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How Calm uses digital content marketing strategy to drive subscriptions

Digital content marketing strategy examples

Every morning I wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth, exercise, and then check my email. Usually, I scroll through to see if I see anything interesting or worth clicking.

One morning I saw an email from Calm. Calm is a meditation app that uses audio therapy in the form of soothing voices, music, and sound to bring a sense of peace to its subscribers.

I had downloaded the app a few months ago to listen to one of their free sleep stories that I had stumbled upon on their YouTube channel.

So, I was already familiar with their brand and what they had to offer. But that was the extent of it. Calm was a vague acquaintance.

We have a vague familiarity with many brands, just like we have with acquaintances or people we see on the elevator each morning on the way to work.

We might politely say “hi,” but that’s the extent of the interaction.

But that morning, as I scrolled through my email, I saw a subject line that piqued my interest, “How to pick a workplace that supports your mental health.”

I immediately stopped scrolling and opened the email.

Digital content marketing strategy examples

After ignoring multiple emails and having the Calm app on my phone unopened for over six months, why did I choose to open one of their emails?

Because it resonated with an issue, I had been struggling with for a few months.

One year after the pandemic began, buying a new house, getting married, and juggling life with a toddler while working full-time remotely in a work environment that was beginning to wear on me, I was feeling mentally exhausted.

And to be honest, I didn’t feel I worked in an environment that supported or even cared about my mental wellbeing.

So, when I saw that email from Calm, I couldn’t hold myself back from clicking through.

Creating context through content

Through their content strategy, Calm created context around the positioning of their product. All along, I thought Calm was a meditation app, but I didn’t quite connect the dots that perhaps meditation could help me to manage the stress I was feeling due to work.

Brands need to create context between the value they provide, the problem they solve, and what customers are looking for or going through.

Content provides value

Not only did Calm’s content connect the dots between how the brand was positioned to serve its audience — even those struggling with mental wellbeing at work — but the content was also highly valuable and insightful to me and what I was going through.

I had started to consider other job opportunities. And one of my biggest concerns was leaving one toxic work environment and jumping right into another. The content they shared in the form of an article was informative, insightful, and most importantly, connected with what I was going through.

Content allows your audience to learn more about your brand

As I skimmed through the article, I noted the calm and relaxing tone of their brand voice. Calm’s brand voice and tone came across well, you guessed it — calm.

The voice reminded me of a therapist or a good friend just trying to help point you in the right direction.

As I continued to scroll, I noted hyperlinked text and, of course, went further down the rabbit hole by clicking the links. I couldn’t help myself because I was intrigued to learn more about the app and how it could help me.

I ended up on their business page and realized they offered HR solutions where employers could offer premium access to the app as a benefit.

Content helps you to position your offering to various audiences

As a brand messaging and content strategist, I noted how well laid out and easy to read the information was, and of course, I was intrigued by their overall branding and approach to their website.

As marketers, we are always obsessed with seeing how other marketing peers excel in their various industries.

As an employee struggling with stress and burnout, I seriously considered asking my HR team if they could look into providing the app as a benefit to all their employees as their current, Don’t Gain Weight Challenge, wasn’t exactly what I think employees needed in the midst of a raging pandemic and a shift to a remote work environment.

As a potential customer, I began to think about purchasing an annual subscription to get premium access to the app.

Content is strategic

Because of one piece of content, I learnt exactly how the Calm app served multiple audiences with the various products and services they offered.

Today, many brands struggle with positioning multiple product offerings because they don’t have a clear brand messaging and content strategy. They can’t connect the dots between their products, services, and the audiences they can serve.

But through a well-defined brand messaging and content strategy, Calm connects the dots of the value they provide to tell a seamless customer-focused story.

Content drives business results

Digital content marketing strategy examples

I immediately searched for the app on my phone and explored all the programs, series, and daily meditations they offered.

I had the free version of the app, so I had limited access to all the content. But as I scrolled through the app, I found one of their series that piqued my interest. It was a high-performance series by Lebron James. I started to play it and listen as Lebron shared his insights on the connection between focus and wellbeing.

I thought the whole series was free, but as it turns out, only the introduction was free. I had to purchase access to get the premium unlocked version of the app.

But guess what, I had no reservations or concerns. I was ready to give Calm my money because I believed it could help me with a problem I was currently facing.

The fact that they sent me another piece of content — this time an email with a 50 percent off coupon for their annual subscription — only sweetened the deal and made it that much easier to decide to purchase the annual subscription.

The power of a well-defined content strategy

And just like that, I became a premium subscriber to the Calm app. From one piece of content that provided value, demonstrated how they serve their audience, and told their story, I was able to learn more about the Calm brand and was ultimately converted to a paying customer. I went from a lead to a subscriber because of their content.

Human beings are dynamic, and we look at things from different lenses, so it’s important that you’re positioning your brand, product, and services in a way that provides context to the multifaceted sides of humans.

Start leveraging a well-designed content strategy to drive business results today

I’ve been working in digital marketing, brand messaging, and content strategy for the last ten years with small businesses, tech, and fintech companies, and I am still amazed at the power of content and how under-utilized it is at so many businesses.

But guess what? You can start leveraging the power of content today to create a content marketing strategy that drives business results. Let’s start working together today.