Building Simple & Powerful Native Content With Ford

by Bob Hutchins December 1, 2015
December 1, 2015

ford-small-headerGreat content doesn’t have to be complex, expensive, technical, or loaded with production value. Some of the most memorable tweets of all time are the most simple. Take Oreo’s Super Bowl “You Can Still Dunk In the Dark” tweet as an example. Great social content can be simple. (In fact, it probably should be simple most of the time.)

Whether you shoot for high production value or an off-the-cuff approach, powerful social content should always be human. Ford has shown us the beauty of simple and human social content this fall on Instagram with their “Don’t Like & Drive” campaign.

Why Ford’s Native Content Works
You look at it, and you get it. Immediately. The image is clear and straightforward: Don’t use Instagram while driving because you might not see a pedestrian. The message resonates with us because we’re all guilty of using our phones from behind the wheel when we shouldn’t.

It’s great to see Ford taking this direction with its national content; the creative approach to what could be a boring PSA shows that Ford genuinely cares about its audience – encouraging to see as we’re managing social with our own local Ford-Lincoln dealership.

What We Can Learn From “Don’t Like & Drive”

#1 Surprise Your Audience.
The campaign images are surprising, as Ford’s Instagram feed primarily consists of pictures of their cars. Also, when do you ever see an Instagram heart already hovering over an image? The eye is instantly drawn to the center, where you realize that the act of viewing and liking a picture prevents you from seeing the world around you.

#2 Understand the Platform.
These images show that Ford actually understands Instagram. The photo would never work on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform because none of those platforms use the white heart. Understanding the platform and creating content that fits it is a hugely underrated skill. Make sure your Instagrams are at least 1080×1080 pixels… that your Twitter photos have a 2:1 ratio… etc. Learn the basic rules of all the platforms, and create content that’s specific to them.

#3 Create Relationships Through Content.
Lastly, this Instagram post isn’t throwing a hard right hook. It’s not trying to make any kind of sale at all. Instead, it’s trying to build a relationship. If you remember one thing from this blog post, let it be this:

Great content builds relationships. Relationships lead to sales.

Your content is the foot in the door to a relationship. Only after that relationship has matured should you be asking for a sale. Kudos to Ford for knowing how to start a new relationship. We’d love to see more content like this coming from Ford.

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