Content Marketing All-Stars Q&A: Claire Cronin of Virgin Atlantic

By NativeAI / December 5, 2017
virgin atlantic logo

What does digital content with a personality look like?

It looks exactly like what Virgin Atlantic is doing these days.

The airline has truly mastered the art of creating pieces that are funny, heartwarming, and entertaining.

How do they do it? What role does this content play for Virgin Atlantic? What are they working on next?

To find out, we recently chatted with Claire Cronin, SVP of Marketing at Virgin Atlantic.

Check out the full Q&A below:

Q. What role does digital content play for Virgin Atlantic? What are the goals?

A. Overall we want our digital content to showcase our brand personality, drive an emotional connection with our customers and encourage consumers to fly with us. 

However, each piece of content plays a different role depending on the campaign and our objectives. 

During campaign time, our content broadcasts to a wide audience with aim of increasing brand awareness and preference and generating bookings and revenue. Throughout the year we seed a regular drumbeat of engaging content into spaces where sharing is natural behavior looking to maintain brand advocacy and loyalty and encouraging engagement and interaction. 

Underpinning all content is a strategy encouraging our customers and our people to create their own content and share – they are our best advocates and if they endorse our brand then they’re doing our job for us!

Q. We love the Ruby blog; can you tell us a bit about what it is and how the pieces are created? 

A. We’re so glad you love Ruby! 

The aim of the Ruby blog is to get under the skin of Virgin Atlantic and really tell the stories behind our people, our places and our planes. 

We’re always looking for those stories that people might not know about, for example, how to change an aircraft tire, what’s it’s like to work in our Clubhouse or the best aircraft graveyards. 

The long-form content of the blog gives us great content to share on our social channels, telling stories whilst aligning to our commercial priorities.

Ruby Virgin Atlantic

Q. Which metrics do you pay attention to? How do you measure the success of a piece of content? 

A. It really depends on the objective of the piece – our hard hitting, highly targeted direct response pieces are all about driving revenue and our broader brand pieces aim to drive awareness, emotional connection and preference. 

We set ourselves benchmarks around reach, impressions, views, click throughs and
engagement based on previous performance of our social activity whilst also taking into consideration wider industry benchmarks. 

When we release a piece of content, I immediately look to engagement – I still feel really proud when people start sharing and commenting. We also find initial high engagement gives
an indication of the long term success of the piece. 

Q. Do you have a favorite piece (or few pieces) of Virgin Atlantic content? What showcases what you guys do well?

A. This is a tricky one as I have so many favorites! Our recent content supporting our Where I want for Christmas campaign is a great example of a piece that showcases our Virgin Atlantic personality whilst supporting our commercial priorities around our winter sale.

I also love this piece which we created to bring our sponsorship of the NFL International series to life – it really heroes our most recognizable asset, our cabin crew! We find our followers on
social love any content that features our crew.  



In the summer we brought out a flying with kids video which inserted ourselves in a topical conversation and really resonated with parents whilst showcasing our family offering.


Q. Finally, are there any content trends that you’re watching for next year? Any formats/platforms/approaches that you’re excited about?

A. We’ve been watching AR / VR for a while now and have dipped our toe in this space but
I’d really like to see this become more mainstream in 2018. 

I feel that there are so many opportunities for Virgin Atlantic in the AR /VR arena – we offer a
unique experience to consumers and if we can immerse people in our cabins, our Clubhouses and destinations on the ground through our content, we’ll definitely see more conversion and more people choosing to fly with us.

Written by NativeAI / December 5, 2017