Sears Explains Its Success In Content Marketing

Earlier this week we profiled digital marketing execs from General Mills and GE on how they’re running their organizations like publishers. For our third and final installment in this series on content marketing, we sat down with Julia Fitzgerald, Chief Digital Officer, Fitness, Sporting Goods & Toys at Sears Holdings and Gilad de Vries from best of breed content discovery platform, Outbrain.

Brandon GutmanHow do you get people to discover your content?        

Julia Fitzgerald: At Sears Holdings Company we use various ways of connecting people with our content. For FitStudio, the Sears online fitness community, we use multiple fitness experts as our content creators. The expert contributors all reach various wellness communities and draw them to the FitStudio content. We leverage our online platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Shop Your Way, to promote the FitStudio content. We also use some of our more traditional Sears marketing assets to let our customers know about FitStudio. We do use some paid methods of distribution as well. Since we have such a rich library of fitness content, we leverage services that allow people to choose our content from multiple online portal links.

Julia Fitzgerald of Sears Holdings

What is the ROI on your content marketing efforts? How do you measure success?

While FitStudio is a major content marketing initiative, it is one of several Sears multichannel programs. Depending on the program, we have various ROI related metrics. For some programs, we are measuring membership acquisition, engagement, page views, return visits, coupon redemption, or purchase. Most of these metrics feed into a lifetime value of an engaged customer equation that ultimately determines ROI.

Many people may not know that Sears is the largest seller of fitness-related products. Why did Sears decide create to create FitStudio and what is the value you get from the initiative? What part do you see the brand playing in the conversation of how to get in shape, fitness and how fitness should be a part of everyone’s lives?

We realized that when shoppers come to Sears looking for a piece of fitness equipment, what they really are looking for is a 15 pounds lighter, fitter, or healthier version of themselves. And while the equipment is often a key component to their goal, they also need information and motivation to keep on track with a healthier lifestyle. FitStudio was the perfect solution for Sears to provide – free of charge – expert advice from fitness professionals and nutritionalists. In addition to the advice, FitStudio is a social venue where people can connect with each other and the fitness experts for information and encouragement. While the Sears brand is successful at selling fitness equipment, we have challenged ourselves with FitStudio to extend the brand beyond the equipment and to stand for the motivation and know-how to get America in shape.

[via Forbes]

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