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5 Brands With The Most Creative Content Marketing
By: Maryann Fabian
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According to Adobe, 2013 is “The Year of Content.” Need further proof that everyone’s doing it? Just this morning, the 225-year-old New York Stock Exchange jumped on the trend, thanks to a little help from Time Inc. Content Solutions. The result is The Big Stage, a beautiful site that features videos, Q&As, and profiles. According to CMO Marissa Ricciardi, it’s their “first entree into brand journalism.” She added, “It helps us engage in conversations with our audience and not just market to them. I think marketing is best served when it doesn’t feel like marketing.” And that, friends, is pretty much the definition.

With thanks to InboundWriter.com for the inspiration, here is a look at how five standout brands effectively use content marketing to engage with and attract more customers.

1. The fun one:Nuts about Southwest” is the airline’s humorous blog. Whether it’s a video of a “Live at 35(000 feet)” concert or impromptu flashmob, customers get a taste of the company’s brand values while also learning a bit about its sustainability efforts, employee stars, and maybe even the secret of Southwest’s success.

2. The artist: Anthropologie separates itself from the competition by using its blog as a platform to spotlight professional photographers, filmmakers, and writers. The Anthropologist is big on imagery.

3. The resource: Verizon’s app review blog, The Recapp, is a great example of how a brand can differentiate itself in a crowded market, position itself as the authority and add value by helping customers find new and exciting apps.

4. The employee brander: Whole Foods promotes a positive brand image and reinforces the experience it delivers through its blog, The Whole Story. According to the team at Inboundwriter.com, “smart brands are taking advantage of their internal spokespersons.” It cites a recent LinkedIn study that says “engaged employees are potentially a brand’s best asset...” Whole Foods is clearly promoting this: “We’re lucky to have a whole bunch of smart, passionate people doing incredible things...” it proudly states on the side of the blog.

5. The recipe for success: Kraft Foods. Kraft has been serving up branded content online since the early ‘90s. “The key in content marketing is in understanding what consumers really truly want/need and in providing it to them in the method, time and place of their choice,” Julie Fleischer, Director of Content Strategy & Integration, told Forbes last year. “You can’t only be good at one or the other — you have to nail both. The ROI on our content marketing work is among the highest of all our marketing efforts,” she added. About two-thirds of the recipes on kraftrecipes.com are user generated. “We’re thrilled that (consumers) share their best recipes with each other and they view our site as their own food community,” Fleischer said.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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