How Major Brands Use Content Marketing

Recently Forbes featured an article highlighting how five major brands are successfully utilizing content marketing. Many businesses and organizations are shifting their focus to this powerful tool as 2013 approaches and understanding how major players are using content marketing can help you form a strategy moving forward.

Content marketing is about building an audience and growing brand affinity.

Forbes touched on Virgin Mobile, American Express, Marriot, L’Oreal and Vanguard in its piece; the first three are my favorite examples of how you can create content specific to your industry that drives consumer engagement.

Marriott created RenHotels.com to boost their lifestyle brand Renaissance Hotels.

RenHotels.com is not just a website but a discovery site. There are two distinct platforms that users can interact with while visiting RenHotels.com: the Navigators platform is used to discover the city outside of the hotel from entertainment and dining to exploration and local city history and the RLifeLive program informs hotel patrons about the latest music, films, art, food and drink that can be found within each hotel’s grounds.

Marriott is a global brand, but according to Dan Vinh, VP of global marketing, they have limited awareness and must find ways to be relevant, “Content is critical for us because it’s the currency that drives our relevance,” he says. Marriott has 155 Renaissance Hotels throughout the world and has curated more than 6,000 local discoveries for people to find on RenHotels.com. They have also reported record traffic to their website and their Facebook page has received more than 275,000 likes.

Virgin Mobile created Virgin Mobile Live, a social newsroom that publishes content featuring the latest in music, apps and entertainment news.

Virgin Mobile’s content marketing strategy relies heavily on social media — they share everything from their Virgin Mobile Live platform on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed and Instagram. Over the past year it has seen tremendous success, garnering one million unique views per month. Ron Faris, head of brand marketing, says through these efforts they want to expand the size of their social reach but it’s also about, “deepening the level of engagement.” Content is what brings consumers back and at the same time it drives new users to the Virgin Mobile Live platform.

American Express ventured into the content marketing realm when they launched American Express Unstaged.

This platform allows consumers to stream live concerts and get exclusive videos before and after the event, all filmed by well-known directors worldwide. In 2011 American Express Unstaged streamed a live Coldplay concert and it continues to be the largest, single-artist event on YouTube. One of the most important aspects of American Express’ content marketing strategy is their overall goal:  to create, “memorable experiences” for their unique visitors and card members, according to Walter Frye, director of Entertainment Marketing and Sponsorships.

Content marketing can be implemented in a number of ways, with the ultimate goals being to engage an audience, expand reach, grow brand affinity and drive sales. These major corporations have created and executed successful content marketing strategies that have delivered results across the board. Brandpoint helps facilitate your content marketing strategy by producing informational, engaging and essential content for current and potential customers.

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