According to Coca-Cola, the corporate website is dead. Inspired by the power of storytelling has to cultivate engagement, the company has re-launched their corporate website, “Coca-Cola Journey,” as a highly visual, sharable digital magazine. Featuring content themed around pop culture, social media, brand history, marketing campaigns, recipes, career advice, and more the website is a far cry from the traditional corporate website – in a good way.
To develop the new website, Coca-Cola spent the past year testing and understanding what types of content resonated the most with its core audience. As with most great projects, some of the findings were surprising, but critical to the development of the new website. In a blog post, Coca-Cola’s Director of Digital Communications and Social Media, Ashley Brown, said, “The stories our readers loved surprised us month after month, and the stories we thought they would love fell flat. It was the digital equivalent of a star candidate polling below expectations.”
In response to consumer feedback and site data, Coca-Cola made more than 60 tweaks to the site, including adding in sections related to food and music. The company also discovered something surprising – specific types of Coca-Cola news and information ranked among the top performing content. Yes, even with less branded lifestyle content alongside company news. For example, background on marketing campaigns, historical stories about Coca-Cola, or information on the jobs people have within the company, all generated a high level of readership, proving that company specific stories still had a relevant place on the new website.
Also unique and vital to the ongoing success of the website is the emphasis on leveraging data and consumer feedback for future content planning. The site displays the most popular stories, which in turn help the team to continually finesse the content calendar to be the most relevant to their community. Each article also has share buttons to promote content syndication across a broad range of digital and social media – from Blogger, to Facebook, Twitter, and even RenRen.
The end result is a highly engaging destination with content on par with lifestyle and news websites. Every piece of content is paired with high quality imagery, making it easy for the reader to hop around, absorb and share what’s interesting to them. As an owned asset, content is also easy to measure, both from a page view and social sharing standpoint. During the testing phase of the re-design, Coca-Cola’s Unbottled blog portion of the website secured a 106% increase in page views, plus 1,247% increase in home page visits. One has to wonder how much earned media it’s generating now.
This type of experience showcases the potential companies have to redefine their corporate website into a curated visual, shareable experience. Consumers are always looking for content and information that appeals to their needs – even if it’s just entertainment. However, they’re most likely not expecting it from companies on a corporate website.
As a leader and innovator, Coca-Cola is again showing what’s possible, seemingly with the metrics to prove it. It will be exciting to watch how this website and its content strategy continues to evolve and aid in an increased share of voice conversation about the Coca-Cola brand across both digital and social channels.
To visit the Coca-Cola Journey: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/. For more background on how the Coca-Cola Journey came to be, visit: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coca-cola-unbottled/every-day-is-election-day.