First of all, a disclaimer: We don’t have Ikea stores in the Philippines, except for a few online retailers who import Ikea products and sell them locally. So take this from someone who rarely steps foot inside those gigantic Ikea stores you can find in the US, EU, AUS and other select Asian countries.
Having said that, I am still an avid fan of Ikea. I own a few Ikea furniture, ones that I ordered online, which had to be shipped to the Philippines. I have been collecting Ikea catalogs for years too, and during the few times I was abroad, I made it a point to visit Ikea and take home a few items with me.
Fact is, I don't need an Ikea store nearby to benefit from the awesome content they generously provide their customers and non-customers alike.
Here are 5 things I totally dig about Ikea’s content strategy:
The truth is, I wanted an excuse to post this Ikea video that's been making rounds in Facebook this week. The gist: the Ikea crew released 100 cats inside an Ikea store and captured the "experiment" on video, which later became viral.
I mean, come on, you can never go wrong with cats.
The end product is a nice little ad that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Watch it:
To add more value to that advertorial, Ikea also released a behind-the-scenes video.
What's even more interesting is that, many people may have mistaken that this was a recent video, when it was actually released 3 years ago.
Browsing the comments on both videos, it should be noted that both videos have been getting views and interactions consistently through the years, since it was released.
Sidenote: That’s one of the significant differences between TV advertising and online marketing. A TV advertisement will cost you thousands of dollars for a 30-second exposure, while a video you post on Youtube is free and will get attention forever.
Ikea, obviously, knows how to take advantage of this.
Inspiration for free
Aside from occasional cat advertorials, what I love most about Ikea is the inspiration I get from their online and offline catalogs. It’s impossible to view the Ikea website and not feel like wanting to move a few things around your house or maybe even redecorate.
On top of their eyecandy website, Ikea releases annual catalogs with hundreds of pages of inspiration that customers would spend hours drooling over. (I can attest to this one.)
Best of all, these catalogs are free for the taking in their physical stores, and can also be viewed digitally from their websites.
Effective use of imagery
Fortunately for Ikea, this type of marketing lends itself well to their particular niche. And surely they make the most out of this unfair advantage.
Ikea gets people hooked long before they become customers. They provide Pinterest-worthy images that customers and non-customers alike love sharing in their social networks, which gives them brand exposure as well as social and search visibility.
Strategic social media presence
Ikea has strategically planted themselves in the social networks that matter--Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest. Over 2 million Facebook fans, almost 200,000 Twitter followers, 3M+ Youtube views and 60,000+ Pinterest subscribers. These guys have surely hit the holy grail of social media.
Even their online catalog has evolved into this interactive platform through the years. This year, a social sharing component was added to the Ikea 2014 online catalog, which allows viewers to share or like a specific page. Awesomecakes.
If that's not plain social media genius, I don't know what is.
Above all, generosity
Ikea has learned to care about non-customers the same way they would care about actual customers. You don’t have to buy anything, or pay for subscription fee, to access their repository of resources, or be entertained by their heart-warming advertorials.
Giving away free catalogs, providing content that everyone will enjoy, being generous with DIY-tips.. effective content marketing services should be giving your audience what they want, it's all about generosity. And Ikea is surely one of those prime brands who get it.