Content marketing – three more great examples

Here are three more great content marketing campaigns and what we can learn from them.

(For earlier examples, have a look here)

VIKING RIVER CRUISES

vikingThis global cruising company sets the standard in the use of video.

Its website has all the usual stuff you’d expect from a cruise company – a company profile, information on its trips and boats, free brochures, a contact page and so on.

But it also has a whole library of short but interesting videos, like Chinese noodle making or The Canals of St Petersburg.

Aside from a brief tag at the end, the videos don’t try to sell you a Viking River Cruise. But the effect is undeniable: when you watch the videos you think “wow, I want to go there”. And of course, you’re already on the company’s website, so what’s your first port of call going to be?

The other thing the videos do well is that they’re perfectly pitched for Viking’s potential customers – wealthy, elderly people. No stories on face piercing parlours in Berlin or Polish heavy metal bands here. With their sedate pace, crisp sound and pertinent topics, the videos are perfect for the demographic.

MARRIOTT HOTELS

marriottThis is a blog written by Bill Marriott, the company chairman and son of the founder.

It’s a bit folksy and at times cheesy, but that’s part of what makes it successful.

What’s the big problem with international hotel chains? They’re impersonal; each is like any other and in the public mind all hotel chains are indistinguishable.

Bill Marriott’s blog helps address that problem by giving his chain a personality and history. In some blogs he writes about how his parents started with a single root beer stand; his musings on the hotel business and how he keeps the chain ticking along; or why his father always built hotels near bridges.

After reading a couple, you come away feeling you know what Marriott is like, and it stands out from the pack of other hotel chains.

OPENVIEW LABS

openviewOpenView Labs is the news site of OpenView Venture Partners, a venture capital firm focused on technology companies.

The site has a terrific range of interesting articles of interest to tech start-ups, covering topics including sales, recruiting, marketing, finance and leadership.

They use a mix of video and written content and a lot of it is produced by their own people. What they’re doing is demonstrating their expertise and capabilities in helping start-ups. They’re not doing a sales pitch, but when you read a couple you think “these guys know what they’re doing”.

A start-up looking for funds would be impressed, but there’s a more important audience this content will resonate with: investors in the venture capital fund. The message investors will take away is: “OpenView knows how to build companies; my money’s safe with them”.

Demonstrating that with content is a lot more effective than just saying “your money’s safe with us”.

WHAT WE LEARN ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING

These three companies have one thing in common: they’ve had the confidence to put the content first, and haven’t worried about ramming a sales message down their audience’s throat.

They let the content do the work of getting their message through, knowing that sales will follow.

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