Whirlpool: A User Generated Content Case Study

My marketing class assignment this week is to evaluate a digital marketing campaign by a major brand, and then evaluate their current efforts. Because I published two posts on user generated content this week, I went with Whirlpool’s “Every Day, Care” campaign. This gives me an opportunity to further explore the points I made in this week’s podcast episodes with a real life example with real results. So, let me begin analyzing this user generated content case study.

Whirlpool’s Goal: Change the Way We Viewed Chores

Whirlpool dealt with a lot of customers, but often only when they had complaints (DigitasLBi, Crowdtap, Whirlpool, 2019). Whirlpool products are used to perform tasks most consumers don’t look forward to: chores. At least, I don’t look forward to them.

Interestingly enough, 62% of adults said that the key to a successful marriage was a chore system. It’s easy for one partner to take on more work and become unhappy about it (Klein, Izquierdo, Bradbury, 2016). That makes a lot of sense really, when I think about the arguments I’ve had about chores…

Whirlpool wanted to change the tone of the chore argument, er, conversation. That’s what inspired the “Every Day, Care” campaign. The work a stay at home parent does for their family each day (or working parents who split the duties, etc.) is valued at more than $160,000 (Juneau, 2019). So the value of these chores is huge for a family. Whirlpool wanted to put the focus back on that value.

Whirlpools Campaign Centered Around UGC

Whirlpool used Crowdtap to gather thousands of user generated content (UGC) stories. Why? They knew that no matter what story they told, nothing would be more effective that consumers telling their own stories. Research shows that over 66% of consumers trust UGC more than branded company content.

Whirlpool gathered more than 44,000 different types of UGC: text, images and video (DigitasLBi, Crowdtap, Whirlpool, 2019). Don’t forget, almost anything a consumer creates can be UGC. Whirlpool took these different pieces of UGC and created a content marketing campaign around them. They created a microsite as the hub of their efforts. The entire digital marketing effort incorporated paid, earned, and owned channels.

Business Impact of Whirlpool’s UGC Campaign

As a result of the campaign, Whirlpool experienced 12% year-over-year unit growth and a 6-6% increase in sales. The consumer view of of the brand also increased, from -.3 to 4.6 on a five-point scale (DigitasLBi, Crowdtap, Whirlpool, 2019).

Whirlpool was able to cause significant change in business metrics by helping their customers appreciate the value of the daily work they did for their families. By reframing the way customers viewed their tasks (which they used Whirlpool and competitor products for).

Did Whirlpool Continue to Ride the UGC Momentum?

After reviewing Whirlpool’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it appears that the campaign success didn’t convince Whirpool to change their social media strategy. Despite the measurable success and impact on revenue significant metrics, Whirlpool’s strategy seems to reflect many mistakes big brands often make.

Facebook

This gives an opportunity to (predominantly unhappy) customers to complain about their product issues. It doesn’t appear that the social media management team is equipped to do more than pass the issue along to customer service. The responses are always canned, and don’t sound like a real person. They would do better to personalize these responses and sound more authentic.

Instagram and Twitter

They appear to use Instagram and Twitter as employee facing channels, promoting content that would likely be relevant to current and potential employees. This is definitely something I wouldn’t recommend at all. There is a lot of overlap in their target demographic in terms of who uses Facebook and who uses Instagram.

I’m seriously shocked that despite the huge success of the campaign, Whirlpool’s current channels don’t have a piece of UGC in sight. Definitely a disappointing end to this user generated content case study.

References

DigitasLBi, Crowdtap, & Whirlpool. (2019). #EveryDayCare – Whirlpool, DigitasLBi and Crowdtap. Retrieved from https://shortyawards.com/8th/everydaycare-whirlpool-digitaslbi-and-crowdtap-2

Juneau, J. (2019, January 15). Study Finds Stay-at-Home Moms Should Earn More Than $160,000 for Caring for Their Kids. Retrieved from https://people.com/parents/stay-at-home-moms-salary-should-be-160000-study/

Klein, W., Izquierdo, C., & Bradbury, T. N. (2016, June 20). The Difference Between a Happy Marriage and Miserable One: Chores. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/the-difference-between-a-happy-marriage-and-miserable-one-chores/273615/

DTSQ’s Top Digital Media Platforms

So you may not know this, but I’m currently pursuing my degree in Marketing. Many of my marketing classes have me write blog posts on various topics. This is one of those blog posts. Today, I’m supposed to write about my top digital media platforms. I’ve got a few specific things I’m supposed to address, which I’ll use as subheaders. If anything, this may be a good overview of what an online entrepreneur’s social media use can look like.

What sites and/or applications do you visit most often?

This is an interesting question. As a content marketer, I have to walk the walk in terms of content, which includes social media. Social media is a creation and distribution channel, which means it has a unique and necessary place in every business’ marketing strategy. In 2017, social media drove 25.6% of all referral traffic. This was second only to search engine traffic.

My top sites in an average day include:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social media site targeted at professionals. Its most obvious use-case is for business-to-business (B2B) companies looking for leads. However, I think that many industries in the business-to-consumer space can succeed on LinkedIn. It’s one of the best platforms for connecting directly with decision makers. You can learn more about LinkedIn in the podcast episode I’ve shared below!

Need to brush up your LinkedIn profile? Check out our infographic post and recommendations!

Instagram

Instagram is a visual social media platform. Anything that’s really visual (meaning you can take pictures and videos easily) has the potential to do well on Instagram. Industries related to fitness or food are great examples. As a result, many B2B businesses won’t touch Instagram. However, I’m making some solid headway on this platform, thanks to the low level of competition.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging site. You have 280 characters to say what you need to say. Twitter is a great place to syndicate all of your other content channels. You can post video, images, GIFs, and text to Twitter. Twitter is an easy platform to reach out directly to companies and brands that I’m interested in partnering with.

Anchor

Anchor is a podcasting platform. I recently started a business podcast called The Defiant Business Podcast. As a result, I spend time on this platform daily as well. I publish one 10-minute episode Monday-Friday. I’m consistently promoting my podcast episodes as answers to businesses’ questions online.

Do you have positive or negative reactions when using certain types of digital media?

Although video traffic is growing quickly, I often get frustrated when I come across videos that don’t at least have subtitles. I can ready very quickly, so I prefer to read when I’m searching for answers. Audiobooks and podcasts are great though, for when I’m doing tasks that are largely physical. I can listen and learn while doing dishes, folding laundry, or gardening.

Do you find that your needs are satisfied using one type of digital media over another?

No, definitely not. For learning concepts, or learning more about topics I know a lot about, I prefer written content. When I need to learn how to do something physical (like an exercise) or how to put something together, I prefer video. A few weeks ago, I was watching videos on how to remove snakes from chicken coops. Why? Because, for the first time, I had a snake in my chicken coop!

Do you receive emails from companies? If so, what types of email catch your attention? What do you look for?

I do receive a lot of emails from many different companies. I periodically go on a purge and unsubscribe from a lot of them. My favorite emails show they’re adding value to my life right in the subject line.

Ed Gandia’s emails are a great example of this. Ed writes content for and coaches freelance writers. His emails always offer something valuable right in the email, and if you want to learn more, you can click on the link he also shares.

What do you notice about the use of digital media in marketing today? Explain.

Digital media every form is an invitation to the audience to engage with the creator. Or at least it should be. This engagement can translate into several different types of business objectives. However, many companies jump right to the business objectives, which is what THEY want. In order to succeed in the digital marketing space, you have to focus on what your audience wants. Engagement (or lack thereof) tells you if you’ve hit the mark or not.

Infographic: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Business

A lot of people are getting curious about LinkedIn. With influencers like Gary Vee talking about all of the business potential for LinkedIn, it’s a great time to get onto this social media platform.

But how do you get started? With a great LinkedIn profile that attracts the right sort of connections to you. You need to optimize your LinkedIn profile for business.

Who are the right sort of connections? They come in many forms:

  • Peers in related industries (can refer work to you)
  • Experts in your industry (great if you’re a writer or designer who focuses on that industry)
  • Connectors (people who know people, or can offer marketing opportunities)
  • and of course, potential clients

So we created this infographic to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile for business. You should have an engagement strategy for LinkedIn as well, but your profile is where you have to start!

Want to use this infographic on your blog or website? Be our guest! Courteous guests link back to this post though!

I asked my LinkedIn network for tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile to attract great connections. Here’s what they said!

On LinkedIn Keyword Research

Do your keyword research. LinkedIn’s search and algorithm operates similar to Google. If you are a UX designer and want people to find you on the platform, then incorporate keyword rich text related to UX design into your profile.

Jason Firch, Digital Marketing Nonprofit Specialist, Nonprofits Source

Modify your LI public URL so that it includes keywords for better visibility on the web. I have “freelance content writer” in mine, for instance.

Peter Jenkins, Freelance Content Writer and Editor

Think about what words someone would use to look for someone like you. Be searchable. Be succinct.

Alison Tedford, Freelance Social Media Writer, AlisonTedford.com

On LinkedIn Profile Content

It can be a good idea to include a very brief testimonial or some evidence that you are what you say you are. Especially if you don’t already have testimonials on your profile page.

Victoria Doxat, Freelance Writer and Editor, VictoriaDoxat.com

Take advantage of all the various sections that LinkedIn offers you – awards, volunteering, publications – there are so many. They give you an opportunity to showcase a talent or aspect of your personality that you might not be able to share in a traditional resume format.

Cara Imperato, Content Writer

Write your summary to your audience, solving their problem, positioning yourself as their hero. It’s all about them, not about you.

Carol J. Alexander, Freelance Sustainable Living Writer, CarolJAlexander.com

On The Value of LinkedIn Activity

This might not be profile based but in general, try and post 3x a week on the newsfeed to increase your visibility to have your profile be found. And, pay for premium so you can see who is looking at your profile and then connect with them! 

Kate Talbot, Content Marketer, KateTalbotMarketing.com

Should Your Business Be on Social Media?

Should your business be on social media? A lot of business owners ask themselves this question these days. Perhaps your business is new, and you’re wondering if you’re “big enough” for social media. The answer is YES, you’re big enough for social media. If Grumpy Cat can have a Facebook page, then your business is big enough. Or maybe you’ve been in business for quite a while, and you believe that you don’t need social media. Well, I’m not saying your business is going to fail without social media, but could you do better if you reach your customers where they spend most of their time? The answer again is YES.

Continue reading “Should Your Business Be on Social Media?”