Our purpose at PrivateFly is to sell private jet flights, and in order to do that we need to build a brand that gets noticed, is relevant, exciting, trustworthy and really delivers.
At the heart of this is storytelling, but with a purpose and a strategy behind it. So everything we write is with the aim of engaging with our customers. Branding is polish, but content gives context.
For today’s marketer, the lines have been blurred now and engagement is key. It feels very one dimensional to just be talking about your company and broadcasting its benefits. My career, before co-founding PrivateFly in 2008, was in publishing and I have always been passionate about creating content, distributing it, and watching it take off.
For me, a brand has always been about the story behind it, so it felt natural to build the brand of PrivateFly in the same way. We are a multi-channel, multi-device and multi-lingual brand. Everyone is a publisher now, and content is our shop window – it’s one way we speak to our customers.
We create content that will be liked and shared by our customers, industry and partners. When your business is selling private jet travel, it’s especially important to create intelligent content that will educate, inspire and entertain people. We can draw in the customer by delivering them something that interests them, and that they will want to share with others, and in turn that will make our brand memorable.
We have some very talented and passionate writers in our team, and we use that to our advantage – whether we’re talking about aviation, technology, travel, luxury, legislation…but it is content marketing, not just great writing and we need to make sure we are joining the dots. Return on investment and measurement is vital – putting metrics in place to be able to analyse how content is contributing to our business growth, via website visitors, social engagement and ultimately sales.
PrivateFly is a brand that is not afraid to have an opinion, and I think that has made us relevant to customers. Our company is disrupting the private jet charter market with innovative technology, so our content marketing strategy has to reflect that. In many cases, our customers are business leaders and entrepreneurs – those that have built their wealth on the back of having a strong vision. So they are naturally attracted to brands that do the same. This means being agile, and reactive to trends.
A recent example was the Air France pilot strike. This created heightened private jet interest, especially for routes within France. PrivateFly was able to engage with customers and target media by sharing details about our flight search uplift, and using a case study of 90 stranded tourists (the private jet cost per head cost was less than the train).
But more widely, we were able to share our opinion about the changing role of the pilot, using our CEO (a pilot himself) to drive content in high-profile international business media such as the FT, and Les Echos and Le Monde in France. French national TV and radio channels also took on the story.
Another example of this was when Edward Snowden, the American national security fugitive, was headline news, stranded in Moscow. This story head great interest our target market, and the media were widely debating his escape options.
By creating content showing his aircraft, pricing and routing options, we engaged with an international audience who were following the story, and PrivateFly was cited in leading international media as a private jet authority.
As we build PrivateFly as a business and a brand, our story deepens, and our content is the central foundation of a long-standing relationship with our clients.
Carol Cork is sales and marketing director for PrivateFly. She was also one of Marketing Week’s Vision 100 2014.