, these brands have transformed not only the industries they’re in, but marketing as well. Let these brands’ success stories be your company’s content marketing inspiration.

D2C brands lead the way in many facets of content marketing. As e-commerce marketing expert William Harris observed, “consumers want more transparency.” Today’s consumers need informative content that builds trust in a brand from the ground up. For content marketers, that means more in-depth articles and blog posts, explainer videos that point out the benefits of a product or show how to use it, personalized emails that contain information that helps them solve a problem, or link the brand to a cause greater than its bottom line.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Write helpful, informative blog posts and articles.
  • Use videos to demonstrate the benefits of your product, along with how to use it.
  • Send personalized emails that help your customers solve tough challenges.
  • Link your brand to a cause greater than your company’s bottom line.

Here’s how to build consumer trust as direct-to-consumer brands do…

Inform Customers about Your Products with Articles and Blog Posts

British mattress maker Eve—a direct-to-consumer brand—knew that potential consumers might have a few doubts about how a mattress-in-a-box would provide them with more benefits than its pricey store-bought cousins. Kuba Wieczorek, the company’s chief brand officer and one of its founders, seized upon that opportunity.

They determined to spread the word about the differences that set the brand apart—both in quality and price. For 18 months, the company spent the biggest chunk of its marketing budget on providing its customers with information.

From solving sleep problems to informing consumers about the value of a good night’s sleep, the company informed people about what their products could do to solve their sleep and budget challenges. In its fourth year of existence, much of Eve’s outreach still focuses on informative content.

 

The investment in information paid off, it would seem. From its debut in 2015, the company’s revenue has exploded, reaping $37.4 million in its third year, 2018.

Use the Power of Video to Capture Customer Interest

Video marketing is one of the most effective tools in a direct-to-consumer brand’s arsenal. When a product first comes out on the market, people want to know two things:

1) How does this product work?

2) What will it do for me?

For consumers who haven’t the time or the attention span to read a complicated set of directions or a list of benefits, a video is the perfect choice. Brands who fail to use videos to showcase its products’ benefits, as well as to show how to use them in demo videos, lose out on a huge chunk of revenue.

(Casper’s product benefits video)

(Casper’s how-to video that explains how to use their 100-night trial)

As the product grows in popularity, many brands add an emotional hook to their videos to increase brand loyalty, as does BarkBox.

Use Personalized Emails to Connect Your Customers to Your Brand

Check your inbox. Chances are, there will be a pile of emails in there from direct-to-consumer brands. Since they haven’t any middleman to sell their products, D2C brands use the power of email marketing to gain an advantage over their competitors. That’s because they know that email has 40 times the chance of acquiring new customers than even advertising on social media, as William Harris points out.

Image courtesy of SlideShare

If you’re going for a younger target demographic, know that millennials prefer email for business communication, despite the image of the millennial with his head bent over his smartphone, texting away. And for customers of all ages, each dollar a company spends on email marketing, on average, returns a whopping $38 ROI.

That’s not all. Today’s sophisticated email programs can send emails that can reach each segments of your target customer base with information relevant to their needs. Use that high-tech capability and take advantage of email’s effectiveness in winning new customers and boosting your ROI.

The Iconic, an Australian direct-to-consumer clothing brand uses email targeting to its great advantage in its weekly newsletter, according to email software manufacturer Campaign Monitor. Subscribers receive news about only the items that would interest them. Male subscribers, for instance, only see menswear, while female subscribers see only womenswear.

Omaha Steaks, an American direct-to-consumer food brand, offers a free cake with every order on their customers’ birthday. With today’s email programs, such a brand could even segment its list further, offering keto dieters or people with diabetes an alternate freebie on their special day.

Link Your Brand to a Cause Greater than Your Company Bottom Line

Today’s consumers demand that companies with whom they do business support causes greater than themselves. According to Forbes’ Simonetta Lein, a huge majority of consumers (64 percent) are more likely to buy from such a company. If you’re targeting a younger demographic, the number rises to 81 percent.

Direct-to-consumer brands—perhaps because they’re disruptors themselves—are more likely to take social responsibility seriously. Even many old-school D2C companies, such as cosmetic firm Mary Kay, have a legacy of giving—in their case, to cancer research and domestic violence prevention.

Many of today’s leading D2C brands, such as TOMS—with its hugely successful “One Day Without Shoes” campaign–make social responsibility a major part of their marketing strategy.

All businesses should consider following their lead, given customers’ preferences.

Quality content marketing is a must for those who want to follow the lead of D2C brands. Providing helpful long-form content, videos that demonstrate how the product works and meets your customers’ needs, personalized emails that help your customers, and information about how your company serves a purpose bigger than your bottom line can go a long way toward that transparency that customers demand.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business!

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.