The content marketing craze has hit the online marketing community full force. The internet is saturated with ultimate guides and top ten lists that insist its information is more relevant, engaging and brilliant than the rest. Muddled with targeted keywords and optimized to the teeth, these pieces of content have taken over the digital world. We seem to be stuck on a merry-go-round of content creation where the only thing that matters is quantity, not quality, and you have the overwhelming urge to vomit after every piece you read. However, we may have hope at getting off the ride. Some businesses are slowly but surely refusing to follow the status quo in regards to content marketing. The following few trailblazers have created their own blueprint for content and have come to see the value beyond the buzzword.
News broke a few weeks ago about Basecamp’s, a project management software company, launch of their new online magazine The Distance. This labor of long-form is dedicated to long-term, privately owned businesses everywhere – more specifically, companies that have been in business for 25 years or longer. This project has content marketing masters across the industry scratching their heads at the motives behind the magazine. They all seem to be shouting, “What about ROI?” from behind their double monitors. And while the project will be subsidized completely from the rest of Basecamp’s business, it seems that CEO Jason Fried can see long-term benefits from championing these companies through The Distance.
As nonprofits often do, Falling Whistles knows how to craft a compelling story. It’s vitally important for nonprofits to stir emotional reactions from their audience. The economic structure of the company depends on creating connections. Obviously, Falling Whistles has crafted and successfully promoted their story and vision for the Democratic Republic of Congo. What’s poignant about their story, aside from the harrowing tales of war and child soldiers in the Congo, is the company was created after one piece of long-form content changed the lives of the 80 or so people that read it. And thus, a story told and a company born.
Falling Whistles took their awareness for the power of a story and turned it into something you wouldn’t believe: a quarterly print magazine that costs $25 a pop. In our rapid-paced, tech-driven society, a nonprofit released a print magazine during a time where powerhouses like the New York Times and Time Inc. are downsizing. This serves as further proof that the story, in its truest form, means more than the ROI.
If you’ve read my previous post, you know how I feel about this brand. As far as I’m concerned, a company that can make guacamole taste that good can do nothing wrong. Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought Author Series further proves that this brand is doing everything right. How could a fast-food company benefit from gathering a group of award-winning authors, celebrities and though-leaders to produce original two-minute reads to be published on the side of a paper cup or bag? The answer is simple: Chipotle cares about content.
This series promotes writers that are dedicated to sparking an original thought, a moment’s pause, a conversation with a stranger, or a burst of laughter through a simple essay printed on a soda cup.
The Internet is Flooded with “Takeaways”
In interest of following the traditional blueprint for online content, I’ll include a takeaway for this post: very simply, be better. Give your readers a punch in the gut, a tear in their eyes or a laugh in their throats. Make them feel something. Nothing everlasting or especially meaningful, just something true.Google+