I'm sure many of us took the obligatory stroll around Ikea this Easter weekend, and it was while searching for the store’s opening hours that I discovered their Live website, which provides inspiration and ideas for the home (although it should have some strange Swedish name, like Uppväcka, to be truly Ikea).
What's the story?
As we keep getting told, content marketing is the next big digital media revolution. One third of the 100 most read magazines in the UK are owned by brands, which suggests that many businesses already understand the power of content. But some are only now starting to realise that generating fresh and regularly updated content is key to not only to improving your search ranking, but also key to building customer engagement, especially in the social space.
Although Ikea have been slow in their uptake of some social channels (still no Twitter or Google+ in the UK), they have not only been experimenting with repurposing the content they create for their in-store magazine, but also exploring how to enable and curate customer-generated content that provides a rich and engaging online experience.
The Ikea Live website was developed for Ikea UK and their in-store magazine publishing partner August Media in 2011. The site brings together editorial content from some of the 22 in-store Family Live magazines from around the world and blog posts from over 20 contributors, plus functionality that allows users to create their own scrapbook, share pictures with other users, and make comments.
At the same time Ikea US launched Share Space, which mirrors the Family Live site, but is inherently more social and less about repurposing the brand's own content. The focus is on user-generated images, providing a platform for users to share their ideas. More importantly it allows you to tag your photos with links to the Ikea site, making it easy for others to buy via the site, or to check out how others have used the product.