Content marketing:
The well-formed, the weird,
and the wonderful

Content marketing is a powerful tool for creating and building an audience for your brand. Great content can drive customer engagement, brand visibility, and search engine results, making it a key driver when it comes to building a bigger relationship with consumers. We’re taking a look at a few examples of content marketing to see where it can take brands – and how it can bring real results.

Here are some of our favourite examples of content marketing, starting with the well-thought-out, right through to the weird and the wonderful…

The well-thought-out:
Airbnb’s Neighbourhoods

Airbnb is well known for rewriting the rulebook on short-term holiday rentals. It operates as a peer-to-peer letting service, where customers deal directly with local owners to find their perfect place to stay, whether it’s an apartment, a spare room, or any other sort of available space. It not only connects travellers with friendly places to stay, but also helps locals make a bit of extra income from their spare room; a win all round.

Airbnb’s content marketing tool ‘Airbnb Neighbourhoods’ taps into all the strengths of its established service. The brand now produces dedicated city guides to give users an insider’s look at their chosen destination. The guides break down each city into individual neighbourhoods, be it ‘artsy’, ‘peaceful,’ ‘touristy,’ ‘trendy’… or any of the other tailored labels used for each destination. Not only is it handy and easy to understand, but it’s a lovely tool to use; it’s promoted on the homepage, and is laid out clearly with some eye-catching photography of each destination.

This is a smart move towards city guides. Not only are are they useful for customers during the booking process, but the guides also extend the consumer relationship with Airbnb. Customers can find detailed information on their destination right at their fingertips, extending their visit time on the site – they’d otherwise be heading to Tripadvisor or any number of other travel advice platforms. And what’s more, they can keep returning after they’ve booked to find out more about their city destination.

Airbnb Neighbourhoods builds the brand’s relationship with its customers beyond its initial use as a booking platform. The guides are not only useful, but integrate the site into all stages of the booking process.

For the brand, users are on their website for longer, are more likely to visit again, and guides can be referenced multiple times – resulting in a definite boost to engagement. So, not only is Airbnb an ecommerce site and community marketplace, it’s also a content provider – a well-formed content marketing strategy if ever we saw one.

The weird:
Charmin’s Sit or Squat app

And now for a weird one. Loo roll is a bit of a necessity, but how do you create a content marketing strategy for it? Charmin are giving it a go with their ‘Sit or Squat’ app to help you find the best public restrooms when you’re out and about.

By using their mobile app, you can find the best public loos nearby to save you when you’re desperate. Reviews by other users and their useful star ratings help you to locate the nearest and best public restrooms. Download the app, and then vote for the best with a ‘sit’ and flag up the worst with a ‘squat’ – and then see them plotted on the map to help out anyone else who might need to go.

Soon after launch the app had logged more than 50,000 public toilets across 10 countries, and the number is still rising today. It’s a useful app – but probably one you didn’t realise you needed. It’s also the first time a toilet paper brand has released a mobile app of this type, and is perhaps one of the more inventive ways such a brand can build a relationship with their customers… what else could a loo roll brand do? It’s definitely a tough job which needs some imaginative content marketing behind it. A good effort by Charmin – but still, it’s just a bit weird.

The wonderful:

British Airways and #lookup

You may well have heard of this one, and it’s a really great example of how content marketing can create a big buzz around a brand. The #lookup campaign from British Airways featured plane-detecting billboards which tracked each BA flight as it passed overhead – and showed a child animating and pointing to the sky, timed exactly as the flight flew above it. This is not only imaginative, but also one nearly guaranteed to go viral and really spark people’s interest.

What was essentially an offline campaign created huge buzz online through the hashtag #lookup and the accompanying social shares. The technology and innovative packaging of the campaign engaged its target audience, and #lookup drove the social conversation online. The campaign tapped into our childlike fascination with planes and their exotic destinations, as well as using some impressive technology to ensure the billboards were timed to perfection with each flight – a source of fascination in itself. This was a campaign that was aimed at being shareable, especially when it employed high-profile billboards in busy locations such as London’s Piccadilly Circus.

The technology costs may mean it’s one for only the biggest of budgets – but the impact of the campaign show if you can make the investment, it’s well worth it. A wonderful example of content marketing.

And one of our own:

Park Resorts’ Memory Map

This summer we’ve put together our very own content marketing campaign for Park Resorts – the Memory Map tool. This has helped to boost their brand’s presence across social media channels all while creating interesting and valuable content worthy of sharing.

The Memory Map tool lets holidaymakers share a short video or photo of their ‘amazing memory’ of a Park Resorts break. This also goes one step further by plotting it on a map to show where exactly their memory was created. Not only does this mean more shares for Park Resorts on social media, but it also creates great content which people are interested in. It’s there for inspiration, showing real people having real fun at all sorts of Park Resorts locations across the UK. As online word of mouth and reviews continue to grow in importance, this sort of conversation on social media is a valuable asset for any brand. Seeing this across social media is one important way to drive more customers to book their Park Resorts holiday – or even make a return visit.

We’ve helped Park Resorts create a lovely tool that not only gives customers a great way to remember their holiday, but also share their content with friends and family, getting the Park Resorts name out there. And not only that, it’s fun – we’re even getting spooky with a bit of a Halloween twist so keep an eye out!

So there you have it. Brands of all shapes and sizes can put imaginative content marketing to good use, and with the potential impact of social media the opportunity is there to amplify your brand online through a well-thought campaign. You can use content marketing to boost customer engagement and search engine results organically through valuable content, making it a great way to build trust in your brand and product while connecting you closely to consumers.

What’s going to be the next big thing in content marketing? We’re definitely keeping an eye out.