Does traveling to Walt Disney World with two toddlers make me an unreliable narrator, for fear that I may be insane?
Trust me, I was wondering if I had lost my mind myself when I booked a vacation to “the happiest place on earth” with a 2-year-old and 4-year-old.
Yet I was even more surprised when the experience was, in many ways, easier (and much more pleasant) than getting my girls to preschool each morning.
So what was it that made our trip to Disney so seamless and enjoyable?
Really. While I may be a little biased on the power of content marketing, when I look back at our amazing vacation, the common thread through the entire experience was the fantastic content produced by Disney to help frazzled families like my own fully enjoy their brand.
It helped me to fully realize…
When we talk about content marketing, we often focus on digital storytelling. Yet in reality, content marketing extends far beyond online. If you really want to provide your audiences with the content they need to trust and engage with your brand, you need to consider all the ways they experience your brand. Every touch point. Every question. Every concern.
And Disney does it.
Disney’s content marketing extends WAY beyond the visitor experience … which makes its visitor-centric content even more impressive. Here are a few of the ways Disney’s branded content impressed me at every touch point – to the extent that I’m seriously considering a second trip soon!
The Disney Parks blog is a stellar example of what it means to provide true value to your customers.
As the official blog for the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line, The Disney Parks blog covers the in-person experience as if it’s a newspaper reporting the news of a city. It provides tips and official information, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at new happenings and popular attractions.
Much of this content is delivered in quick, engaging and really polished video format. I love their series “Every Role Is a Starring Role”. Each episode tells the story of various Disney “cast member” employees – from monorail pilots to balloon vendors to race coordinators and more – demonstrating how they proudly deliver the Disney experience:
Disney Parks has a strong presence on YouTube, and shares content on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. It’s a well-rounded, versatile and extremely successful strategy that connects both visitors and prospects to the in-person experience long before – or after – they visit the parks.
Beyond the obvious theatrical storytelling that defines the Disney Parks experience, Walt Disney World is filled with exceptional visitor-centric content – from wonderful printed brochures and materials, to television content and more.
A few examples really made an impact on me. The first, DME TV.
DME TV is the video content that plays on Disney’s Magical Express, the bus that takes you from the airport to the hotel. The ride can last around 30 minutes, and Disney doesn’t waste a moment.
DME TV provides both helpful tips for your upcoming trip, as well as short episodes from the Disney Park’s blog, cross-promoting their online channel. And on the way back to the airport at end of the trip, DME TV’s tips focus on planning your NEXT Disney trip. By the time I got off the bus, I was practically sold.
The second surprisingly impressive content approach: Construction zone content.
Yep, what would probably be unsightly and annoying at other locations was instead transformed by branded content. All construction zones were beautified with large, graphic inspirational quotes from the man himself, Mr. Walt Disney. The quotes were grand and motivational, prompting visitors to focus on Disney’s vision rather than the inconvenience of the dust and partition walls.
Disney is the master of scheduled email campaigns. From the moment I registered with the brand, I received helpful email content that never felt intrusive or overbearing. In fact, the emails and their corresponding direct mail counterparts helped me stay on track with my vacation planning.
And Disney’s direct mail is truly impressive – especially its Magic Bands program. These wristbands act as your hotel key, your park pass, your photo storage … even your credit card. They’re amazing. And they arrive at your door in a package that’s very Apple-equse in its design, personalized with the names of each member of your family.
Plus, the correspondences continue once your trip concludes. A week or so after we returned home, we got a thank-you card from Mickey, depicting a sketch from animator Don Williams … who I first learned about while watching DME TV.
These examples are the tip of the Disney content marketing iceberg, but they were enough to help me think about content marketing with a more well-rounded, customer service-centric approach.
So do they make Disney the world’s best content marketing brand? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Twitter.