Everyone these days is plagued with content fatigue — with more than 1.8 billion websites on the internet and more than 70 million blog posts posted every month on WordPress alone, you can imagine the sheer amount of content that is going out on the web. Everyone from your high school nemesis to the bad laundromat on the corner is now an expert or media outlet. With this influx of online content, there are more opportunities than ever for brands and companies to publish their own content and communicate directly with customers. When a brand creates their own blog or content resource center, this can be an extremely powerful vehicle for connecting with an audience and many brands are jumping on that bandwagon. But how do you do this right?
Brand content worth imitating
Some brands have hit their content strategy out-of-the-park, others aren’t quite there yet. Below is our list of high-quality examples of brand journalism and publications from well-known companies around the world. We like to reference these examples in our content strategies for clients and borrow parallel strategies that might work for First Page clients. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and below are the "big brand" content centers that we think are worth imitating.
Adobe’s CMO fills you in on marketing insights, expertise and inspiration by leaders in the industry. The publication is aimed at helping CMOs and marketing leaders create successful brands in a digital world. There is a whole slew of content, from features to interviews and opinions, videos and more.
GE is a great example of a brand that’s really investing in brand journalism. GE produces the GE Report, a beautifully designed website with impactful imagery and dedicated content around viewpoints on important issues regarding GE and the world. Some topics include sustainability, innovation, energy, and healthcare. With GE being a known driver and expert in any of these industry’s, this type of publication continues to build their credibility as a brand.
Reebok’s Blog is a big part of their “relaunching” efforts. The brand was most popular in the ‘80s, then losing steam, only to relaunch efforts through a niche market - Crossfit. Their blog is a great example of esteemed journalism, including articles around running, style (see NFLer Devonta Freeman’s interview), CrossFit, music, tech and more. Articles are inclusive of sleek imagery and digestible videos.
The Coca-Cola Journey is a dynamic digital magazine and owned media channel that focuses on universally important topics, social causes and news about the company. The publication is designed to inspire, educate and provoke action. It includes compelling photography, video, audio, articles, and user-generated content. The interesting thing is that it’s actually their company website.
Longitudes: Delivered by UPS is a comprehensive and interactive forum full of blogs, videos, podcasts around trends reshaping the global economy, such as trade, transportation, e-commerce, big data and more.
Patagonia’s blog, ‘The Cleanest Line’ pushes out content that encourages dialogue about environmental issues, their products, and sporting activities. Their goal is to inspire people to make the world a better place by educating them on topics like sustainability and creating awareness of endangered animals. These topics are valued by the company and its target audience, too.
Cisco’s My Networked Life is a series of videos showcasing how professionals all over the world are using technology. It includes a series of blogs providing helpful tips and information to readers. It may not be the most eye-pleasing website, but the content is unique and relevant with a personalized feel.
IQ by Intel is a tech culture magazine featuring well-known and up-and-coming innovators, makers and experts inside Intel and within the industry. It’s filled with bold imagery and headlines and is organized using graphic “tiles” of content that resemble a Flipboard interface. Content features a variety of content ranging from healthcare to education to tech innovation.
American Express’ Open Forum allows entrepreneurs to stay current with the latest business news and information, with content coming from thought-leaders and business types on managing money, getting customers, building your team and more. You have the ability to select the content you’d like to receive, making it all the more valuable.
Barneys: The Window is an editorial website and app. It’s an all-encompassing fashion platform targeted at a high-end audience. It features Q&As with designers, how-to videos behind-the-scenes looks and content related to the latest fashion, beauty, entertaining and home decor. The photography is fashion-forward, dramatic and inspirational, creating an experience the target audience expects.
Brand journalism is about great storytelling
Brand journalism offers value, assistance and sometimes a new perspective. Most of all though, it offers an opportunity for connection between the consumer and the brand that’s deeper than just purchasing the product or service. From a marketing perspective, great brand journalism subtly persuades a consumer to consider becoming a customer without the customer feeling like they are being forced to buy something or invest in something they don’t want. As these companies build relationships with their readers through this type of content, they gain the respect and trust in their industry, influencing future sales.