Spotify Nails Content Marketing with Wrapped

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Who was your top artist of the year?”

It’s a pretty typical Thursday in December. Snow dances down in a beautiful yet ominous fashion. Before opening the door to get inside Dixon Schwabl, my breath is (probably) visible from miles away. I open up Spotify to get my work playlist ready: Today, I’m going with Lo-Fi Beats. And that’s when I find out it’s not just any Thursday in December.

I listened to artists from 52 countries.”

There is always chatter on the Level of Love at Dixon Schwabl. The lowest floor of the building houses our studio team, media team, some operational folks and me. But there’s a different tone to today’s conversation. It’s upbeat, it’s fun. I can almost hear Macklemore’s Glorious as the nat background noise. Yes, this is no normal Thursday. Spotify unleashed its 2019 Wrapped.

You listened to 3,186 different songs!?”

As artist and song arguments continue in the kitchen, and my Marketing Mimosas co-host Mike McGinnis makes people guess his top artist of the year (spoiler: ODESZA), I can’t help but think how much marketers can learn from Wrapped. It’s quite possibly the perfect piece of content marketing. This is why.

Unparalleled Personalization

Spotify knows you. With every press of the play button, you’re handing over data. With that data in hand, Spotify can shoot back an extremely personalized experience. Was I shocked that the Greatest Showman was my most listened-to album? No. I did all of my yard work with P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman, promising he’d change from now on. Speaking of which, below is a cool behind-the-scenes moment during the process of green-lighting the movie.

Marketers need to understand the impact personalization can have on the buying experience. Consumers don’t want one-size-fits-all. They want to know that their specific needs and problems are being addressed. 

Need a proof point? Personalized emails drive significantly more interaction than non-personalized ones. HubSpot found out that emails with personalized messages have an open rate of 17.6%, while the open rate for non-personalized emails is at 11.4%. That’s a key component of strong content marketing: Focusing on your audience’s problems and not yelling at them about what your brand cares about. 

Spotify toes this line perfectly and is really omnipresent during the entire Wrapped experience.

Easy User Experience

One of the most enjoyable parts of Wrapped is just how easy it is to do. It’s an automatic prompt when you open the app, or you can visit a dedicated website to start it. It’s clean, easy to follow and honestly really fun! Here’s what my Wrapped look like. Smooth sailing!

The majority of Spotify users experience the app while on their phone, so it’s important that the mobile experience is up to snuff. In an Adobe study, mobile users are five times more likely to abandon the task if the site isn’t optimized. Yikes! Experience matters!

Data Visualization

Within seconds of opening Wrapped, you’re instantly hit with that personalized data, but it’s visualized and easy to understand.

A clean You listened to 55 hours of Hugh Jackman” appears in the lower right corner. The remaining top five appear shortly after, almost like an Olympic medal ceremony.

A globe rotates, letting me know I listened to artists from 52 countries, each one highlighting as I scroll by.

Did you know I’m genre fluid”? I know, I didn’t either, but it was told to me in a simple bar-chart format.

Storytelling can be complex, especially when you’re trying to stand out in a cluttered sea of content. Punch up your stories but don’t be afraid to visualize that data in simple ways to convey your message.

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One-of-a-Kind Value

When developing amazing content marketing programs and assets, you have to talk value: the unique value your brand is looking to provide through your content. Too often, we create content just to create it.

Spotify is uniquely qualified to help us understand our musical tastes and provide us with more recommendations based on what we like. My colleague Nick Vernetti tells me that Apple has a similar recap. But a completely biased and uninformed opinion from me … Spotify does it better.

Shareable

Last but not least, Wrapped is so shareable! Go back and look at my video and see how many opportunities I get to share all of the cool insights I’m learning. I mean, I get a chance to easily tweet Hugh Jackman for crying out loud. THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW

Content should be shareable. It should be so good, people will do anything to share it.

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Let’s Wrap This Up

You saw what I did there. As you plan for your 2020 content marketing initiatives, follow Spotify’s blueprint.

- Build unparalleled personalizations

- Create unbeatable, easy user experiences

- Visualize data to enhance storytelling

- Make it shareable

As a special treat to all you Spotify listeners out there, here’s a collection of some of the Dixon Schwabl team’s top songs from the year!

Other notable musicals in Andrew’s repertoire? Moana, Titanic the Musical, Seussical the Musical, Les Miserables. He knows every word to Titanic the Musical, do not test him.

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