Cotton Council International (CCI) is the U.S. export arm charged with promoting U.S. cotton, branded COTTON USA™, globally. In 2018, COTTON USA launched its first-ever B2B-centric global marketing campaign, “The Cotton the World Trusts,” to connect with key supply chain players and communicate to them the value U.S. cotton can bring to their businesses as a partner.
Now in 2019, COTTON USA needed to expand its communications to continue encouraging more use and purchase of U.S. cotton among this highly qualified audience of global mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers.
While our core message was of interest to this audience, we also knew that they were constantly looking for business-building resources from industry experts, seeking information from these credible voices that could be directly applied to their supply chain operations.
As the cotton the world trusts, we needed to clearly show we were a resource for them too by demonstrating the competitive edge we provided for their businesses.
To do this, we developed COTTON USA’s B2B influencer series, Expert Outlooks, to break through to key supply chain decision makers with industry-specific and -trending information that added third-party credibility to our message.
Our objectives were to:
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COTTON USA’s annual benchmarking research revealed key observations about the information our targets were paying attention to and where they were engaging with it, as well as the value that U.S. cotton could bring to that information.
This research informed our strategies:
We saw an opportunity for us to create a “click-worthy” connection opportunity to inspire ideas and discussion with U.S. cotton among our customers and industry leaders, while further establishing COTTON USA as an industry resource and leader.
So, we developed COTTON USA’s Expert Outlooks, an influencer series featuring industry experts from various supply chain niches.
We leveraged the influencers – experts in fashion, consumer trends, supply chain operations, sustainability, spinning, manufacturing, design – as content creators. They developed unique articles on the topics that are at the forefront of the industry, while tying them back to U.S. cotton and packaging a clear business benefit.
Creative Director Jessica Hemmer predicted the evolution of performance materials made with natural fibers like U.S. cotton; sustainability consultant Andrew Jordan argued why natural cotton is proven better for our oceans; fiber product manager David McAlister demonstrated how fiber statistics could optimize output quality.
We created the Expert Outlooks hub on COTTON USA’s website to house these perspectives and drive to. The series launched first on LinkedIn, leveraging the platform’s targeting capabilities to reach mills and manufacturers, brands and retailers in 12+ countries and languages, and leaning into our audience’s receptivity of industry-related content on the platform.
Based on the strong LinkedIn results, we extended and amplified Expert Outlooks series across our other paid channels, including Facebook, digital and email, breaking through to our target audiences with content that provided them with a clear business-edge and that added third-party credibility to our core message and industry leadership.
We successfully created a “click-worthy” connection opportunity with Expert Outlooks, engaging key supply chain audiences with new business-building information that reinforced COTTON USA as a valued resource.
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