Marketing: First the community, then the sale

Marketing in social media works differently than usual: The community of fans and followers must be entertained and inspired – only then is the ground prepared for a good product. The DIY store operator Obi uses the entire range of channels and formats for the “Hotel Create” project.

Superficially, “Hotel Create!” by Obi from ten six-minute videos on Youtube, Instagram, IGTV/createbyobi and The videos were made extremely elaborately: In each episode, influencers such as Vanessa Mai, Lisa-Marie Schiffner and Twenty4tim, together with design professionals, completely clear out a room in Cologne’s “Hotel am Augustinerplatz” and completely redesign it with Obi materials.

The “challenges” of the five pairings are tightly scripted, full of fast steps and perfectly arranged. And while Obi has not only remodeled the rooms, but restored them to their original condition, the main effort lies elsewhere.


TV presenter and actress Palina Rojinski in Obi’s “Hotel Create”

Close integration of social media and website

Because the films only form the surface. The lynchpin of the project, however, is the website of the (older) brand “Create! by Obi” with tutorials tailored to the hotel “challenges” and their results. “If you want to do it right, the preparations for such a project take six months to nine months,” says Christian von Hegel, the responsible manager at Obi.

The starting point was the design of “customer journeys”, i.e. of ways in which inexperienced people could be convinced of do-it-yourself and turned into Obi customers.

Videos as “bait”

Appropriate content was developed and produced for them. The ten videos are the bait, so to speak, showing how easy everything can be. They are accordingly full of references to

The series will be online for a year. However, the “content pieces”, such as the video tutorials, should last for several years and, slightly modified, will also serve future campaigns.

Obi has also campaigned vigorously for this: with print ads in daily newspapers, rotating display banners and fixed placements in the online advertising world, sponsored posts and reels on Instagram, as well as on all of its own channels from newsletters to posters in the stationary branches.

35,000 new followers

Obi sees the hotel campaign as a complete success. You brought “Create! by Obi” 35,000 new followers within a few weeks. “Half of the follower growth in 2021 can be attributed to these four weeks,” says von Hegel. The fact that social media is a lot of work is not only proven by Obi, but beautifully illustrated. Basically, social media marketing is not something that works on the side.

The ECC Cologne, which belongs to the IFH, also emphasizes: “It’s not enough to run your social media channels on the side – followers want professionalism and topicality.”

Retail is growing in social media marketing in the Corona crisis

In its study “#Content #Commerce #Community: The big Cs for the moonshot on social media” from September, the ECC gives the trade good marks: During the Covid 19 pandemic, not only the social media platforms are in Whole, but also the presence of dealers and manufacturers has grown.

48% of social media users are followers of retailers and manufacturers, 74% among 16 to 29 year olds. 22% of respondents said they have followed more retailer and manufacturer sites since the crisis than before (38% among younger users). In a word: Retailers in Germany are already quite clearly targeting social media as a marketing channel.


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