Learning about leather
Scrolling through your social media feed there’s nearly no way to ignore it. Leather is a hot topic (or should we say a ‘not topic’?). Where leather used to be one of the most popular materials for car upholstery, a number of big car brands now choose synthetic alternatives which they claim are better for the environment and animal welfare. But are they? No. On the one hand, so-called vegan leather is (often) made of plastic, which can’t be broken down by nature. On the other hand, in recent decades the leather industry has changed enormously and has become more sustainable. Yet they struggle with an image problem, due to incomplete information or fake facts online. This was exactly why a group of European car leather manufacturers decided things had to change: together they wanted to tell the real story of leather. GI got the job to give this group a voice on this sensitive subject.
Joining forces for a sustainable goal
There we were, in one room with 20 of the biggest automotive leather producers in Europe, who all had the same goal: informing CEOs, designers and technicians about the different aspects of leather, such as its origin, sustainability and characteristics. First of all, this required formulating a mission and vision for the group to ensure that everyone was on the same page and each stakeholder’s story was heard. Through this process the conclusion was reached that the group wanted to restore the image of leather in the automotive industry by sharing honest facts about this unique material.
To create a more powerful message, GI developed the group’s name, which has been used from that moment on: One 4 Leather. In addition, we dove into the target group: the decision-makers at major car manufacturers. Different countries, car brands and job functions were captured in the determination of that target group. It became clear whom we needed to reach, but how and with what message?
An online knowledge hub that revolves around facts
If you google for information about leather, you will find a lot of emotion, but few facts. There is no place online where you can find objective information that is presented in a good way. This was an opportunity for One 4 Leather and we decided to collect all the facts in one online hub, full of professional content to inform and inspire the target group.
By knowing what drives your target group, you can tailor your communication accordingly. Always think ‘outside in’ (what does the target group need) instead of ‘inside out’ (what do I want to tell the target group).
This online platform (a.k.a. extensive knowledge hub) with all the facts about leather became the center of a European campaign. GI has developed the platform’s UX design in such a way that the visitor discovers new information every time, and so becomes better and better informed about leather. Keyword research was, of course, indispensable, in order to clearly see what the target group was looking for. That way, we can continuously optimize the website in terms of SEO. Additionally, we set up AdWords campaigns to be found quickly and reliably on Google, via multiple queries. In addition, we look at the results of the platform on a daily basis, which gives us a clear view on the effectiveness and popularity of the content. All to be able to continuously adjust and optimize. After all: data is king!
Pushing the right content at the right time
To be able to run the right campaigns, the biggest challenge is the creation of professional content, which forms the basis of a reliable knowledge hub. However, all the information we need is (often) hidden in the minds of experts or in mountains of scientific papers. That means doing lots of interviews, desk research and sifting through research reports. In addition, we gathered our content ourselves at the tanneries. For instance, we visited one of the participating tanneries and a slaughterhouse, to see the entire process with our own eyes. Only then we were able to develop the right (and honest!) content.
Professional content can be designed in many ways: next to articles you can, for instance, think of infographics or explanimations. By A-B testing these, you immediately discover what works best for your target group.
We translated this content into in-depth but accessible articles, infographics, hijacks, animations and other snackable content, which we spread (organically and paid) on One 4 Leather’s social channels and through its newsletter. We recorded this in an online strategy document, which forms the blueprint from which we work every day. It keeps us focused with laser precision on our target group and the correct messaging to achieve the ultimate goal of positively changing the image of leather.
Truly knowledgable about leather
Our positive 360° campaign approach and extensive online knowledge hub ensured an equally positive result. (Every day, we’re one step closer to a lasting image change)!
The One 4 Leather website is visited +/- 8000 times a month, with an average session duration of 2.5 minutes!
With an average Click Through Rate of 0.74%, our content performs well above average.
Month after month, subscriptions for the newsletter are increasing. Most subscribers come from major car brands – exactly our target group!