This move is not surprising since the Coca-Cola company has already expressed the belief that their social media and SEO presence is a better homepage than even Coke.com. To me, their announcement to discontinue Coke-hosted campaign websites just further demonstrates their dedication to building out the social media communities that are already working for them.
In the New Media Age article, Prinz Pinakatt, Coke’s interactive marketing manager for Europe explains why Coke has decided to cease building Coke-hosted pages for every campaign:
“We would like to place our activities and brands where people are, rather than dragging them to our platform.”
What’s interesting is while the major B2C appears to be consolidating their efforts, Coke’s biggest competitor in the soda space, Pepsi, had decided to forego its 23rd year of Super Bowl advertising in order to invest in a crowdsourcing community called The Pepsi Refresh Project.
If I’m interpreting Coke’s new strategy correctly, the type of community Pepsi is building won’t be pursued in the future by Coke.com. Instead, Pinakatt says that they will either completely forgoe building a campaign website or simply create a landing page for that campaign with a call to subscribe to one of their existing social media communities.
“In some cases some of our campaigns won’t need a coke.com-hosted site. In most cases these will still exist as it’s the most obvious destination for a consumer, but it might only be a page linking to YouTube encouraging people to join the community there."
For a B2C company like Coca-Cola, this move might be a smart one. Building a one-off website every single new campaign can be an expensive and slow process when you factor in build time and QA, then there’s the effort and man-power involved in up-keeping the community you have created. Right now Coca-cola is charged with managing and maintains over 7 different domains including MyCoke.com and Live Positively, so really they’re just consolidating their resources into one common goal – to build the Coco-Cola reach using social media and drive brand enthusiasm through those channels.
For B2B companies, you may be wondering if Coke’s strategy could work for your business. At HubSpot, we’ve had success in creating several app-driven Grader websites like Website Grader. These Grader products generate a lot of leads for our sales team so it’s worth the investment to host and deliver them to our prospects, even if it requires a dedicated team of developers to monitor and manage them.
I do commend Coke for dedicating their marketing team into using social media to build their reach and reinforce their brand. When you build a robust presence on the big social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube), you are essentially fishing where the fish are. However, the one thing that Coke is lacking from all of their websites is a powerful blog presence which I believe would strengthen the connection between their social media campaigns and their own domains.
Do you think Coca-Cola made the right move? Are you investing more time in building your reach in social media this year? Tell us in the comments.
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