How Colgate Makes Its Customers Smile With Its Online Community
Since Colgate has been around for over 200 years and has amassed sales surpassing $15 billion, it is safe to say they’re one of the most influential brand names in oral health. The Colgate Online Community, designed with the signature red and white company colors and slides of smiling, tooth-filled grins, knows who its audience is and what they want from an online health resource. The community, though initially overwhelming with its amount of information, is incredibly user-friendly has an easy balance between marketing and customer assistance.
What the Community Offers
All of the content is on the Colgate Online Community is available to all visitors without needing to provide any personal information. The user-friendly Oral Care Center is all informational with no login required, providing easy access to information on oral care conditions, medical conditions, oral health, and cosmetic dentistry. The only thing you need personal information for is the Smiletalk option, which is an e-mail newsletter.
A link to a more in-depth online community is provided on the Colgate home page. If dental professionals want to check out Colgate’s offerings related to students or patient education, they can sign up for Colgate Professional, an entirely separate community. Only a niche audience will be interested in this option.
There is a drop-down Menu option right next to a friendly search bar titled “How can we help?” The website’s different categories are all available as you scroll down the page, but the menu is the easier, quicker option. One option is the Oral Care Center, which includes informative and in-depth articles on conditions, cosmetic dentistry, hygiene basics, procedures, and oral hygiene life stages. It’s extremely comprehensive and seems like just the sort of thing users will want from a trusted brand name.
Social Media Options
At the bottom of the page, you’re invited to connect further with Colgate through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. At the time of this case study, the Facebook page was updated with new content less than two weeks prior. It is the most inviting and professional of the social media options and includes extensive links, contact information options, promotional videos and photos, and a well-managed customer service platform for Facebook users who comment on content. If you want a fast response from a Colgate representative, it seems that the Facebook page is the place to be.
The YouTube page had a new video from less than a day prior to this case study, but their content seems to be sparse with new videos once or twice a month. The account seems like a wasted marketing opportunity, especially since the fun, humorous videos seem to be only posted to Facebook while the YouTube page hosts only commercials and how-to videos. YouTube is probably the least informative of the social media options though it does provide Spanish language videos for multilingual users.
The Twitter page is the best place to go for promotional information on contests and events. The Tweets come daily and provide links to rules and press releases, making it a reliable option for any Colgate-related news. However, it seems to be slightly distant from the marketing side of Colgate, hardly promoting any specific products.
Since the Colgate Online Community is not based on user-to-user interaction, there is little need for management. There are no comment sections for articles or product pages, which may be off-putting to some users who expected a little bit more interaction. The only place where Colgate users can interact with one another is on social media, where a Colgate representative promptly answers questions on Facebook comment sections. Though this is not available directly on the Colgate Online Community, it’s an efficient way of interacting with both other users and Colgate as a company.
Promotional events are not handled on the Colgate Online Community. Instead, they’re promoted mainly in Twitter. These events are almost always user-based, making Colgate appeal to a wide market.
Information and Content
Content is vast but easy to navigate with the menu. For example, if you choose the Conditions category and pick “Cavities,” you’ll be brought to a page that includes symptoms, the cause of the condition, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. Though these articles provide medical advice and information, there are no sources or bylines. Since Colgate is a trusted brand, users can trust the website with ease, but it does seem a bit odd that there are virtually no professional testimonies or brand ambassadors on these informational pages. If you check out the YouTube videos, you can see Kelly Ripa promote Colgate products, but she’s absent from the website. The online community could certainly benefit from some familiar faces on its pages.
The marketing side of the website is just as user-friendly and comprehensive as the content side, and of course, it closely ties into the informative articles. For example, at the bottom of the “Cavities” page, three products are recommended to help you deal with this condition. They link directly to product-specific sites, where you can check out the ingredients and read user reviews. On each product page, there is a “Buy Now” option at the top that links directly to Amazon if you want to make a purchase. This marketing is unobtrusive and does not obnoxiously hawk products in place of providing advice. Instead, the products are integrated organically into the content.