Brands want to be publishers, but not that many are actually following through with useful content that people want.
“For content to be successful (high views, shares, engagement) on the social Web, it needs to be entertaining or add value,” said Joe Barbagallo, social media manager at Volvo Cars North America. “I don’t know the last time that a hard selling piece of content struck me as entertaining or moved me further down the path to purchase.”
Here are five examples of marketers doing content right.
This is the granddaddy of brand content initiatives. American Express has poured millions into this effort over the past few years — and it shows. It’s a place where entrepreneurs can get expert insights from influencers like Guy Kawasaki and Pete Cashmore of Mashable.
Back in 2007, Procter & Gamble research found that teenage girls want information about feminine care, but are embarrassed and uncomfortable talking about it with friends and family. Iris Prager, an expert women’s health studies, leads a team that edits all content on BeingGirl.com and writes all the responses to visitors’ questions. The site carries tips for dating, sexual harassment at school and dealing with mood swings is relevant to the target audience.
The Adrenalist focuses on action sports and racing. It features first-hand accounts from athletes as well as gear and travel advice, all things that young, active males are into.
The Home Made Simple takes a variety of P&G home products and focuses on what they allow customers to do: create a happy and enjoyable home. That means pieces on everything from decorating with reclaimed wood, getting nasty stains out and furnishing children’s rooms.
This site is an interesting effort to mix content and commerce. It has your typical how-to piece — “How to Create the Perfect Beach Waves” — but also features related products. The mesh works in ways the “hard sell” doesn’t with other content efforts. Women interested in makeup looks are likely to be receptive to related product pitches.
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