Why is it that some brands are able to use content marketing to build a community, stay relevant, increase profits and tell good stories while others get lost in the sea of sameness?
Most brands work hard to fit within existing content marketing channels. But brands who shine make content marketing channels work for them.
I’ve pulled together five brands that have used content marketing channels to address their needs and answer their customers’ problems. Now you know how they’ve done it, it’s your turn.
The Huffington Post understands its more than 200 million monthly visitors want content by ordinary people for ordinary people. That’s why they signed a deal with digital video network BroadbandTV to create a network of citizen video journalists called Outspeak.
Outspeak is for the opinionated, charismatic and informative storyteller. The platform celebrates unique perspectives on politics, entertainment, lifestyle, business and tech (and the occasional cat video or meme).
This video channel highlights the importance of listening to your community and giving them what they want. Brands don’t always have to be centre stage. Sometimes facilitating change through others is just as important.
New York Times
New York Times knows that to stay relevant you have to revolutionise yourself, and it’s doing so by embracing virtual reality. The brand launched an app in 2015 that fully immerses you in news stories.
To reach the 176 million people reading news online, NYT took the traditional elements of journalism — words, pictures, data, videos, etc. — and used web technologies to blend them into a unique online experience. From multimedia to data visualisation to explanatory graphics, you can interact with any type of content.
All brands need to stay relevant, and, of course, profitable. For many brands, this means blending traditional and digital elements to produce their own multi-layered content and investing in interactive storytelling.
The blog is more than a collection of design how-to listicles. The team often discusses social and political issues and uses the space to talk to their community about new products and behind-the-scenes information.
Building a community should still be a priority for brands, and blogging, despite what you may have heard, is still one of the best (and cheapest) ways to bring people along on your journey.
Airbnb takes its ‘Live there’ motto one step further by offering downloadable PDF city guides alongsidegreat content on top places to eat, hang out, and amuse oneself in any location.
These guides are more than maps and directions to the best coffee shops. They use graphics to visually bring cities to life and make them seem more accessible, more liveable.
These colourful and creative PDFs are a great reminder that brands should think beyond just creating blog posts or web pages. Visual, interactive and useable content (even without Wi-Fi) is still key.
Despite being remarkably successful, racking up 750,000 daily active users for its messaging platform and reaching a valuation of $2.8 billion in less than two years, Slack remains unassuming, quirky and human.
And their podcast Slack Variety Pack is no different. The podcast is about work and the people and teams who do amazing work together. In every episode, you’ll find a mix of stories on work and office culture, teamwork, innovation in the workplace, and modern society.
This podcast proves that you can make the most mundane or complex topics fun, transformative and educational if you do away with the jargon and speak to your audience like you would to your best friend.