Hey man, Nike is offering a FREE subscription to its Training Club app!!!!

This was a text I received recently from a close friend who happens to be a gym buff. He’s a dedicated guy and is constantly talking to me about fitness (we all know at least one person like this) and even though I had heard him talk about this before, I didn’t really know what the app did. To stay on the safe side, I replied with the ‘mind-blown’ emoji. 

At the same time, the wheels in my head started turning and I was curious about why Nike would offer a premium service, free of charge. While we’re on track to recovering from the worst of the pandemic, here in Australia, the last I heard, Nike had temporarily closed its stores, including local outlets. 

At a time when people are prioritising basics like food and groceries, relatively high-end companies like Nike are incurring huge losses and have been forced to shut down stores. Running offers on top of that can cause critical revenue losses, although companies like Nike can afford it in the short run. 

Turns out, the Training Club app streams workouts, training programmes and expert tips for its subscribers, although this is not the only thing Nike has been up to. For the past two months, it has also been pushing out content to its Nike and Nike Running Club apps, Nike website, its TRAINED podcast and social media channels engaging and serving millions of customers who are trying to stay fit while they stay at home.

Nike essentially directed most of their marketing efforts to push out meaningful and valuable content and have designed a long-term strategy to keep up with changing times. In my opinion, this is content marketing at its finest. 

As we enter the very early stages of a post-COVID world – in Australia, at least – we’re sure to see many businesses and companies diverting their marketing efforts to content marketing. Let me tell you why.

Content marketing is a long-term effort

In the mix of all other marketing strategies, content marketing is a strategy with long-term rewards. Content marketing, in the digital marketing sphere, is used to develop ongoing relationships with customers or clients through content that’s not directly promotional but also valuable.

I am not just talking about blog posts because content marketing has evolved, over the years, to other tactics such as emails, SEO, and social media. All these efforts accommodate current trends and technological innovations. Nike’s efforts are a good example.

With COVID-19, businesses had to allow employees to work from home and the use of online communication and collaboration tools increased exponentially. We didn’t hear about Zoom through an advertisement on TV; it’s more likely that we saw a social media post about it and how it can be used to improve remote working.

Content marketing allows businesses to become storytellers and share important information, especially during times of crisis. Especially now, when most of your customers and clients are based in remote workstations, they’re likely to seek out content that entertains, inspires, educates, and informs. 

Content marketing tactics also help you form a long-term relationship with your audience during and even after a crisis like the pandemic. Seller and buyer relationships are more human-centric now – if you want people to remember you, you have to give before you take. 

Content marketing helps your brand stay relevant

Another good example is what an American hotel chain owned by Hilton Hotels, called DoubleTree, did recently. DoubleTree is famous for its chocolate chip cookies, which are served to guests at check-in. Apparently, the recipe is a corporate secret that many people have tried to replicate but have failed at miserably.

In a recent video, DoubleTree shared its top-secret recipe and it was viewed more than 550,000 times with fans posting pictures of their attempts on social media and numerous online and offline media outlets covering the news.

The hospitality industry experienced one of the biggest setbacks due to COVID-19 and it will likely take years until it’s back on its feet. Tactics like these, however, keep hotels like this in a potential customer’s mind for a long time, even at a time when their thoughts may be far away from taking a vacation.

Make a genuine effort to create meaningful and valuable content

The lesson we all need to take from this is not to Just Do It because not even Nike did so. Content marketing should be a major priority but these efforts need to drive real value and help you create connections with your audience.

If you’re brainstorming ideas for marketing campaigns, consider timely content tactics and create compelling content that engages the right people. Aim to make your content useful and entertaining – two qualities that are sure to get you comments, likes, shares, DMs and more.