Five excellent and innovative examples of content marketing – September 2018
Every few months we like to highlight a few content marketing campaigns that have caught our eye. This time there’s a mixture of content from the UK and the US, some of which is created in house by established companies, some by agencies and others by startups eager to grow their nascent businesses.
What links them is they boast superbly executed, inspiring editorial content that has generated great results for the brand.
Zipcar, in common with a lot of startups that focus on offering items for short-term loan, it has a bit of a problem. People don’t tend to rent cars that often, the loan is usually driven by need and invariably at short notice. So how then do they keep their customers engaged?
The answer is Ziptopia a content site aimed at urban dwellers, Zipcar’s key audience, that combines tips for negotiating city life along with inspirational content that suggests how people can use the cars they are hiring.
The company is also not afraid to tackle issues either, whether they are around diversity or the restructuring of traditional areas of famous cities. There’s great video content too. Ziptopia is a site that is really well thought out and put together, and its popularity among Zipcar’s social followers suggests that it is achieving what it was designed for.
Although not branded content per se, this article, which is a collaboration between photographer Joe Sarah and creative agency Infogr8 is one of the most innovative we have seen in a long time. It highlights how smart and original interactive scrollable content can look if you have the right elements to populate it.
In this instance, the article looks at the way that Britons have become so obsessed with photographing food. So it features among other things; discussions around the topic, a series of charts mapping out what food we shoot and why, and top tips on capturing food from Joe Sarah which are interactive and annotated.
There’s also short form audio content to accompany the images which are obviously all of really high quality. The article works really well in two ways. Firstly because it is smartly put together and looks stunning it pulls the reader in. Yet at the same time, it unpacks a narrative in an engaging and interesting way. If you have never considered interactive scrollable content it is worth looking at as it really could inspire you.
Pensions and insurance are topics that no one likes to think too much about. So for companies that sell financial services creating content to inspire readers can be a very tricky task.
One company, which in our opinion undertakes this tasks with a degree of originality and panache is Scottish Widows. The brand recently undertook what it calls Pension Awareness Day (actually a series of days) which involved visiting a selection of British cities with a Scottish Widows bus and then talking to people about the company’s financial offerings.
It is a smart idea, but what makes it really clever is the way that the brand delivers the content via social media. Through a series of short videos and posts on Facebook and Twitter it gently gets its message across encouraging people to think about their future and answering some of the key questions about pensions.
The campaign is also supported by influencer outreach with a series of financial bloggers also representing the brand talking about their experiences.
Another great example of interactive content, Discovering the Northern Lights is a microsite created for Icelandair by agency Builtvisible. The mission for the brand and the agency was to create inspiring content that encouraged people to visit Iceland to see the lights, positioning it as the world’s number one destination for the experience. Bearing in mind it faces hot competition from several other Scandinavian countries the content needed to be good.
The microsite is absolutely stunning. The company has made the most of its striking images of the phenomenon by ensuring that the scrollable copy displays the images full screen. Accompanying the text is a very smart interactive component that allows readers to alter environmental conditions, create their own aurora and gain a deeper understanding of the science behind the Northern Lights.
Overall it is a stunning and informative microsite that the client loves so much it has already translated it into several other languages.
One of the big problems of many content sites from smaller companies is that the brands often don’t tend to think too much about the look of their site. The stories are often accompanied by stock lifestyle images which have been used many times before.
Headspace, a company with an app that uses technology to encourage mindfulness, has shown with its Orange Dot website that there is another way.
Rather than use standard images the company has commissioned some striking colourful illustrations to partner its content. A subject that in some ways can be perceived as being a little heavy and intense is therefore lightened up and is much more accessible. The content itself is informative and not too pushy either. Many brands would do well to take note of Headspace’s subtle approach