Unilever is a global corporation that operates in over a hundred countries. The annual revenue documented by the company comprises more than 2 billion dollars; the company employs over 160 000 people around the world (“Company profile for Unilever,” 2010). Its objectives include the development and expansion of a sustainable and ethical multinational business. Also, Unilever is the owner of about four hundred brands of diverse specialization that include foods, cosmetic and hygiene products, and household care goods (“Unilever,” 2017).
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Consequently, the company has a broad target market and consumer base. The focus of this report will be one of the most successful brands of Unilever – Dove, a globally known personal care brand that was created in the 1950s and is currently sold in over 80 countries to a large base of male and female consumers (“Dove – company profile,” 2017). The brand value of Dove is about 6 million US dollars.
Social Media Inventory
Dove is aggressively marketed using multiple social media channels and various types of content. One of the major focuses of marketing strategies employed for the promotion of Dove is social justice and the empowerment of women namely. The marketers of Dove reach out to their consumers via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Facebook originated as a social network for students and, eventually, grew into a universal social media platform used globally (Zarrella & Zarrella, 2010). As a marketing tool, Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to study their consumers. Specifically, consumer profiles, news feeds, and actions are the major sources of data for marketers (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013).
Also, Facebook communities offer information about the members’ tastes, preferences, and supported social trends (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013). Facebook’s effect on Dove’s marketing strategy can be seen in the diversity of focuses included in the content posted on this social network. Specifically, Dove’s Facebook feed content is aimed at various groups of consumers based on age, gender, body size, and social status. Also, since Facebook allows posting various forms of content – one can find photographs, videos, informative and educational content, and questionnaires engaging consumers in the Facebook feed of Dove.
Instagram was created as a simple platform for sharing photographs and thus filled a niche that used to be empty prior to the appearance of this platform in 2010 (Lopez, 2017). Allowing the addition of captions to the shared pictures, Instagram provides its users with a rather laconic means for communication. The specificity of this platform impacted Dove’s marketing strategy thereby limiting its posts to attractive visual aids that are deemed to catch attention and brief captions that expand on the intended messages. Practically, the emphasis in this marketing strategy is placed on the selection of sharp and interesting promotional images.
Twitter is a social network for sharing brief text messages whose length does not exceed 140 characters. This platform was eventually used for social communication between individual users but soon became widely employed by news channels. Informing followers about the latest news is the major purpose of Twitter. As a result, the marketing strategy used by Dove promoters on this platform is focused on communication with the followers and partners. Namely, Dove’s Twitter feed features multiple celebrities, mainly successful women, and shares inspirational messages about beauty, uniqueness, self-love, and appreciation. It can be seen that a strong appeal to emotion and the engagement of influential celebrities shape the marketing strategy of Dove on this platform.
YouTube is the network for posting videos which also enables user comments. This platform is used actively by Dove as all of its marketing campaigns revolve around powerful promotional videos made in the form of social advertisement and aiming at topics social issues such as the empowerment of women and the definition of beauty standards. Dove’s appeal to emotion is the strongest with the help of video content, and as a result, many of its campaign videos have become viral. Also, to establish a global presence, Dove owns multiple official channels on YouTube, each specific to a certain country.
Social Media Communities
As mentioned in the previous sections, Dove’s marketing strategy is based on such major aspects as the appeal to emotion, social inclusion, and social justice in the form of female empowerment. Selecting content for different social media platforms, Dove’s marketers follow their specificity and unique opportunities they offer. Overall, the quality of content remains similar throughout the platforms, but each of them plays an important role in the marketing strategy.
Thoroughly examine how each social media platform fits in the social media marketing strategy/plan in order to generate business for the company. Thoroughly examine the main pros and cons of each platform regarding the company’s marketing strategy. Thoroughly justify your response. Simply highlight and retype this information.
Facebook helps collect information about the consumers – this is its main advantage of helping to generate business (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013). Another advantage is the diversity of content that can be posted on this network. This way, marketers can reach out to customers with various preferences and communicate information in different manners. The disadvantage of the use of Facebook as a marketing tool is based on the unreliability of information shared by the users about themselves (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013). Due to this tendency, the data collected from Facebook has flawed validity.
Instagram’s role in Dove’s marketing strategy is to attract the user’s attention with beautiful and catchy images that appeal to emotion, inspire, and communicate diverse messages. The advantage of this platform is its reliance on visual literacy and the form of communication that is the easiest and the most universal (Messaris, 1997). However, the number of messages that can be accurately communicated via images is limited; so the major disadvantage of Instagram as a marketing tool is the possibility of miscommunication.
Twitter is used for informational purposes but also includes visual content and allows communication. The high-speed communication provided by Twitter is a major advantage. However, the disadvantages of this platform as a marketing tool include its vulnerability to security breaches, a high chance of misinterpretation of short messages, and the hijacking of hashtags (“Using Twitter for business: Advantages and disadvantages,” 2017).
YouTube is employed for posting core videos of Dove’s advertisement campaigns. The major advantages of YouTube as a marketing tool are virality and the use of strongly impactful video content. At the same time, this platform is highly limited. Also, content posted on YouTube is to have more subtle and hidden messages; a direct promotional video will repel the viewers. As a result, a more careful marketing approach was chosen by Dove masking its promotional videos as social advertisements.
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Most Active Platform
YouTube is the platform that receives the most activity both from within Dove as a brand and from its audience. The social media that allow the placement of video content has the most positive influence on Dove’s marketing strategy because the brand promoters focus specifically on the creation of powerful and socially oriented campaigns (Stampler, 2013). As a result, emphasizing the communication through videos, Dove’s marketing, and brand strategies rely on the virality of their video content placed on YouTube. Additionally, the brand’s choice of YouTube as its major marketing tool is confirmed by the presence of a multitude of official channels of this brand on this platform and the translation of videos into many different languages.
An interactive social media campaign engaging the active participation of the consumers could be a productive way of leveraging its content. Such campaigns were launched by multiple world-renowned brands, and they are based on social media users’ activity directed at willing prizes from the brand. This strategy would be beneficial due to its ability to increase content sharing, add personalization, and raise the positive customer experience thus promoting a better and more down to earth brand image.
Dove has launched an application for Facebook that is available on its mobile version. The purpose of the app is to create a unique user experience by uniting such forms of content like video, game, and social (Johnson, 2017). This way, Dove can raise brand awareness and interact with consumers on a new level. Launching a thematically appropriate mobile game focused on the empowerment of women and battling the old-fashioned beauty standards could be a good way to expand the reach of the brand and increase its revenues.
The diversity of social media available for marketing enables companies and their brands to reach out to their consumers in many different ways. However, the specificity of versatile platforms forces the marketers to adjust and alter their approaches to product promotion. Dove incorporates numerous techniques and forms of content to cover the most widely used social media and stay relevant and attractive to as many consumers as possible.
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