Everyone in the marketing circles knows that Content is King; but not many follow it. Marketers are busy running ads, sponsoring events and creating mundane social media contests because they are comparatively easier. Great content, on the other hand, is a tough job.
Being in the publishing and handling the content operations for Social Samosa, I know how difficult it is to generate good content on a regular basis. Maintaining the frequency of content getting published while keeping the quality intact is a maddening process. So I can understand why brands stay away from it.
But then, they are also losing out on building a great community of targeted audience around themselves; the kind of audience for which they pay lakhs every financial quarter.
In this context – HUL, the global consumer giant – seems to have realized the potential of building a digital property of its and has built a content platform called BeBeautiful which caters to women and shares content on fashion, lifestyle & beauty. HUL owns several women-oriented products which makes the content platform perfect fit for the brand.
Not Your Regular Brand Blog
BeBeautiful is not your regular company blog. Jack in the Box Worldwide, the agency behind managing BeBeautiful (they also manage another equally good content platform called The Label for Louis Philippe), has ensured that the portal avoids all the pitfalls of regular brand blog.
Instead of deriving its content from the parent brand, the editorial content seems to be enjoying the freedom and creating a true women-centric portal. The quality is not marred by blatant brand push and is really engaging in nature.
In fact, you will not find the HUL branding anywhere on BeBeautiful. People perceive it as an independent platform and the brand scores some really good brownie points here.
Communicating with Videos
I was glad to see the brand didn’t restrict itself to only textual content. They have made an attempt to create good amount of video content. As data services improve and the Internet penetration increases, videos are the way to go forward. Web-only video content is relatively easier to create and are far more effective in communicating with the audience.
In my conversation with the team of Jack In the Box, they told me how they approached India’s top beauty bloggers and in association with YouTube, set up VLOGON – an initiative where these bloggers were helped to set up and monetize their YouTube channels.
The videos are well-made and the tips & suggestions shared through them are great – which makes it all the more interesting for the audience to consume content. Audio-visual will always trump text and I can see it working really well for BeBeautiful.
Creating an entire digital property is immaterial if you create content that is unimpressive. Content is what brings people to your platform and keeps them engaged; content is what will get shared by the audience too, bringing in more readers.
And I can see that BeBeautiful’s content is good, engaging and packs the punch to become a hit with its readers. The writing is crisp and the information shared is really useful. From How-to’s to trends to style guides, there is good content for every type of reader. Not to mention the fact that even fashion experts share their thoughts here.
Well, you can’t call yourself BeBeautiful and look like a regular fashion blog out there. The designers have ensured that the interface doesn’t resemble that of a blog – the platform looks more like magazine and a kickass one at that.
With a tiled look and easy to navigate interface, I found it easier to look out for articles of my likes. Being a lifestyle content platform, they need to rely heavily on visual appeal – which justifies the use of tiles. You can see the stats for each content and gauge how popular it is amongst fellow readers.
Navigation was a breeze as I could use the menu bar and flip through the categories; the integration of social media chatter on the home page is quite impressive as well.
Facebook is the one of the most popular traffic referral for the portal as it sends 2 lakhs people every single month. From May, BeBeautiful has received more than 2.3 millions visitors and more than 60% of them are organic.
It is nice to see brands turning into publishers giving them the leverage to connect with their audience in a different (and effective) way. By enabling content to weave its magic, HUL is leading the way for other brands to emulate. Whether they follow suit or not, only time will tell.