As children, we all knew LEGO as those building block toys that we spent hours playing with. But LEGO has turned into something much larger than those blocks that we would make into castles or planes. What I’m interested in is the empire that LEGO has built with their Content Marketing, and that’s what I’m going to write about today.
LEGO creates a wonderful universe with their content marketing to create hook people into their world–kids and adults alike. They’ve spun such an incredible story around these little simple bricks that LEGO’s has almost become a lifestyle of imagination and creativity. These special twists they’ve put on magazines, LEGO sets, and social networks make their audience want to engage in the LEGO world, to follow their news, to share the news, and most importantly, to desire their goods.
Making a LEGO catalog that kids LOVE to read
LEGO does this neat trick with their LEGO Life Magazine. This magazine (which is a very thinly disguised catalog) makes kids “really, really WANT” to read it.
Take a look at what is really going on here. If Lego had just created a catalog, kids would find it boring and Mom would say “no way! I’m not giving you a catalog will just make you whine for more toys.”.
But instead, LEGO creates a magazine which is “full of comic adventures, games and puzzles, building challenges and Cool Creations” (pulled from their website). Now, this little kid wants this FREE magazine from Mom. Even if Mom doesn’t want to spend money on new LEGO’s, it’s hard for her to tell to say “no” to free entertainment!
This magazine just plants a seed in this little kid’s mind that makes him want LEGO’s even more. When they’re in the toy aisle of the store, guess which toy they’re going to cry over?
How can you use the lesson of the LEGO magazine to grow your business?
It’s hard for customers to say no to “free”, so create content that provides “free entertainment”, “free useful news”, or “free education”.
If you find something related to your business, and something that appeals to the kinds of customers who buy from you, maybe you can create ‘free content” to hook your customers!
Let’s say you need to sell to adults—what do you do?
Over at River Pools and Spas, a swimming pool contractor based in Virginia, they created “The Most Educational Swimming Pool Blog in the Country”, full of great pictures of homeowners with lounging around in their awesome pools!
If you were a homeowner who wanted a pool, could you see yourself spending a lot of time digging through their information? Wouldn’t you want to share nifty facts with other friends who might be interested in a pool?
See what happened there?
If you can do the same thing with your blog, you can hook in potential customers in the same way!
(By the way, in case you were wondering: they only provide service in VA, MD, DC, and WV. But with a blog so cheap to maintain, they can educate the entire country just to take in sales leads from 4 states.)
How LEGO meetups drives desire for LEGO products
Let’s remember for a minute that LEGO’s original goal is to sell more by publishing free content.
In Content Marketing, you sell more with a free content service; each piece of content you create is another opportunity for customers to discover, follow, and share you. At some point, LEGO realized that events could work like content did. That’s their motivation between Lego Club meetings at Lego stores.
Think about it: they’ve already prepped kids to want LEGO’s and to spend a lot of their time playing and thinking about LEGO’s. If create a meetup that parents and children could go to, the parents have an opportunity to take their kids to play (and it’s “free”). These boys and girls have a great time there. But when they leave the LEGO store, can you guess what happens?
Taking in the lessons from LEGO’s Content Marketing
As Joe Pulizzi says in this article, LEGO uses Content Marketing to create more opportunities to sell more. The LEGO Club was created in 1966 with this very purpose in mind. If you create a magazine that is “fun catalog”, your customers will WANT your catalog.
LEGO was one of the first companies to take the opportunity to spark their customers imagination by building a bigger world (by producing free content) around their company. These days, they’ve really taken off with this original idea: they have a social network, a theme park, a social platform (for their adult audience), and a couple feature films!
So, this is how LEGO takes advantage of Content Marketing. It was important to give you a real world example successful companies using a Content Marketing strategy to show you the ins and outs of a campaign.
Before you start on your own Content Marketing campaign, make sure you read our introduction to Content Marketing, and read this excellent book written by Joe Pulizzi. His book contains many more examples of how real companies (of all types) use Content Marketing to increase sales.