Turning company insights into content gold

Red Ribbon needed to localise and adapt existing content for a South African market with only a UK spokesperson available.

Vend, a New Zealand-based software company, provides cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management solutions for small and medium business owners. The company approached Red Ribbon to raise brand awareness in South Africa around their POS, inventory management, e-commerce, customer loyalty, and analytics products.

The client wished to use this increased awareness to drive sales of their products among independent retailers, a specific target audience outside of traditional B2B readerships.

While the client had produced quality content for publication, it was written for other territories. As its local PR agency, Red Ribbon needed to localise and adapt this content for a South African market in coordination with a Vend representative from the UK.

More than 19 pieces of media coverage appeared in business and mainstream publications.

Objectives
We set out to establish a base from which the client could be promoted as a local thought leader and industry expert, despite not having a physical presence in the region.

To do this, Red Ribbon would need to identify and pitch educational opportunities around retail technology. This included addressing pain points of local independent retailers through content that could resonate with potential customers and drive sales.

Content would also need to be newsworthy to motivate coverage in consumer publications and gain the attention of Vend’s specific target audience (independent and small retailers).

Approach
Our campaign’s aim of raising brand awareness was split into three pillars: case study coverage, thought leadership, and education.

Case studies:
A visit by Vend’s marketing manager presented an opportunity to cover the regional case study they were compiling. We worked closely with local Vend partners like Yoco and identified local customers for media pitching, as well as Vend customer success stories that provided a human interest appeal.

Thought leadership programme:
Our thought leadership content would establish Vend as an authority on the local retail industry. We wrote regular articles based on local data, big issues, and retail trends.

Educational articles:
Educational content supported independent retailers with useful content on topics such as inventory management, sales and marketing, technology, staffing, store management and customer experience. This would not only raise awareness about the uses of Vend’s products and their ability to address pain points; but also established Vend as a reputable, credible source of knowledge on retail topics.

Annual survey:
The year of the campaign also marked the second time South Africa was included in Vend’s Retail Benchmarks Report. We used this opportunity to promote the newsworthiness of the survey results for a local audience so that they could be published across a variety of high-level news outlets and drive brand awareness.

Overall Results
Vend’s market presence in South Africa increased significantly during the month campaign. This was driven by effective press office activities and a focus on educating both media and potential customers with engaging and informative content.

High-level coverage:
More than 19 pieces of media coverage appeared in top-tier publications. This included the likes of TimesLIVE, Business Report, Fin24, Netwerk24, The Citizen, IOL, Business Insider, BusinessLIVE, SowetanLIVE, Daily News, Entrepreneur Online, and Financial Mail.

Big industry topics:
Vend’s brand was attached to newsworthy retail topics such as Black Friday and Christmas shopping. The content derived from the Retail Benchmarks Report provided additional opportunities for raising brand awareness with a wider audience, while showcasing Vend software’s ability to gather in-depth analytics.

Industry education:
We achieved strong message penetration by developing engaging storylines for briefings and written content. We focused on educating the market while also raising Vend’s profile in South Africa. Through informative articles we were able to establish Vend’s spokesperson as a thought leader.

Increased brand recognition:
When comparing H2 2018 (the start of the campaign) to H1 2019 (the end of the campaign), local Google search interest in Vend rose by 92%.

92%
Increase in local Google search interest
180
Total pieces of coverage