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Brooklyn wasn’t car2go’s first rodeo. The innovative international car sharing service had already launched in 29 cities in Europe and North America, and in late 2014 it was about to bring its fleet of adorable Smart Fortwo vehicles to Brooklyn. So how does a global brand like car2go go about speaking to a specialized local audience in a meaningful way?

Car2go, and their new agency Razorfish, knew from experience that content marketing would have to be a big piece of their local marketing activation. They needed to find the right audience — early adopters in their key demographic — and help them picture how having easy access to car2go vehicles on the streets of Brooklyn might improve their daily lives.

Razorfish came to BlankSlate for help. As experts in local content marketing, our company’s deep knowledge of the Brooklyn market allowed us to custom-build a content strategy that included sponsored posts, dedicated emails and email newsletters across our network of Brooklyn-centric publishers, amplified by social media and display advertising. Every piece was conceived with the local audience in mind.

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When in the planning stages of a local content marketing campaign, it pays to ask yourself these questions:

— What is daily life like for people living in the local market?

— What challenges do people in the local market face?

— How does your product or service address these challenges?

— What specifics about the local market can you use in the content to paint a positive picture of how much better their lives would be with your product or service?

— What questions specific to the local market do I need to answer?

BlankSlate used this approach to introduce car2go to the Brooklyn audience. Many young Brooklynites do not own their own cars, and get around using mass transit, by bike, or on foot. But some neighborhoods, like Red Hook, are underserved by mass transit, and others are inconvenient to each other. The weather isn’t always good for cycling or walking, and what do you do when you want to grocery shopping?

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In the content for these pieces, rather than focusing on the negatives (what’s hard about life before car2go), BlankSlate encouraged Brooklynites to imagine what would be positive about making car2go a part of their daily lives. We sent a writer out on an ideal Brooklyn day. We used specific, evocative examples of how readers might use car2go: The shopping trips they might take, the friends they would meet up with, the weekends spent exploring the far corners of the city.

“Blank Slate’s quality local content enabled us
to quickly build credibility among discerning Brooklynites
who had a lot of other transportation options.”
— Wendi Dunlap, Media Director, Razorfish

This “local-specific” approach allowed BlankSlate to simultaneously tout one of car2go’s benefits while clearing up a potential objection. Namely, will it be hard to park a car2go on the street? BlankSlate took the opportunity to give a tongue-in-cheek name to a common Brooklyn anxiety: PPSD, or Parallel Parking Stress Disorder.

Using unstaged photographs taken on the brownstone-lined streets of Brooklyn, BlankSlate showed that the diminutive size of a car2go makes it a snap to park in the smallest of spaces. We also used photography to show how much you could fit into the trunk of a car2go, and how easy and fast it is to find a nearby car, get in, and drive it away.

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The launch was a success. With over a million page views, 5,000 click throughs, and over 25,000 emails opened, car2go acquired 5,000 members in the first month, and surpassed its launch-period goal of 18,000. With 21,000 new members, they had to order 140 more cars to cover the demand.

“Blank Slate’s quality local content enabled us to quickly build credibility among discerning Brooklynites who had a lot of other transportation options,” said Wendi Dunlap, Media Director at Razorfish. “Social influencer marketing combined with native/organic advertising in a powerful way, making Brooklyn the most successful launch in car2go history. Within the short time frame of the campaign, new Brooklyn members drove enough car2go miles to go coast-to-coast eight times.”

The campaign was an effective illustration of how a national advertising agency can enhance the launch of a global brand by enlisting the help of local content marketing specialists. If you want to speak to a local audience, you need to speak their language.

Contact BlankSlate to learn more about what a localized content marketing campaign could do for your global or national brand. Or, to learn more about content marketing, check out some other posts from our blog:

— What are sponsored posts and when should you use them?

Content Marketing: The Journey from Casual Reader to Promoter [Infographic]

Using Cronuts to Sell Insurance: The Power of Content Marketing

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