LinkedIn gives creators the gift of streamlined live video and newsletter creation. Lifetime treats viewers to an Olay-sponsored mini-episode featuring Monique Coleman. And a Peloton employee gifts the company a season in the spotlight.
LinkedIn expands creator mode features for video and newsletters
LinkedIn is expanding its newish creator features to encompass live video and newsletters. According to Search Engine Journal, the company plans to roll out access to the new features throughout the month to people who turn on “creator mode” (you’ll find that under the resources section in your profile).
Anyone with a LinkedIn profile can activate creator mode (and deactivate it any time). As SEJ reports, once you enable creator mode, people will only have the option to follow you (not connect with you), only your follower count will show in your profile, and your original content will show near the top of your profile page.
(See this LinkedIn Pulse post for more details about how to use the newsletter and live video features.)
HOT TAKE: If you haven’t explored LinkedIn’s creator mode, now may be the time. CMI Slack community member Hannah Szabo recently shared that the CEO of her employer has had a LinkedIn newsletter for about a year, and it’s been a great channel to engage with their audience.
Sure, you can use the new creator mode to grow your own fan base. But consider following Hannah’s lead. Encourage your executives to enable creator mode (if your audience is on LinkedIn). Help them develop content, do live videos, and create a newsletter. Even better, develop a scalable content marketing program to facilitate the executives’ or subject matter experts’ involvement. Just don’t forget to keep it in the individual’s voice. Your audience can easily detect (and ignore) corporate talk.
Lifetime gives holiday mini-movies a makeover
Lifetime’s 2nd annual sponsored mini-movie debuted during the network’s A Christmas Dance Reunion. Created in a partnership with skin-care brand Olay, A Merry & Bright Makeover features Monique Coleman (of High School Musical fame).
The story follows Eve, a scientist who goes to her boyfriend’s family home for the holidays and gets a makeover from his sister (Spoiler alert: The boyfriend proposes.)
“Our custom mini-movies are a heartfelt and highly engaging way for clients to connect with customers,” says A+E Networks’ David DeSocio, as reported in Adweek. “Our co-production with Olay showcases themes of diversity and beauty, it allows the production to shine and personifies themes and values to the brand.”
The branded content is the star, but it’s not the only way the beauty brand connects with the audience. Olay also runs a viewer giveaway with weekly prize packages and contributes in-program messaging on the channel.
As Adweek reports, A+E Networks’ Peter Olsen said the mini-movies work for brands, and they’re eager to do more.
HOT TAKE: Last year, we covered the odd KFC love story featuring Mario Lopez as Colonel Sanders. The spoof-like content seemed a strange fit for Lifetime’s holiday movie season. This year’s Olay partnership makes much more sense. The storyline naturally encompasses the brand’s message (and products) and delivers what a Lifetime audience expects.
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Peloton employees’ personal brands form a symbiotic gift that keeps on giving
Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby made it to the finals on Dancing With the Stars this season. His stint on the competition show, in which success often hinges on the fan vote, reflects the exponential growth of Cody’s and other Peloton trainers’ personal brands during the pandemic.
“I bought a Peloton bike in February and use it basically every day. The appeal isn’t just about the exercise classes; it also comes down to the personalities (e.g., the personal brands) of the Peloton instructors,” writes Nancy Marshall, a member of The Forbes Agency Council.
Cody’s rise to the finals came with the predictable social media chatter from his enthusiastic ride-or-die fans Peloton (known as the Boo Crew) and detractors who referred to him as part of the “Peloton cult.”
A teacher from Huntsville, Ala., told NBC News she votes for him every week. “Cody deserves all the support from Peloton because of what he has done for so many people,” she said.
HOT TAKE: Though Cody is the only Peloton instructor to elevate the corporate brand of the exercise equipment and training retailer by competing on a popular prime-time TV show, he’s far from the only instructor to gain a personal fan base. The mutual benefits for company and instructor show why companies should help their employees establish personal brands rather than fear them. Done right, personal brands can benefit employees, employers, and the audiences they build together.
Need proof? Consider how much more the attention on Cody and other Peloton instructors benefits Peloton than its gift-for-the-wife commercial did two years ago.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute