Biltema, like many of its traditional competitors, has been somewhat skeptical of content marketing for years. The giant Swedish retailer has relied on its massive, much-anticipated print catalougues, delivered directly to people’s mailboxes to reach its audience, and those remain successful.
Biltema also has relied on advertising directed toward its traditional main target audience: generally men who like cars and tools. This approach is also still very successful. In short, they were doing very well without us.
However, to grow further, Biltema wanted more people of new demographics walking into its warehouses, which contain more than 50,000 products, ranging from dog beds to athletic wear. It’s much more than just cars, and it needed a new way to show that.
After years of hesitance, one of our key account managers (Fredrik) and Biltema’s marketing manager (Monica) convinced the company to give content marketing a chance. Biltema discovered a new opportunity, and this relationship was born.
In the spring of 2020, Norway shut down as a consequence of COVID-19, and suddenly the public had to get used to a new existence — at home. This gave us a unique opportunity to communicate Biltema’s enormously broad product line.
Schibsted Partnerstudio created a series of articles focusing on as many as possible of these products, with newsroom speed, aiming to meet this new Norwegian everyday life and all its needs.
Tone of voice quickly became central. Biltema does not take itself too seriously, and neither does VG, Norway’s largest news site and our main source for distribution. So when we started planning the campaign, one word became important: Folkelig, a Norwegian term for folksy. It means sociable, friendly, and of the people. This certainly struck a chord with VG’s audience.
The articles we produce for Biltema show the products in use, with extensive use of video, all directed in this folkelig manner. A slightly humorous, or at least not self-serious, tone is important.
Many of the videos feature the same character: Biltema-Mads, who lives in this Biltema world we’ve created. He is excessively normal in appearance, and in no way comes off like an expert on any of the themes we encounter in the material. But he enjoys everything — a lot — often with a nod and a slight smile to the camera. He makes Biltema’s products seem like they make life just a little easier and certainly more enjoyable.
A winning formula
This post about our approach with Biltema could easily have been all about numbers: The goals we set and met; the increase in sales, the shift in consumer behaviour, our success in attracting younger, female, and more diverse customer segments — all those results that make up what we now call a success.
But the real story is how personal connection and trust still matter a lot in marketing. Fredrik, the key account manager, and Biltema’s trust in him is the main reason they were persuaded to try content marketing in the first place.
Today, content marketing is one of the cornerstones of Biltema’s strategy in Norway. We speak almost every day, without middlemen. We decide everything together, at a fast pace. They call when they want, and we answer. They ask a lot, and we deliver: We do crew work and we do PR work, if we can. And we never say no to Biltema.