By now, you’ll know that you should be creating and distributing content as part of your promotional activity. You’ll have had it drummed in to you by every marketing blog, e-book and webinar. Content gets your name out there and in front of prospects, provides value and information to your customers and helps with branding, too. However, it’s hard to know where to get started with content marketing, and what might be right for your business. To inspire you, we’ve put together five brands who we feel are doing a great job of content marketing. Let’s dive in!
As a holiday accommodation rental portal, the Air BnB website connects holidaymakers with hosts who have unique places to stay in over 190 countries. On the homepage, the user is presented with a prominent, easy to use search function to start browsing options right away. If you need a little inspiration, you’re also presented with accommodation types broken up by holiday type, e.g. “just for the weekend”, “explore the world”. Air BnB have rich subject matter – what could be more interesting than, well, the whole world? – but they do deserve credit for their creativity. Their “Belong Anywhere” tagline is weaved seamlessly across their communications, from their social channels to their app. It’s a unique and warming message, which both perfectly encapsulates their business ethos and intrigues a customer in just two words. That’s some skilful copywriting. There is a dedicated “Belong Anywhere” section on their website, which is a truly exemplary content hub. It’s the perfect way to humanise and bring to life the brand, and includes dedicated pages for various hosts of unique accommodation around the world. Beautiful photography is interspersed with local tips from the hosts, previous guest testimonials, maps and videography. Quite frankly, booking with Air BnB is a joy from start to finish, and that’s down to the quality of their content.
Petplan get special mention for their Pinterest page. Pinterest is a notoriously difficult platform for brands without an obvious visual element, however Petplan have managed to ingeniously use it to their advantage. They have 50 boards, and over 40,000 followers. Board topics range from Pet Health Tips and Meet the Team to Jet Set Pets (how to travel safely with pets) and Star Wars Pets (erm…exactly what it says on the tin). In fact, topics are so varied, interesting and expansive that the Petplan Pinterest page is a resource for all things pets in its own right. So, what can we learn? Creative thinking, knowing your subject matter and creating an invaluable resource for your customers will stand you in good stead.
We’re looking specifically at Net a Porter’s premium lifestyle glossy print and online magazine, Porter, here. Yes, it’s a classy, beautiful and well-executed publication. But the most interesting thing about Porter? It’s shoppable. It’s also an example of how print is rallying against the dying of its genre, and shows good content doesn’t always have to be (purely) digital. As a publication powered by a massive brand, it gives Net a Porter ample opportunity for product placement and advertising within the magazine. In order to provide a seamless journey, readers can then scan the products using a dedicated iPad app in order to purchase that product. However, this would just look like a giant advert and sales pitch, and turn readers off in the process, if it wasn’t for the quality of the editorial. Porter is put together by a team of ex-fashion and beauty journalists, and as a result the magazine is a slick, quality edit: which is exactly how you should think of your content marketing.
Carling set up a dedicated website for their Brighton or Barbados offer, in collaboration with Expedia. The campaign offered consumers the chance to book a getaway for two over the May Bank Holiday for just £49 on a first come, first served basis. Thing is – customers didn’t know whether they were booking a trip to Brighton or to Barbados. In fact, one in three lucky entrants were given tickets to jet off to Barbados for just £49. The campaign is a great example of how valuable timely content can be. Carling took advantage of that great British institution – the Bank Holiday – and as a result all tickets were sold out in 10 minutes. It was also a wonderfully integrated and well executed campaign, with TV ads being supported by digital, social and print.
Arguably, General Electric don’t have the most exciting subject for content, but this hasn’t stopped them from curating an interesting and effective content marketing plan. They excel at visual storytelling that plays each touch point to its strengths. From Pinterest boards to a YouTube channel brimming with fascinating videos, there’s something to love at every point of the journey. General Electric also aren’t afraid to experiment with new platforms, as proved by their 6 Second Science Fair on Vine. As their most successful Vine post to date, it involved them combining milk, food colouring and soap to create something quick, clever and instantly shareable.