Laura Bissett

March 18, 2014
Branding & Advertising

When I was tasked with writing about “best in class” content marketing, I immediately took to my online bible (aka Google) to see what industry thought leaders were talking about.

With an abundance of content marketing out there at the moment, I was surprised to see one case study dominating the conversation – McDonalds: Our Food, Your Questions.

You’ve probably seen the ads on TV. The fast food giant encourages its customers to ask a question – any question – about McDonald’s food. The idea was the brain child of Tribal DDB Toronto and targeted the “fence sitters” who may be hesitant to visit due to the negative messages they hear about the chain. The campaign boasted phenomenal results, and was successful in achieving their goal.


(Source: FAB Awards Channel, 2013)

So what can we learn about content marketing from this best in class example? And more importantly, how can we apply it to our relevant industries? Well, here are my four tips:

1. Choose your target market carefully, then address their questions head on
McDonalds chose their audience carefully – they didn’t set out to win over a bunch of health nuts, but instead targeted a realistic market of fence sitters. Tribal DDB spent two months conducting research through a social media listening program called “Sysomos” to gauge the conversations that were taking place. They used these questions to generate the basis of the content and tackled it head on by sharing the content publically.

2. Measure, Reuse and Repurpose
McDonalds used some of their answers to produce a series of short videos. The videos have gone viral – one of the most popular videos “Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot”, reaching over 9.6 million views on YouTube.
It is important to use your insights and analytics to understand what content your audience is interested in. Popular topics can be expanded and recreated in different mediums such as a video, a slideshare presentation or a Webinar.

3. Market your marketing – but only when you have enough to market
The campaign started out as purely digital. It reached out to the audience through Facebook, Twitter and a new website. It embraced digital media including a YouTube homepage takeover and spots on high profile blogs.
McDonalds and Tribal DDB used the online campaign to build a base of content over four months before promoting more widely on television. This approach paid off – They received 6,000 questions within the first four months of the (online) campaign and 4,000 within the first week following the launch of the TVC.

4. Content marketing is not a one man gig
A truly effective content marketing strategy requires the support of a variety of subject matter experts. McDonalds enlisted their entire supply chain to address the 20,000 questions posed through the campaign.
The easiest way of delivering relevant, accurate and interesting content to your audience is to seek contribution from those who understand the content best. Not only does this remove the responsibility from one person, but the content will naturally be full of relevant key words if it is composed by someone who knows the space.


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