Big box giant IKEA took a while to hop on the digital marketing bandwagon, but once they started they quickly became experts.

IKEA’s company motto is, “we earn our money before we spend it.” Therefore, it makes sense that they use content marketing strategies that they can directly correlate to boosting sales —  not just spreading brand awareness. Keeping their company motto in mind, they created and deployed some innovative and highly-effective content marketing campaigns that have been referenced as “best in class” by expert digital marketers.

We’ve put together the top 5 content strategy tips inspired from IKEA’s digital marketing campaigns to inspire and give you insight into how your business can effectively use them, too.

Use humor

IKEA Singapore put together a hilarious parody video of Apple’s product videos — which they incorporated into the release of the 2015 IKEA catalog. If you are unfamiliar with the IKEA catalog, it is one of the main marketing vehicles the furniture company uses to provide consumers with all the products and interior design options they provide.

The primary goal of the IKEA catalog is increasing distribution and getting it into the hands of more consumers. Alongside that primary goal, IKEA must also make consumers aware that the catalog exists.

The IKEA marketing team in Singapore accomplished these goals, while also incorporating digital content marketing, by using humor. People enjoyed the campaign so much that the video went viral globally and helped generate more interest in IKEA’s catalog (not to mention they connected on a personal level with the light-hearted nature of the IKEA brand).

Your business can do this by embracing cultural trends and playing off them (easier said than done, I know). While you don’t need to have a video go viral on a global scale, you can embrace things such as memes and Internet trends (is the dress black/blue or gold/white?) while showcasing your message or product.
meme marketing

Free inspiration

Speaking of the IKEA catalog, have you looked through it? It’s not just page-after-page of furniture offerings; it’s page-after-page of what your home could look like if furnished by IKEA. IKEA doesn’t just provide you with the products — they also provide you with the inspiration to design an entire room around them.

IKEA has taken their marketing strategy beyond the printed catalogs and now offer an app with “augmented reality.” You can now use your tablet to see what a piece of furniture will look like in your home.

How can you apply this strategy to your business? Start by providing context for your product or services. A pest control business might not be that glamorous, but neither is a tree full of ants. Enter pest control business and now you have a tree house and playing children.

Provide your customers with inspiration and show them how much greater their life will be with your product/service.


Social plan

One of my favorite campaigns from IKEA was their Russian Instagram campaign in 2014. They released a new collection (under a new Instagram account) in a way I have never seen Instagram used before.

Following the theme of providing inspiration, IKEA used Instagram’s tagging capabilities to create “inspiration catalogs” for each piece of furniture. Since each piece of tagged furniture in a photo needed a corresponding Instagram account, the accounts for each featured even more design possibilities and images via sharing various features.
ikea social mediaikea social mediaikea social media

While creating a campaign like this would take a lot of work, it brought a lot of social media marketing attention to IKEA’s products and the creative way they used Instagram.

For the IKEA Russian Instagram campaign, social media wasn’t an afterthought — it was the digital content marketing campaign. Devote time and effort into your social media strategy and your business will see positive results.

Take advantage of #hashtags

IKEA doesn’t just think outside of the box (pun intended) with social media; they also use tried-and-true methods of engagement — #hashtags!

IKEA USA uses the hashtags #HowToTuesday and #PickOfTheDay to give their audience helpful tips on how to decorate their homes using IKEA items. Not only do they capitalize on already popular hashtags, but they create and test new ones.

The easiest way for your business to monopolize this tip is to use trending hashtags in your industry. For example, a cross-fit gym  (or any gym) could use #WOD (workout of the day). Connect with your audience by providing them with something they will find useful and also engage them.

Cross promote

When IKEA releases a new catalog, a new product or any piece of content, they don’t just find share it in one place — it is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and wherever else they see fit — to make sure it reaches as many people as possible.

Below is an image IKEA used for their First 59 campaign, which focused on the importance of a healthy morning routine. Not only is this image used on their website (and could be used in their stores and catalog), it is spread across all their social pages as well.
first 59 ikea

When you create content you don’t want to share it once and be done with it — that is wasting the time and effort you put into creating it! Take it a step further and make it visual on Pinterest, turn it into a YouTube video or a meme to catch the interest of Twitter. The more ways you can share your content, the more you use your content.

What do you like (or dislike) about IKEA’s digital content strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


  • Good insights — esp. on cross postings.