Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Content Marketing Lessons from Extreme Sports

It’s said that John Deere is the original content marketer. If that’s true the content marketing concept has been around since 1895. Since that time a lot has change, print is just about dead, and the focus of content marketing is mostly online, with video being a huge driver.  If John Deere started it, who is the current king of content marketing, over 100 years later? What lessons can be learned from today's kings of content marketing? 

I would argue that the brands aligned with the Action Sports Industry have risen to the top. GoPro is lucky enough to have a product that makes every users a content marketer for them. However, If I had to pick one brand, I would argue Red Bull is the best at content marketing. This is a beverage company that is so dedicated to the concept they have a top notch media company in house.

B2B technology is often times boring, so I wanted to dive into the B2C world and pull some good examples of content marketing, and some lessons learned from those leaders. In my opinion some of these brands are leading the content marketing revolution right now.

Lesson 1 - Be original (Video is from "Deeper") – In this film Jeremy Jones brings snowboarding to a new level. By going where no one had ever been before, he was able to get completely original footage. His footage also combined multiple outdoor disciplines (backpacking and mountaineering) which are something many traditional snowboarding/ski films were not doing when this first came out.

Bring it back to B2B – Bring a new perspective to the problems our buyers are facing. You don’t necessarily need to have groundbreaking new technology, but if you come at it from an original perspective your content will rise to the top.

Lesson 2 - Tell a story (Video is from "Strength in Numbers") - In this trailer to a RedBull film they tell a story of mountain biking and what it means to different people.

Bring it back to B2Bstory telling is important – Although labeled Business to Business, it’s still about building relationships and connecting with buyers. The best way to do that is to tell a story. This will also help to humanize your brand so you can make personal and deep connection.

Lesson 3 - Don’t be salesy or product pitchy (Video is "our own way") – One thing you will notice about most of these videos is aside from flashing a brand name at the start of the videos none of them push the products. They focus 100% on making content of value.
Bring it back to B2B – although these videos are mostly for entertainment, they are supported by various brands. When making B2B content keep the content focused on user’s problem, this will capture attention and engagement. Limit the brand and product pitches to maximize impact.

Lesson 4 - Keep it fun (Video is "Riding Giants") – This video is all about the surf lifestyle. Yes there is a story to tell, but they make it fun while telling that story.

Bring it back to B2B – okay so maybe B2B isn’t as fun as surfing, but it doesn’t mean we can’t keep the content we make interesting. We need to humanize our brands and fun content is a great way to do that.

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