For IKEA, Media And Content Is A Snug Fit

IKEA The SnugHome furnishings company IKEA looks for consumers undergoing life changes – like moving, having a new baby or becoming empty nesters – and tries to get them to set foot into its retail outlets, where most purchases occur.

Even its website, which has ecommerce features, is generally used as a tool for customers to plan an impending in-store visit, said IKEA’s US media manager, Alia Kemet.

Because of these goals, IKEA’s media strategy needs to be especially engaging. Display ads or 30-second TV spots don’t work for customers who want to see how a couch could make a space look modern or tips about how to get organized with IKEA products.

“We are experts in how we live at home,” Kemet said.

IKEA is best able to share that expertise – and generate engagement – by combining paid native content with social shares.

“No one just watches TV anymore,” Kemet said. “They have four to five devices, and the value of a share far exceeds the value of seeing something on a 30-second spot in a commercial. We want the endorsement of experts, and the implied endorsement of a friend.”

But before it gets shares, IKEA must first generate content – and find publishers to host that content natively. It looks for places “endemic in the home furnishing category.”

Recently, IKEA dove into a huge partnership, becoming the founding sponsor of The Snug, Time Inc.’s millennial-focused site about home decor and DIY.

IKEA’s presence on the site, which launched in January, includes native content, banner ads and a “sponsored by IKEA” tag on the home page.

The site brings in home-related content from multiple Time Inc. properties, like InStyle and Real Simple, as well as content from partners like Apartment Therapy and pairs it with original content created just for the site. Time Inc. estimates the site will have a combined social reach of 30 million.

The initial leg of the partnership will last six months. IKEA already had a longstanding relationship with the publisher.

“I likely would not do a project of this magnitude with a media outlet we hadn’t worked with before in the past,” Kemet said.

While the partnership is still new, the extremely early returns seem promising.

The sponsored post “How to Change Your Life With $5,” featuring a new line of wall organizer products, created 62,245 engagements (a broad metric including views, mouse-overs, clicks, shares and sign-ups) from Friday to Monday, according to data from RebelMouse, The Snug’s content management system, as well as Facebook Insights. That was a significant share – more than 10% – of The Snug’s overall social reach of 587,000 total engagements during the same time period.

“If we were just pushing out media like banners and didn’t have this opportunity [through content with The Snug] to foster engagements, shares and comments, we wouldn’t be able to have the kind of growth and awareness that we have achieved in our social media platforms,” Kemet said.

IKEA tracks shares, likes, clicks, comments, page views and visits across its content marketing initiatives. When content succeeds, like a tutorial on how to hang a pendant lamp that appeared on its social media, IKEA makes more of it.

IKEA learns from each of its sponsored posts, and creates more content – how-to tips, interactive quizzes or video content, for example – based on those learnings. The company also monitors sentiment an upcoming store visit.

“It’s a collaboration,” Kemet said. “You want to see what people like and are interested in and go from there.”

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1 Comment

  1. I think the point is more that IKEA have the customer at heart, than which channels it markets. Itsevident through whichever channel they use, the customer engagement is key. The trust this established is paramount IMHO, Great article.