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Virgin Mobile

Always looking to provide a better way, Virgin Mobile partnered with BuzzFeed to create a first-of-its-kind 24/7 newsroom that responds to social conversations with interesting, timely, and brand-relevant content aligned with pop culture.

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9.7 Million total views in 2012, 5 Million earned content views, and 4.7 Million paid content views.

Approach

Virgin Mobile and BuzzFeed created 190 pieces of original branded content that users responded to and loved to share. As a result, Virgin Mobile was able to quickly establish itself as a brand that embraced the power of social publishing – garnering 9.7 million views with their content in 2012.

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Results

Virgin Mobile and BuzzFeed enlisted Nielsen Online Brand Effect to evaluate the impact of this content strategy on users' perceptions. The study measured brand affinity based on whether a viewer had no exposure to the content, viewed the content as a result of paid media, or received the content through social sharing (i.e. a friend's Tweet or Facebook post). Those who discovered the content via social sources also proved to have the highest growth in consideration. The results show that Virgin Mobile's social publishing efforts are not only influencing and shaping brand perception, but also significantly increasing purchase consideration.

The "Always On" content strategy engaged millions of users and established Virgin Mobile as a respected publisher of relevant and topical content. It proved the significance of "Always On" when delivering social content marketing.

"Social content allows us to tell the Virgin Mobile story. We've seen lifts of over 150% in consideration for their next phone purchase. These results are some of the most impactful we've seen showcasing how social advertising can drive to purchase intent." - Ron Faris, CMO, Virgin Mobile USA

“Virgin Mobile is a brand that I'd investigate for my next phone”
Overall
4.1%
10.3%
150.3% Brand Lift
Social
4.3%
14.6%
235.2% Brand Lift
Control Exposed
“Virgin Mobile is a brand that understands me and the things I like”
Overall
2.8%
8.7%
209.2% Brand Lift
Social
2.5%
10.5%
323.7% Brand Lift
Control Exposed

Overview

Finally, in measuring how frequency of exposure affects brand affinity and consideration, the study proves that users who engage with Virgin Mobile content 5-9 times demonstrate the most significant lift in sentiment - reinforcing the “Always On” branded content strategy.

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“Virgin Mobile is a brand that I'd investigate for my next phone”
Overall
4.1%
15.5%
278.2% Brand Lift
overall control: 0 exposure Virgin content overall exposed: 5-9 exposures Virgin content
“Virgin Mobile is a brand that understands me and the things I like”
Overall
2.8%
13.8%
389% Brand Lift
overall control: 0 exposure Virgin content overall exposed: 5-9 exposures Virgin content

Key Takeaways

“Always On” allows for cumulative lift. Over time, as brands promote new content, the previous content will gain momentum as well. “Always On” content marketing is the best strategy for developing and maintaining a strong voice in social media.

Multiple exposures to varied, real-time content engages users and excites them about a brand and its messages. This proves the effectiveness of an “Always On” content strategy. Custom social posts strongly influences brand affinity and product consideration.

Virgin + BuzzFeed