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The benefits of a multi-brand content strategy

Alex Petrie at UK-based agency Dog Digital explains why drinks companies with multiple brands could benefit financially from a joined-up content strategy

Alex Petrie Dog Digital

The world’s leading beverage businesses own an intoxicating number of brands: the sector’s top five firms by global revenue collectively boast well over 1,000 household names.

Given consumers have so much choice, they are understandably eager to discover more about the drinks they love and those they might like to try next. But with so many brands and disparate customer groups to manage, how can parent companies ensure their digital content strategies fizz?

There are multiple moving parts to successfully structuring your content for a winning blend that makes sense to all of your audiences. These span consumer insight, content management, customer journeys, and product sets. 

Recognise customer tastes

It’s crucial to stay on top of your customers’ wants and needs as their attitudes and behaviours shift. Tastes change constantly: who’s on the lookout for a new flavour, who wants a no-lo option?

Ensuring your owned platforms - your brand websites or social media feeds - are set up to help you profile your users is a central plank of this strategy. It isn’t as “big brother” as it sounds: using analytics to understand which content people interact with, and deciphering what pushes them through the purchase funnel, benefits the customer too by driving slicker customer experiences.

Aspects you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of range from brand affinity (how likely someone is to stay loyal to a particular product or switch to a new one) and brand aspiration (whether they follow and are keen to try a product, or if they already drink it).

From flavour selection to lifestyle and occasion preferences, other elements of consumer choice are revealed allowing you to devise an optimal content strategy.

Meanwhile, implementing feedback loops allows you to take note of people’s ideas, desires and dismay so that you can monitor and improve the customer journey.

Finally, building review and rating options into your online service is an ideal way to capture sentiment that can be fed back into your content marketing strategy.

Refresh your CMS

All too often, having siloed teams for individual brands results in content that can appear to be very different between products, despite the fact they are owned by the same company.

That’s why it makes sense to replatform all of your different drinks brand websites using the same content management system (CMS).

Unifying websites via a single CMS enables you to:

  • Manage all sites on one platform, bringing economies of scale when updating and deploying new functionality across a group of brands
  • Roll out optimised user journeys and other critical marketing updates across a suite of websites quickly and effectively, allowing you to gather insight at scale, and to make user experience (UX) improvements across multiple brands
  • Use the same content components within a shared design framework, which doesn’t have to mean presenting consumers with a homogenised brand experience; content can still seem completely different between websites when deployed within different brands 

Shake up user experience

Another key consideration is the use of social listening tools, which can improve your customers’ experience of your brand online, ultimately boosting conversion rates.

Social listening gives you unrivalled insight into consumer sentiment about your brand - both positive and negative! - so that you can better respond to their needs. This essential feedback can be deployed across all of your marketing and sales channels, not just online.

Because you’re acting on direct customer thoughts implementing their insights automatically narrows the gap between what they expect and what your brand delivers.

Social posts can also alert you when users encounter roadblocks in their online journey so you can quickly fix UX.

Pixels are a further way to learn about audiences. They help marketers to segment users based on their behaviour on your site, track conversions, and understand more about customer conversion lifecycle.

A further benefit of social listening is the opportunity it affords you to analyse conversations about rival brands - meaning you can absorb their successes into your strategy while avoiding mistakes they might have made.

Utilising all of this insight, giving customers solutions for their needs, can deliver a competitive advantage.

Slim down product choice

If there’s one thing the time-poor consumer demands, it’s the convenience of finding the right product as efficiently as possible.

Providing your users with diagnostic tools to personalise their experience is a smart option, cutting down search times by narrowing the product set for them.

In a complex market this will help them find the right product based on content that matches needs to benefits. Make sure content is discoverable through search, and addresses specific queries and trends.

Diagnostic tools have other benefits, too:

  • The user can be provided with a personalised, interactive experience 
  • They increase on-site dwell time and the number of pages consumers engage with while also boosting conversion 
  • You can create a feedback loop, reviews or ratings function for the tool itself to drive improvements and validate the experience for other users

Personalised content is another strategy that can reap rewards by streamlining choice. It helps new-to-category users navigate often overwhelming product sets. This works within the whisky category, for example, so someone can find an introductory bottle based on flavour preference or price point.

Content that provides a mix of product information and lifestyle tips provokes an emotional response and builds relationships with users, who are then likely to offer more personal information - meaning you can point them towards other content you think they’ll like. It’s a virtuous circle.

While marketing multiple beverage brands can be complex, you can cultivate content management strategies to build strong relationships with your customers. Start simple, test and learn to develop personalised, engaging content - and your digital presence can be a tonic for your bottom line.

22 October 2021