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Unexpected Brands Creating Great Content

Okay, so your business might not be the most mainstream or trendy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of marketing using good web content.

Being ‘cool’ certainly isn’t a prerequisite to giving customers engaging articles, film, animation, graphics or photography. Businesses typically tagged as a ‘tough sell’ can, of course, use digital platforms to explore content and connect with their audiences. And it doesn’t matter what type of business you run – the potential to engage with people online seems limitless. In fact, it feels as if we’re only at the beginning of discovering what can be done in terms of content marketing. Plus, it’s often less expensive than traditional advertising and PR.

Businesses with great content

Here are samples of a few organisations using their web space to provide excellent content, giving their audience a reason to get involved with their brands.

Stationary is incredibly cool (yes, really)

Yes, it is. It says so on Ryman's blog.

Although probably not one of your bookmarked websites, the retailer has gone to town with its web content, offering stacks of advice and customer service on its blog. Its content team creates How-Tos, fact sheets and buying guides, helping to capture people researching stationary and office products on Google. Ryman also regularly punches out its content via social media, broadening its reach as far as possible.

Razor-sharp wit

With brands like Gillette making shaving all a bit macho, how can the people who make traditional razor blades grab customers’ attention? The answer: Dump the square jaws and stubble, and do comedy.

American brand, Dollar Shave Club, showed us how it’s done with its launch video, which sent the internet wild. Featuring CEO Michael Dubin, a bemused employee and a big bear (yep, that’s right), the funny film has its tongue firmly planted in its smoothly shaven cheek. Just hours after the video went live, the company’s site crashed and orders for its $1 razors came flooding in. By being original, bold and very entertaining, the brand generated digital awareness at breakneck speed.

The Digest

Do you know how to use a pipette in a life science laboratory? No? Well, luckily, I’ve found a blog that gives you tips on handling liquids in a lab.

Artel, a specialist in this niche, may not immediately strike you as a content-friendly brand, but the company has taken its expertise to inspire The Digest – its blog.

With contributions from experts, feature articles, regulatory updates and technical advice, the content is high quality and easy to read.

Perfect for busy lab workers who may not have day-long access to the internet, and who need to digest (sorry – couldn’t resist) information quickly. Along with downloadable case studies, The Digest is a one-stop-shop for Artel’s target audience – not just a section on its corporate website.

Content from customers

Makino – a machinery manufacturer – might not seem likely to have a busy content factory, but its website offers a vast amount of white papers available for site visitors to download for free. Makino also shares video contributed by customers on Facebook, who film its machinery in action. User-generated content is great for Makino’s brand reassurance message, and brilliant for building two-way customer relationships.

Video showcase

Covidien provides surgical medical technology and offers its online community a whole bank of films on its online video channel. The library includes product demonstrations, interview-style case studies with surgeons, career advice and animated surgical procedures.

The broad range of topics isn’t only aimed at Covidien’s customers (surgeons), but also at the wider medical community, reinforcing one of its corporate aims of “building healthy communities”.

Personal stories

Charities are old hands at communicating challenging issues through personal stories. It’s an effective tool in fundraising and educating, and for supporting the people they help.

Mental health charity, SANE, hands over its blog to online users, so they can share their own stories. Between 50 and 60 blog posts are shared each month, creating an uninterrupted flow of personal but informative content.

“Our user-generated blogs provide our supporters with the opportunity to share their feelings, emotions and experiences in a safe and welcoming online environment,” explains Paul Flitcroft, SANE’s director of fundraising and marketing.

“Discussions and support generated by stories from the heart of a thriving mental health community have helped thousands of people feel less isolated, and empowered to share their experiences. In turn, this helps us achieve our aim of raising awareness and challenging mental health stigma.

“The stories I receive daily help us maintain a vibrant and interactive online presence – in particular on social media – enabling us to reach out to new supporters and engage with them further about our services, campaigning and fundraising activities.”

And finally…

Take advantage of the internet, and you’re more likely to deliver a high-level customer experience whilst bringing together and engaging your community.

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