Content Marketing: Brands Are Offering More Value Than Just Advertising

Coca-Cola recently made public an initiative to kill the press release. One of their marketing executives want to turn press releases into branded content that lives on the Coca-Cola website instead. This is an interesting move, but not one that is surprising. We are entering an era where people consume a huge amount of information digitally: online, mobile phone or tablet. When you visit the Coca-Cola’s website that houses its branded content, which is an example of what many in the industry calls as “brand journalism,” you will see a smattering of content in the form of videos, articles, blurbs, links, and interactive site elements. Some of these pieces may initially look like material that has little relevance to Coke brands (ie. holiday recipes? This is not Betty Crocker..), but every single thing on that site has a Coke angle, how ever indirect (holiday recipes mean drink pairings with Coke brands!).

Coca-Cola’s announcement was picked up by various sites, from industry trade rags to blogs, and it seems like an innovative move, but I argue that it is inevitable. This move not only positions the company as one that acknowledges and embraces a new reality, and thus compels the industry to see the company as modern, innovative and “in” with the times, but it also encourages its consumers and fans to see it as a transparent company that is generous to share interesting content. The more people interact and consume with the pieces on the website, the more they engage with Coke brands which hopefully influences their decision to buy more Coke drinks.

Other great examples of content marketing:

HSBC Global Connections – A digital magazine-like portal featuring promising businesses, nascent trends across industries with a focus on growing economies.

Starbucks Portal – They share interesting videos, posts, and articles about the community around Starbucks– from its baristas to its customers– and the mood is always fun and inspiring, which makes you want to share content with your friends.

Kraft Recipes – Of course, lest I forget, Kraft Foods has a portal dedicated to creating recipes using its products.

Pantene’s Beauty Library – a collection of videos meant to serve as an antidote to those pesky, bad hair days.

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