All content marketing should be interesting, informative and user-friendly.
Here are three campaigns that achieve these aims, with the obvious benefits for the brands they’re promoting (None of them by me, by the way).
IT security isn’t really a topic that grabs me, but the Naked Security website by anti-virus and computer protection company Sophos shows you can make interesting content out of almost anything.
The website runs several stories a day on the latest security threats as well as tech topics of wider interest such as privacy, phishing, Facebook, credit card scams, and smart phones. The pieces – even those produced by Sophos’ technical staff – are crisply written and very readable, suggesting they’ve got some very good editors.
The site also shows that you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to provide compelling content. It has a simple design, with stories scrolling down the page, uncomplicated pictures and graphics, and a navigation bar at the top directing readers to content categories.
The end result, though, is undeniable: when you think IT security you think Sophos. Even the subtle use of the Sophos logo on the site reinforces its reputation as a leader in the field.
AIR NEW ZEALAND
The Kiwi airline has put together a graphic with tips for business travellers, which helps reinforce Air New Zealand as contemporary, relaxed and capable.
To research the tips, the airline put six frequent flyers on a flight from Los Angeles to London for a focus group. (It helps keep costs down if you already own an airline.)
But the magic really comes in with the way the present the results. Instead of trying to turn out a piece of writing, the tips are presented in bite-sized morsels with graphics illustrating and breaking up the copy.
It’s a clever piece of work, which presents useful information in an easy to digest format and I’m pretty sure that once you started reading you kept going.
In its Ecomagination sub-site, US engineering giant General Electric shows of its complex and technical projects in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
It also demonstrates that content marketing should be about more than just direct selling. Consumers are hardly in the market for aeroplane engines, wind turbines and locomotives, yet the content is interesting enough to appeal to the general public and there are obvious benefits for GE from positioning itself as a leader in environmental technology.
But the site is also appealing to other audiences. For customers, it helps promote the brand as innovative and technically expert, which for potential employees, GE looks like an exciting an interesting place to work.
LESSONS FOR CONTENT MARKETING
The content producers who conceived and executed these campaigns have done a couple of things really well.
First, they’ve really thought about the sort of content that would appeal to their audience. They’ve gone beyond the bland and generic to produce content that presents fresh and interesting information.
Secondly, they’ve invested a bit of time and effort into making the information easy to digest. GE and Sophos have put a lot of effort into writing and editing their content to make their complex and technical content accessible to a general audience.