Content marketing has picked up in the last few years, as everyone realises it's a cheap and effective way of marketing products, increasing visibility and building loyalty. However, big legacy brands are behind on the curve and selling the idea that has no direct revenue stream.
We used an agency to help provide case studies, data and customer insight to strengthen. They presented it in an engaging way, with examples of what the AA could do in a similar forum. This helped build excitability in the proposition.
After presenting it to the Heads and Directors, it was time to get the CEO and Chairman on-board, who wholeheartedly backed it in principle. As long as it didn't cost the organisation lots and focus wouldn't be shifted from the core business.
What didn't happen, that should've was getting a business analyst and project manager into position at the beginning. Having these two things would've given us less headache.
Firstly, we needed an objective and vision that married up to the business objectives. And then put together a strategy around how it would work, this included a RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed).
Secondly, came the ideation sessions that led to pillars that would form the acceptance criteria, in this case, they were funny, helpful, informative and fun. We did this by mapping what went through our minds in one day, starting with waking up. This helped us group topics. We also brainstormed ideas about the type of content we would produce and in which formats.
This would then inform the technical requirements to see what templates and components were needed to make that section of the website different from the more sales focussed pages. We used Tesco as a good example and pulled together wireframes and a design.
As we were plugging it into the existing website, we just needed to brand it to give us a URL and identity. Once the look, feel and the structure was agreed, it was go, go, go to produce content to populate it.
I came up with the concept of the VoyAAge. Two people going on a road trip around the UK, using the breadth of the AA's products to report on the UK's eccentric events, customs and places of interest, like bog snorkeling in Wales, cheese rolling in Gloucester, Ottery St Mary's tar barrels and the Hungerford Hocktide. We would engage the customer base, local press and radio and social media to reach out to the public and build documentary/reality TV feel to the tour.
This would launch the content hub to the public and help different areas of the business understand its purpose. It would also form the basis of the type of functionality we needed to make the hub a success.