In a follow up to a post I wrote nearly two years ago, we’ll dig deeper into Taco Bell’s overall content marketing and media strategy, and how it evolved from their “ahead of the curve” approach to a social media strategy.
I’ve previously written about Taco Bell’s social media strategy, and how it was, and still is, leaps and bounds ahead of most mainstream corporations. I intend this post to be a follow up of sorts. I want to dive deeper into Taco Bell’s overall content marketing and media strategy, including the adoption of new platforms (which didn’t exist at the time of the first post), and new methods of delivering tasty news.
New Platforms, Same Strategy
When it comes to new platforms and ways to distribute content, Taco Bell is the ultimate example of an early adopter. Taco Bell jumped on Vine when it first came out back in 2012. In 2015, Taco Bell is one of the most notable brands that have embraced the likes of Snapchat and most recently Periscope. To go along with the massive increase of consumable video content being created by the brand, they have two “social media ambassadors/interns” (although it’s more likely that they are employees) that can be found in most of the video content.
Taco Bell is not just on Snapchat to be there, though – the brand exudes creativity and imagination on Snapchat. The Taco Bell Snapchat account is one of the most exciting and fun corporate accounts out there. The Taco Bell Snapchat account was used to execute a brilliant Valentine’s Day campaign, which allowed users to send virtual Valentine’s Day cards to friends and loved ones. Another great example of the brand’s creativity on Snapchat was a recent Snapstory that offers drink-pairing recommendations using various menu items:
Aside from embracing new social media platforms, Taco Bell has established a history of being transparent on the web. Taco Bell’s president, Brian Nicol, hosted a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) to support the company’s massive launch campaign around entering the breakfast market.
Reddit AMA’s are one of the simplest ways to answer questions and address comments from just about anyone with a Reddit account. Nicols’ AMA showed the brand’s desire to embrace new ways to communicate, and interact with customers and fans in a fun and entertaining way. AMA’s are also known to produce gems like these.
Taco Bell is also pioneering the use of Periscope, a relatively new platform, which provides a live video feed to a user’s Twitter following. Periscope allows users to “view the world through another person’s eyes.” Taco Bell most notably used Periscope to announce that the brand was giving away free breakfast tacos back in May. (This particular broadcast was anchored by Erica and Chris, who you may recognize from Taco Bell’s Snapchat stories.)
New Products & Announcements
To go along with the early adopter mentality, Taco Bell uses these emerging platforms in a creative way to announce new products. While Taco Bell still uses traditional media tactics like press releases for product and company news, the brand is doing something no one else is – using new media and social media to make product announcements. You want to reach a younger audience? Get them on Snapchat, Instagram, or Periscope. Here, the brand is announcing a new (limited, unfortunately) delivery service on Instagram:
Cross Promotion with Celebrities
Social media ‘takeovers’ are becoming more common among brands trying to reach new, and younger, audiences. A social media takeover is simple: get a celebrity (internet famous or regular famous) and have them quite literally take over your brand’s social media accounts. The basic gist is that when a famous person with tons of followers does a take over of your account, you capture their audience, and turn them on to your brand. Taco Bell has done this a number of times, most recently with American Idol star Jax:
Takeovers are a win-win for all involved. The brand gains access to a new audience and new content opportunities, and overall, makes the brand more accessible.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) June 24, 2015
In terms of ‘what’s next’ for Taco Bell, the sky is the limit. The marketing team has shown time and time again that they are not afraid to try news things and blaze new trails. What we do know is this: whenever the next app or social media platform arises, we can count on Taco Bell to set the benchmark as to how to best utilize the platform.