The term content marketing has been met with a divergence of opinion. Some deem it a meaningless buzzword, whilst others see it as the best method for communicating with today’s tech-savvy consumers.
The believers say that it represents a new way of thinking, an approach that puts authentic and useful content at the forefront of a company’s marketing plan. If you’re a restaurant owner for example, putting recipes on your twitter feed is more likely to attract new customers than simply offering 10% off wine.
Increasingly, there’s a real importance placed on resonating with your customers, instead of just poking them with a stick when you think you have something that might be of interest to them.
Below, we look at the five of the most interesting and successful content marketing strategies and the companies that put them into action.
So, in no particular order:
American Express is a bank, and it’s fair to say that banks aren’t always the most generous organizations. Looking to buck that trend, American Express opened up its ‘Open Forum’, designed to help entrepreneurs share advice. The forum covers issues from a wide range of topics, including marketing, leadership and technology. It acts as a portal for budding business people looking to expand upon their current skillset.
Google’s Street View covers about 50% of the world’s roads, a fact that I still find difficult to get my head around. I am apparently not the only one to think that the immense coverage of Street View was a bit baffling as the tech-giant now has a website dedicated to showing the public what goes on behind the scenes. It’s a nice touch, especially when there’s a degree of fear from the public concerning just how much Google knows about both the world and us. It makes people feel more at ease with Google and this done simply by bringing them information on how the service is compiled and maintained.
At the Super Bowl, Doritos launched one of the most creative content marketing initiatives I have seen for a while. They gave a collection of their fans tickets to the big game, with the only condition being that they wore orange. From a far, it looked like a giant Dorito had been put in the crowd, making people hungry whilst also garnering thousands of shares on social media. It’s a good example of how originality and thinking outside the box can win over thousands of consumers.
‘GE reports’ is a classic example of how edgy, up to the minute content can win over customers. Beautifully constructed, the blog breaks stories about cutting edge technology and machines. You’ll be hard pressed to find a platform that presents a company in a more innovative light, making it the perfect marketing platform for GE.
Stalwarts of creative advertising, Old Spice aren’t short of a few original ideas. Their twitter feed resembles that of a comedians rather than a successful brand. Joke after joke, with not a sales pitch in sight, their feed has given them 224 thousand followers. The Old Spice example shows how making humor your sales pitch will undoubtedly put you at the forefront of your customers minds.
By collecting five creative examples of how content marketing can be strategically leveraged, my hope was to dispel the myth that content marketing was just another buzzword. Instead, it should be deemed a profitable endeavor for companies looking to communicate effectively with their customers.