Way back in 2016, a major social media insight report reached a surprising conclusion. Of all the restaurant chains spending millions of dollars on social media each year, ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s was actually dishing out the best offering. They had a plan for their content marketing!
The Social Media Industry Report 2016: Restaurant Brands report studied over 100 brands, including McDonalds, Chipotle, Denny’s and Applebee’s to find the social media leaders and, despite being much smaller in size, the feel-good Vermont ice cream brand came out top.
This is just one example of Ben & Jerry’s breaking the mold when it comes to their content creation, and execution. This is proof that you don’t need to be the biggest player on the field to take home the trophy. Whatever the size of your business, take inspiration from this triple scoop of content marketing inspiration, courtesy of the ice creamery creative.
Brilliant Content Marketing
Scoop 1: Instagram Video
Ben & Jerry’s have always been incredibly creative with their content. In 2014, when Instagram was still in its infancy and influencers didn’t yet exist, the Ben & Jerry’s team created a viral video. Just 15 seconds long, the video showed the journey that a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream took from the production facility, through the conveyor belts and into a customer’s fridge. Named as one of the Content Marketing Institute’s top 75 pieces of content, the video has over 17,500 likes and thousands of comments.
The experts at the Content Marketing Institute shortlisted the video because it perfectly demonstrates the freshness of the product. With no fancy techniques and little more than some sharp editing, it perfectly showcases the speed with which a tub of ice cream can move from factory to fridge.
Scoop 2: Empower Mint
Have you heard of Cherry Garcia, Karmel Sutra, Rocky Road, Chubby Hubby, Cinnamon Buns? We all have our favorite Ben & Jerry’s pint stashed in the freezer but, cool content prowess extends beyond the clever names. While the fun flavors are an instant reminder of Ben & Jerry’s, they are also a great example of cool content.
The ice cream brand has never been shy about its sense of social responsibility and it often uses its website and social platforms to speak out on a range of issues which it believes in. From marriage equality and baby milk ingredients to climate change and politics, the Ben & Jerry’s marketing team has never been afraid to champion social issues. What makes this such a great example of cool marketing is that activism goes beyond a few social media posts or blogs – it’s also closely tied with the product itself.
Keep the Campaign going
At any given time, you’ll find the ice cream maker has used its passion for pun to create new flavors based on its social missions. In 2016, it launched a campaign called “Democracy is in your hands” which encouraged everyone to get out and vote in the presidential elections.
As part of the campaign, Ben & Jerry’s created content around complex topics such as voting rights and political spending. It also created a brand new flavor called Empower Mint. This is a regular activity for the ice cream brand. It currently has a few more examples on sale. The Americone Dream, a vanilla and fudge waffle which has Late Show host Stephen Colbert’s seal of approval and supports charitable causes via Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream Fund.
More brilliant content marketing
Scoop 3: Social media interaction
Ben & Jerry’s has executed a number of social media campaigns which actively solicit customer feedback, even inviting some to help it choose new flavors and ingredients. Its content on Instagram is particularly strong, with lots of fan engagement and an entertaining, informative mix of material including recipes, product previews, behind the scenes snippets, videos and of course, its social missions. The brand also taps into relevant national holidays such as #nationalcookiedoughday, showing it has its finger on the social media pulse.
Let Ben and Jerry’s brand be an inspiration for your small business’ content marketing strategy. Give us a call to get started. 516-883-3851