Ben Hollom
Ben Hollom 30 June 2016

How Content Marketing Played Its Part In The EU Referendum

So there we have it. Our fate has been decided. We all have our opinion on what that will mean for Britain, but let’s try and be impartial for a minute and look at the content marketing efforts of both sides of the debate.

The EU referendum has divided the nation and as a result, Brits have been devouring content like it’s going out of fashion. Yes, there’s no doubt that Brexit has been the hottest topic in the world of content marketing over recent weeks – but which campaigners get an A Star for effort this June? Let’s take a look and find out:


David Cameron and the UK government went into overdrive in their marketing efforts encouraging Brits to vote ‘remain’. But instead of doing it digitally, they decided to drop a rather hefty amount of money (£9m of taxpayers money, according to the BBC) sending out enough direct mail to hit 27 million households around the country. In a move that left Boris and Nigel frothing at the mouth, this 16-page booklet wins the award for driest title in Brexit’s content marketing efforts: ‘Why the Government believes that voting to remain in the European Union is the best decision for the UK”.

This Government tome lays out plenty of information – some might say too much – but when we consider this document from the point of view of marketers, we can only rate it ‘un-clickable’.

Britain Stronger in Europe, one of the bodies chosen to represent voters, takes us safely back into the world of digital with a site built with NationBuilder. On the plus side, there is plenty of content with relevant news pieces that are short and sharp to catch the attention of the online audience. Additionally, the group really makes the most of the platform with lots of engaging calls to sign up, join in and donate. However, as we all know in the world of content marketing, there is a place for your long-form pieces as much as your short – some of the content simply does not go into enough detail. Good effort, must try harder.

Please Don’t Go, a grassroots organisation put together by a group of Europeans living in the UK, saw their #HugABrit campaign go viral. The group asked followers to share a hug and tweet it using the aforementioned hashtag in the hopes that a big burst of warm and fuzzy emotions would win round those on the fence. Celebrities such as Jarvis Cocker jumped on board, while the concept caught the imagination of both the Twittersphere and Instagram. Tugging on the heart-strings and a fun, shareable concept? Content marketing win right here!


Leave.EU has come up with a couple of eyebrow-raising efforts so we’re going to mention two of them. Their website ‘The Great British Fudge Off’ got a few things right. Firstly, it’s an eye-catching site, jam-packed with entertaining satirical cartoons and tidbits of information. As well as the catchy name, there are testimonials from both businesses and individuals who have had negative experiences with the EU which is all very smart seeing as testimonials are one of the most persuasive pieces of content out there. But then it all descends into silliness with featured recipes for making fudge. Yes, actual fudge.

Leave.EU also memorably launched another catchily named campaign ‘Brexit and Chill’, an excellent play on the old ‘Netflix and chill’ catchphrase. From the looks of it, this appeared to hit voters where it really hurts – their movie streaming activities. Allegedly the European Commission is planning to crack down on all those innocent Netflix viewers with a steep ‘movie tax’ and leaving is the best way to avoid this.

There’s being quirky and memorable, and then there’s losing your credibility as you leave people wondering what the hell is going on. Don’t confuse your audience and keep the issue simple. kept their message simple. The stark home page is centred on the powerful visual of a counter, clocking up the amount of cash the UK is contributing to the EU (spoiler alert: it’s a lot). Straight, clear and to-the-point – just how we like our content marketing – but we don’t have any real facts or research to back up the climbing amount. There is, however, some good examples of in-depth, detailed content which serves to build credibility, but all-in-all it fails to engage.

Want to make sure your content marketing puts the Brexit efforts to shame? Contact M2 Bespoke to find out what we can do for your business.

Original Article

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