During the coming year, the wheat will become separated from the chaff. Some companies will fail with content marketing. Others will become content brands. Here are some companies that are leading the way.
Content brands have a couple of things in common. They build their own audience, focusing long-term on content marketing, and have an elaborate, agile approach. The organisation works like a media company that creates relevant and engaging content for their target audiences.
And of course, these brands receive unfair advantages. More loyal customers, higher profitability and greater distribution in both search engines and social channels.
Yet how can your business go from content marketing to content brand? Read on and be inspired by how these ten companies succeeded with their content brands.
GE is a company that really understands the importance of good content. They publish Txchnologist and GE reports among others, with huge success. They reinforce their position in the market through innovative stories and give life to their brand. The fact that they can demonstrate their skills means that they increase credibility with different target audiences. B2B companies have much to learn from GE.
Lego is known for its creative and playful content. The Lego Movie is a showcase of how a company can increase its sales, without it feeling forced. Lego has managed to create a community around its brand by using various magazines, websites and member clubs. The community feeling is enhanced through a common passion for building blocks. Various competitions also give the audience a chance to share their own Lego creations. This builds trust and loyalty for the brand in the long term.
The Marriott hotel chain has a long and proud history of content marketing. Their new major initiative is to create a media company for future travellers. The Marriott has already produced two hit films on YouTube. French Kiss raked in 600,000 USD … in hotel bookings alone. The aim in the longer term is to become the leading provider of travel and lifestyle content for a new generation of travellers. The content studio is in place, and the Marriott is well on track.
Stiff competition from cheaper food supermarket chains has forced Sainsbury’s to think again. As marketing director Sarah Warby put it, “If you are not feeling and acting like a publisher, you are missing a massive trick.”
This focus on content marketing has yielded tangible results. In recent years, Sainsbury’s has invested in their own food magazine and food programmes. These investments have contributed to the food company managing to be on top in a highly competitive market. Nowadays, it is always ‘content-first’ that applies.
This company has taken the world by storm by its fast-paced races, large events and inspirational content. Red Bull dare to do things differently and are constantly pushing the limits. Red Bull dare to stand up for something that appeals to their target audience. A winning recipe. The question remains – are you doing this? Red Bull Media House continues to break new ground and experiment with its content worldwide.
What do you get if you take a man with a blog and a loyal audience? Answer – a software company with a turnover of millions. Copyblogger is today one of the world’s most read marketing blogs. The entrepreneur Brian Clark still claims that companies must start by building their audience, then create their products and services. Unfortunately, not everyone is listening.
Riverpools and Spas
Marcus Sheridan’s pool company was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008. How would he get it back on its feet?
He started to answer customers’ questions. Then he put up the answers on the company website. Today, the Riverpools and Spas learning centre is one of the company’s most valued resources that continues to generate new customers. How do you answer your customers’ questions? Listen, answer and be useful. Content that solves customer problems creates both confidence and interest.
The social media tools business is tough. How can a young company get established in the market? Buffer has succeeded with the help of engaging content. The Buffer blog covers everything from social media to productivity and happiness. A major focus is on personal development and the relationship between work, technology and well-being. The blog is used to attract new customers, but also as a tool to recruit loyal employees.
Jyske Bank TV
Can a bank really create its own TV channel? Sure it can.
Jyske Bank TV is a news service that produces content in both English and Danish. The person behind the success is its Communications Director Lasse Hoegfeldt. Back in 2007, he understood the implications of the changing media landscape. What can we do to reach our audience without being dependent on traditional media channels? The answer was Jyske Bank TV. And fortunately it turned out he was ahead of the game.
Bed manufacturer Casper has launched an entire site about sleep. And it’s fantastic. Although the initiative is relatively new, all the right ingredients are here for a content brand to grow – its own platform, an editorial approach, a unique perspective in an interesting and relevant topic, as well as an audience. Exactly how Casper choose to use this content asset remains to be seen. However, the results so far bode well, and the bed manufacturer has every reason to sleep soundly.
Brands are increasingly balancing the roles of both publisher and distributor. It is no easy task, but there are many benefits for the companies that succeed. A content brand has:
- Contact with a loyal audience, making it easier to create products and services that people actually buy.
- Engaging content that works around the clock to create and nurture customer relationships.
- A media house approach that creates long-term business.
Successful companies create engaging content that reaches out to the right audience. Those who don’t invest in content end up on the outside. Will your business succeed in becoming a content brand, or will it disappear in the crowd?