2017 was a very bad year for a certain ridesharing service. I don’t need to go into all the details here, but it involved a viral blog post about sexual harassment, a lengthy investigation that led to dozens of firings, and, ultimately, to the CEO being ousted from his position.
However, 2017 was a very good year for a different ridesharing company, and that’s what I’d like to focus on in this post. Lyft has enjoyed favorable coverage in the mainstream media, but they’ve also done some stellar content marketing.
I’d like to share two examples of why I’ve got a bit of a content crush on Lyft.
Tugging on our heartstrings for the holidays
On December 20, I received an email from Lyft with the subject line “Thank you from our founders.” Inside, there were a few brief paragraphs beginning with:
“Five years ago, we started Lyft to spark moments of human connection—sometimes big, sometimes tiny. And now 2.5 million people come together every day in Lyft rides across the country, proving that people from all walks of life can positively impact each other’s day.”
The email goes on to summarize the stories of two drivers: Lamont in Seattle who has given more than 23,000 rides to 50,000 passengers (and brightened the days of a good percentage of them) as well as Paloma, who saved the life of Billy, a victim of the Las Vegas shooting.
And the email concludes with the following:
“We know many of these stories go unshared, and many amazing drivers go unrecognized. We want to do more to honor and thank the drivers that continuously perform acts of service for our community. Please help by submitting your stories to: email@example.com.”
I felt compelled to click on Lamont’s story and loved it so much (If you haven’t seen it yet, let’s just say that there’s a heartwarming twist), that I also watched Paloma and Billy’s story. Within a few minutes, I had tears streaming down my face. And a few minutes after that, I was writing up a Facebook post to share the links to the videos. This might not sound like a big deal, but I rarely share ANYTHING on Facebook these days, let alone marketing materials for a company.
Here’s why I think this campaign from Lyft was so successful:
- It came at an appropriate time (at the beginning of the winter holiday season, when work is slowing down and people are receptive to stories about generosity and acts of selflessness)
- It revolved around the themes of kindness and human connection. These might not always be the first things people think of when using Lyft, but they do make sense when you consider that Lyft is, above all, a service industry company.
- The focus was on the stories of the individual people rather than Lyft as a company. Sure, we know that Lyft was involved, but what stands out is really the stories of the drivers and passengers
By the way, I don’t think I’m the only one who was moved. At the time of writing this post, both Paloma and Lamont’s videos had more than 2 million views each and comments like “Beautiful. I love seeing this kindness” and “This is why I choose Lyft over Uber. You have heart!”
Those lovable “Lyfties”
Every year since 2015, Lyft has been summing up the year with the annual “Lyftie” awards. Based on their data, they name places like the “Most Visited Bar,” “Most Visited Restaurant,” and “Most Likely Place to Spot a Celebrity.”
They also take it a step further with the “Local Lyfties,” so riders can see the stats for their own city or area. As a Bay Area resident, I was curious to see which destination earned the “Only in San Francisco” moniker (it could be SO MANY things).
Here’s why I love the Lyfties:
- It appeals to my curiosity. How well do I really know my area? What IS the most popular bar in San Francisco?
- It helps me discover new hotspots to check out—there were a few places I’d heard of but hadn’t yet visited in my local Lyfties.
- It’s a fun way of promoting local businesses. Lyft includes a link to each destination they feature, so learning more about a particular place is super simple.
- As a marketer, I also think this is a fantastic example of how to use proprietary data in a fun and interesting way. If they had simply produced a chart or a list, it wouldn’t have been as compelling, but the award format is just so darn clever!
Have any content marketing campaigns caught your eye lately? I’d love to hear about them!