Having spent six months cleaning up its digital activities, the marketing team at Mintel decided the next step would be to create a portfolio of owned media, with a revamped corporate blog at its heart that would demonstrate the global research agency’s capabilities and expertise.
They recognised that a blog could engage not only with existing clients, such as strategists and academics, who may not be aware of other ways in which Mintel’s research could help their businesses, but also could attract prospective clients who may not understand the depth and breadth of its work. A blog also provided an opportunity for Mintel to engage with a wider stakeholder audience, such as journalists, as well as its internal audience across 13 offices globally.
Some stretching targets were set at the outset: the blog should grow lead generation by 50 per cent, increase the average time on mintel.com by 20 per cent and grow attributable marketing revenues by ten per cent.
The team developed a ‘content first’ strategy that required marketing executives across the organisation to identify themes and topics that would resonate with their local audiences and beyond. But they also created a sub ‘news’ team, which identified breaking news stories and events that could provide a hook to showcase Mintel’s expertise.
To capitalise on online spend, each blog linked back to a related report on Mintel’s store, offering the opportunity for visitors to find out more about the subject if required. The blog team was instructed to cover as many topics as possible while remaining relevant and interesting enough that clients would wish to share and link to them.
The blog has many innovative features, such as Thought Bubble, where the team reacts to a breaking news story, such as Starbucks adding beer to the menu, and a variety of analysts explain what this might mean in terms of their expertise. There is also Trend Spotters’ Guide to…, where a senior consultant explores new trends impacting key cities and highlights related Mintel research, but the blog also tries to identify emerging trends and what they may mean. Video content and strong imagery are used extensively, and each blog feeds into a new monthly ‘prospecting’ newsletter.
Since the new blog launched, visits have increased by more than 320 per cent, and various regions, such as India and Brazil, have seen huge increases in traffic to their local sites. The ‘prospecting’ newsletter attracts 13,000 readers, a figure that is constantly rising each month, and lead generation is currently experiencing 133 per cent growth year-on-year, while attributable marketing revenues are up 16 per cent.
‘The earned media coverage received off the back of the blog content, plus the uplift in new business and marketing metrics are more impressive than any rise in blog traffic,’ said the judges. ‘Extra marks for the way content is integrated on one platform as this mirrors the globalised world we live in.’