It might be easier to ask, who isn’t using content? Content marketing has exploded over the last few years, but it has a long history going as far back as marketing itself. After all, without content how can you convey your message? Newsletters, flyers, advertorials, brochures, and print materials are all long time content marketing methods.
Modern content really took off with the rise of Internet marketing. Today it has many more applications including search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), email marketing, websites, product descriptions and sales, e-commerce, and more.
The versatility and effectiveness of content means that it is being utilized successfully by businesses and brands of all sizes and industries, including:
Whole Foods serves up great content on its website. Their recipe for success combines their brand principles with excellent content marketing. The result? Articles about eating healthy, cooking on a budget, and other related topics.
This type of content reinforces Whole Food’s brand identity and forges a lasting relationship with its website visitors.
Ties.com and Scarves.com
Both of these businesses are ecommerce sites, but their strategy is equally applicable to offline businesses of all sizes. Ties.com and Scarves.com sell ties and scarves respectively (shocking, I know) but their marketing doesn’t just focus on the usual well-beaten path. Instead they use content to provide visitors with really useful tips. Their content targets common questions like “how to tie a tie” or “how to tie a scarf,” which not only builds brand trust and increases engagement, it also hits the perfect keywords. No wonder searching “ties” on Google returns ties.com as the first organic result – try it for yourself.
Airbnb is taking modern content to a new level. Since 2008 the company has grown from a single property in San Francisco to one of the world’s hottest digital companies connecting nearly a million listings in almost 200 countries. The company’s most recent valuation is over $30 billion.
How have they managed such success, considering that Airbnb doesn’t own any of the properties listed on their website? They combine their innovative service with a sense of community and belonging. They are selling an experience. Part of the way that they sell this experience is through their content: their website combines well-placed content that is easy to navigate with beautiful imagery.
Airbnb’s “Neighbourhoods” section shares useful content about different cities that would be of interest to visitors. It includes maps, testimonials, suggestions, and a wide range of headings. Their “Stories” section allows hosts and guests an opportunity to share their experiences. The Airbnb “Blog” shares informal stories, tips, and insights for both guests and hosts. The company even releases economic impact studies which explain the value of their service to cities around the world. All of this content is supported by, and supports, Airbnb’s impressive social media presence.
An even more unique way that Airbnb furthers their position as an industry expert is Pineapple, a print magazine released by the company that features interviews, global cuisine, and other content related to global travel.
Content for your business
You don’t have to be a multibillion dollar company like Airbnb, or even an ecommerce site like Ties.com to benefit from content. More and more small businesses are turning to content as a cost-effective method of marketing. The result is that businesses like yours are improving user experience, increasing engagement, developing brand identity and strengthening brand loyalty.
Want to amplify your existing content or need some help getting started? Give us a shout. We’re happy to help.