Chevy Proves Long Form Content Marketing On A Mobile Device Can Work
When it comes to content marketing the prevailing thought among marketers is that the longer the content the less likely it will be used on a mobile device. The thought being that people will not engage with long form content marketing on a mobile device thus that type of content is best served on a PC.
As part of the Chevrolet Technology Series campaign, the idea was to take a six-part print and digital advertorial series and transform it into a mobile experience that would run across Motor Trend’s print magazine and website, as well apps for iOS and Android devices.
The idea to repurpose existing content across other channel is nothing new of course but the idea of taking print and digital content and conveying that same content in a mobile format is unconventional to say the least.
For Carolin Probst-Iyer, manager digital consumer of engagement at General Motor's Chevrolet Division this was unchartered waters but just another example of Chevy's commitment to innovation when it comes to content marketing.
"Chevrolet is always looking for new ways to provide content to consumers," she said. "By repurposing our content from print and digital we were able to create a new experience for consumers and maintain a cohesive brand identity across mediums."
She added that "this is the first time that Chevrolet has taken such rich content and provided a way for consumers to interact with this type of material on their mobile device."
Rise To The Challenge
Probst-Iyer made the challenge quite clear to the folks at Zumobi. “We presented Zumobi with a challenge to preserve the creative elements of our print and online campaign to create a cohesive brand identity across mediums," she said. "And yet build a unique experience that addresses the specific usability and content aspects for mobile.”
For his part, Zumobi CEO Ken Willner was more than ready.
"We viewed this campaign as an opportunity to leverage our Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) platform and utilize the technology that we have developed in order to bring the Chevrolet Technology Series brand experience to mobile," he said.
But he said the biggest task was to take content that was created for one medium and use that came content in another medium without losing any of its value.
"The primary challenge we faced was in how to translate this long-form content experience which was originally designed for print, to mobile devices," said Willner.
Here's a brief video of what a user would see on his/her mobile device:
The Results Are In
I would say that based on the results below the challenge was not only met, it was exceeded and then some.
- 37% overall mobile engagement rate, meaning that more than one-third of people interacted with the Chevrolet ZBi campaign
- Click-Through Rates (CTR) as high as 11.2% for the ZBi expandable Paso Doble ad units
- 6.8% of users saved the integrated content experience to their home screen via the ZBi Footprint feature, creating a leave-behind app on their mobile device
- People spent as high as 6.4 minutes interacting with the Chevrolet ZBi ads
Overall the campaign yielded engagement stats three times the industry benchmark of 12.8% for mobile rich-media ads as reported by Mobile Marketer and more than thirteen times the average CTR of standard mobile banners.
With all this going for it, you would think marketers across the land would be chomping at the proverbial bit to try this themselves for their clients.
According to Willner it's not that marketers don't see the future regarding mobile marketing, but that using mobile in this way is not second nature the way other mediums are. "While brands and agencies understand the huge opportunity offered by native advertising and branded content, it's not intuitive that mobile can actually be a great medium to drive this level of user engagement," he said.
As for what the future holds for marketers, brands, advertisers and so on, Willner says it's bright.
"Now more than ever, there is an incredible opportunity to deliver on the promise of 'brand as publisher in mobile advertising," he remarked. "The appetite among marketers for more native, content-centric brand experiences is growing rapidly and the timing is right for the mobile marketing industry to embrace this movement."
It's A Mobile World Kids
I know that's not breaking news but what are you, as a marketer, advertiser, brand manager and on and on doing to engage your audience where they are spending an increasing amount of their time at/on, AKA their mobile device?
Video Source: Vimeo
Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a senior creative content strategist at Responsys, a leading global provider of on-demand email and cross-channel marketing solutions, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing. He can be reached via