21 Jul 2015

13 Brands That Should Embrace Content Marketing

While not every brand has jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, we think they should. With consistency and determination, businesses large and small can increase their traffic, leads, and revenue through content marketing.. There are articles all over the place about companies that have really embraced content marketing – which is great. Examples are herehere, and here. But what about the ones that should be embracing it? You know the type: brands that you love and just wish they’d do a bit more to educate and engage you.

We decided to do an internal poll on this topic and asked the following questions to our crafty team here at Vertical Measures:

Think about all of the products, services, brands, companies, and organizations that you love. Which of them are not currently embracing content marketing but should be? Which would you want to learn from?

We received all kinds of responses. From global brands that you’ve heard of and some local ones that you likely haven’t. From niche companies to worthy causes. Below are some of our team’s responses. Let us know your thoughts on these and, of course, any other brands that come to mind.

See Kai Run – from Jaime Laats, Content Marketing Coordinator

Jaime LaatsSee Kai Run is a children’s “healthy footwear” company that makes everything from sandals to sneakers and promotes the development of small feet. While they are fairly active on social, I feel like they are missing a huge opportunity with not having a blog or any content about the health of children’s feet and why people should pay a premium for this. This is what sets their shoes apart from other brands. Their target audience is Moms and they could do a better job of creating a community feel and really educating and engaging with their customers. Think of all of the questions that Moms are asking.  See Kai Run should be answering them!

Where to find them:

See Kai Run

Dolce Salon & Spa – from Kaila Strong, Senior Director of SEO Services

Kaila StrongI’ve been aware of Dolce Salon and their social media efforts for quite a few years. It’s very impressive to see their growth on Facebook, the contests they run and the active community they have. I don’t know who does their social media marketing, but they are pretty awesome.

But get this… they have no blog. Nothing to speak of, from what I can see, for YouTube videos and other content. They also have a Pinterest page, but only four boards. Looks like they exclusively focus on Facebook for their efforts (68,000 strong!). I feel like they could be doing a lot more with content and driving people back to their blog and website to help them convert into making an appointment.

Where to find them

Target – from Ardala Evans, Content Marketing Strategist

Ardala EvansTarget spends a good amount on marketing, but could really use stronger content on their website. Their product pages are super thin and a blog would be awesome. They do well with content on social media but their website is lacking it.

Where to find them

North Pacific Yachts – from Arnie Kuenn, CEO

Arnie KuennNorth Pacific Yachts has engaged an agency for branding and they have done a good job with that. However, they do not seem to totally understand SEO or true content marketing. There is so much more that North Pacific Yachts can be doing to service its audience via outstanding content. Especially from their happy customers.

North Pacific Yachts is one of the premier trawler yacht manufacturers in the United States and possibly one of the top 10 in the world. What is a trawler yacht you ask? You won’t find that answer on their website. What are the benefits of the trawler style yacht? How should you outfit your trawler? How much does a trawler cost? How much does a North Pacific (NP) yacht cost?  What are the best anchorages on the west coast of the US?  What is the best way to move my boat from the west coast to the east coast? One engine or two? Where is the best place to get training to handle a trawler?

These are the types of questions being asked by prospective trawler owners.  Yet, not one of these questions (and hundreds more) are being answered by NP. If you conduct a Google search for “What are the benefits of the trawler style yacht?” you will find three of their competitors and several magazine publications listed on page one of the search results. Looking at those results, it looks like it would be easy for NP to rank highly if they were to answer that question on their website.

North Pacific has engaged with an agency to provide a decent looking website and that agency is also getting them some nice press coverage, but they are totally missing out on the single biggest opportunity to grow their business, and that is being found in the search results when people are in the mood to research trawlers, coastal cruising, living aboard a boat, and on and on.  NP does have a blog, but it only created eight posts in 2014, and only one post so far in 2015.  Unfortunately, even those posts are not doing them much good, because they are all about North Pacific. Instead the blog should be focused on helping prospective customers (and even the current customers) learn about trawlers and cruising in general.

The companies that are providing useful content and taking an educational approach are the one that are killing it online today.  After all, the fact is that when someone goes to by a trawler more than 89% of the time they will do the research via search engines… and they will conduct more than 70% of their research online before ever contacting a trawler manufacturer or broker.  The trawler and yachting industry is ripe for someone to take a commanding lead in the area of content marketing.  Why not you North Pacific?

Where to find them

Apple – from Drew Eastmead, Director of Content Marketing

Drew EastmeadApple could really create how-to guides for all the apps they create, including tips and tricks for their software and hardware. They are notorious for not creating content marketing because millions of visitors and countless sites/blogs do it for them. But navigating all those articles is challenging, and the support forums/boards on the Apple site are largely a wasteland.

I would appreciate authoritative, creative, and updated info coming directly from the source. And we know there are tons of very smart, creative people who work at Apple who could contribute — think of all the store workers alone, and all of their knowledge about their products.

Where to find them

Vita Coco – from Jenn Tanabe, Senior Project Manager

Jennifer TanabeCoconut water began popping up on shelves everywhere about four years ago. And more recently, coconut oil has become popular as well. Vita Coco, a bigger brand in the coconut water space, produces both of these products. Coconut water and coconut oil are known to have many health and beauty benefits, yet, Vita Coco doesn’t seem to produce content that educates people about these benefits.

I’d love to LEARN from the brand. It could be anything from a top 10 ways to use coconut oil article to a recipe for a healthier coconut water, fruit cocktail. It seems like it would be a lot of fun to develop this content marketing strategy!

Where to find them

Vita Coco

The Tie Bar – from Kayla Tarantino, Internet Marketing Specialist

Kayla TarantinoI’m often at a loss for what to get my dad, brother, grandfather, and uncles for holidays and special occasions. Ties always seem like a good go-to choice if I draw a blank and only have a week until Christmas. That happens way more often than I’d like to admit.

I shopped Tie Bar’s site around the holidays this year and didn’t really know where to start. I know nothing about tie sizes, types, or materials. The Tie Bar’s size guide was really lacking. It is just one image showing width of the ties without any real reference to how they look on an actual human being. I would have loved to see the sizes by height of individuals wearing them so I could better estimate whether the ties would fit my loved ones. I also had questions about what sizes, styles and patterns worked for what occasions and what materials were the most durable. But there were no answers to be found.

I needed more guidance to make my purchase than The Tie Bar provided me with. I actually went elsewhere to do my research before buying there. But how many people don’t bother coming back because they find answers elsewhere? Probably a lot.

The good news is that everyone loved the ties, so I either did some great guess work or they were lying to me!

Where to find them

Nalgene – from Noah Adelman, intern extraordinaire

Noah AdelmanI’d like to see Nalgene create some stronger content. There are plenty of talented athletes and adrenaline junkies out there that do things that look incredible on camera, and I’m sure that those people own at least one Nalgene. Nalgene should be communicating with those people, getting them involved with their brand. I mean, they do relatively interesting things online (photo contests, philanthropies, etc…), but it’s nothing new.

I’d like to see Nalgene sponsor some climbers, hikers, athletes,or do something interesting with their uber-strong plastic that brings people to their brand in the first place. They really need to inject some excitement into their brand image, because people that are into the heart-racing outdoor adventures are the ones that turned the Nalgene brand into what it is today.

All in all, I think that Nalgene is way too popular and interesting a product to just do the same sort of boring social media coverage that every other brand does. No more photos of smiling babies holding Nalgenes. Mom’s and babies aren’t the only ones buying them. Their social media should reflect all of the different types of people that buy and use their product.  At the moment I don’t believe it does (at least not as well as I would like it to).

Where to find them:

Top Golf – from Stephen Roda, Internet Marketing Strategist

Stephen RodaTop Golf does have a blog, but it seems to be a weak attempt at content marketing, if you can call it that. Their posts don’t match what I want to read about or the atmosphere at the ranges. Articles titled “Top 10 Favorite Moments at Top Golf” or “Family Style Cooking” don’t motivate me to head down and pay $45/hour to hit balls with friends.

Types of content that would motivate me are professionally edited videos of people having fun, infographics depicting the top pitfalls of a bad swing, and guides on how to improve your swing. The idea and business model behind Top Golf is amazing, but their content marketing leaves a lot to be desired. P.S. If they step up their content marketing game, there’s a good chance I’ll spend more money there. So on second thought, maybe they shouldn’t invest in content marketing, for the sake of my bank account.

Where to find them:

Top Golf

Spencer’s TV & Appliance – from Art Enke, Director of SEO Services

Art EnkeI love shopping at Spencer’s TV & Appliance. However, they have only sales/promo content and don’t answer any questions through their site. There is nothing that I can read about which I’m interested in: Why should I buy a front load washer instead of the top load; How do I set up my own home theatre; What is a throw ratio (projector distance calculation for planning a theatre); What’s the difference between LG and other brands like Samsung.

In contrast, Spencer’s has an extremely knowledgable staff that always knows so much more than any Best Buy kid I’ve spoken with. The gentlemen that my wife and I bought our washer and dryer from has been with the company 25 years. We were really impressed with how much he knew about the products, service center, emerging appliance trends and more. But none of that knowledge is present for Spencers online.  Imagine if they could take this gentleman’s knowledge and put it online to answer all of the questions that their prospects are asking.

There’s a great case study of a similar (but smaller) appliance retailer back East called Yale Appliance.  Like Spencers they have a knowledgeable and passionate team.  The difference is that Yale leverages that knowledge and passion online and Spencers doesn’t.

Where to find them:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale – from Sarah Geiger, Account Manager

Sarah GeigerSince I am a former employee of this wonderful organization, I wanted to point them out as they could greatly benefit from content marketing. They’ve redesigned the site over the years, but they need more content on their programs.  Things like case studies, testimonials, blogs/tips for parents would be so useful. The information they do have available seems like filler content and is not really customized for local searches based on their brand locations across Scottsdale.

They also have a great presence across social, but none of that content is tied back to their site. They should have a blog listing resources for parents and community coming together to foster our youth/tips/ emotional support, etc.  I’m sure resources are low, like so many non-profits, but they could leverage their amazing staff to help create the content.  I know firsthand how smart, passionate, and helpful they are so why not bottle that up and put it online!

Where to find them:

Lululemon – from Kat Robinson, Director of Strategic Planning

Kat RobinsonLululemon makes fantastic and beautiful fitness gear. They could definitely increase their audience reach and sales by focusing on creating high-end luxury lifestyle content around fitness and overall well-being. They have some content through their blog but it could be much more well-developed with a clearer focus.

Where to find them:

Tesla Motors – from Chris Bird, President

Chris Bird, President of Vertical MeauresTesla Motors and their CEO, Elon Musk, are disrupting the automotive industry (and electric industry, for that matter). Unfortunately, they are really missing an opportunity to educate people, not just on their amazing products, but on their mission. According to Elon Musk, their mission is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”

Also, because of their accompanying batteries (and Elon’s other company Solar City), they are turning the electrical industry upside down too. As it stands today, their website and social channels (which aren’t connected via their site) really only talk about product updates with the exception of highlighting Tesla owners from time to time. There is very little education on the broader topics of electric cars, sustainable energy, and what they see as the future of transportation. Consumers are asking questions like “how long does it take to charge an electric car?” and “how long will an electric car battery last?” and Tesla is no where to be found.

While some may argue that they are already the de facto leader in these areas, they can accelerate achieving their mission by proactively educating the masses. So many possibilities here.

Where to find them:

Content Marketing Works

A Content Marketing Process that Works

What should these brands do to get a leg up on the competition with content marketing? They should start with an 8 Step Process to transform their business. You can too! We’re giving away free digital copies of our latest book, Content Marketing Works. Download now!

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