ANA Magazine Features Empower and Rust-Oleum in Cover Story

The January 2015 ANA Magazine featured Rust-Oleum and Empower's content marketing strategy in an article praising the plans with the best results and activation. The Empower/Rust-Oleum case is below.

You can read the full article here.

While rolling out its content marketing strategy, Rust-Oleum changed its perspective after it analyzed its existing content. Previously, the company had focused primarily on its products, hoping to inspire customers by thrilling them with great before-and-after shots.

It had a website called, which was full of recipe cards for paint projects, and a place where people could post their own projects. But over the past dozen years, the social web overtook the site, with Pinterest becoming the main place where people share these kinds of ideas.

“They’re producing more ideas on their own every day than we could afford to do,”says Lisa Bialecki, senior director of integrated communications at Rust-Oleum.

User-generated content should factor into an audit, not just because it includes media from customers — a brand’s best advocates — but because it also provides data on the where and how of a product’s use.

Rust-Oleum collaborated more with an outside partner to get its content strategy up and running. Working with Cincinnati-based agency Empower to research current conversations happening out on the web, as well as to create a thousand pieces of content in support of its initiative to highlight the things Rust-Oleum products can do.

“We researched 2.5 million social conversations, 15 million social impressions, and 68 million search queries to understand how people were searching for projects related to our products online,”Bialecki says.

These will be common stories in the coming year, according to the ANA disruption survey. Not only will internal and customer experiences increase, but agencies like Empower will see expanding roles with marketing departments not yet ready to tackle content internally. The pie is getting bigger for everyone in content marketing.

Rust-Oleum is still awaiting the results of its first content marketing effort this past summer. It is conducting a regression analysis and taking high-level point-of-sale data (backing out influences like weather, special offers, or big press mentions that might have influenced sales) to understand how individual pieces of the program may have affected its communications plan overall. Bialecki notes the point-of-sale for one of the products featured increased 40 percent year over year, doubling its projected performance.

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