One of the funnest parts of the job in content marketing is coming up with new and innovative content ideas for our clients (and our own company)! We love thinking of ways to help brands showcase their expertise and build industry influence through content.
At Influence & Co., we honestly think about content so much that we even spend our free time thinking of ways that other businesses can create and leverage content their audiences will love. So we asked our team: If you could create a content strategy for any company, what would you do?
Here’s what we decided:
PatagoniaLauren Tellman, Final Editor
“A section of Patagonia’s site — “The New Localism” — has information on global causes the company cares about and allows people to ‘Take Action,’” Lauren said. “This does a great job of connecting with Patagonia’s customers’ desire to make the world a better place.”
It sounds like Patagonia already ties its brand to messages its customers care about, plus it has a fantastic Instagram presence. So what would Lauren do if she were in charge?
“I would add a blog to Patagonia’s site. It would be a great way to provide more information on global causes the brand cares about, tell readers how they could make a difference, provide adventure ideas and advice, have an interactive post that puts together the perfect combination of gear depending on readers’ answers to a series of questions about the adventure they’re taking, how-to’s about outdoor adventures, Patagonia’s audience’s favorite adventure locales (which could be submitted by Patagonia’s customers themselves via Instagram, email, or blog comments).
“I would also recommend creating guest-contributed content for external websites to further bring awareness to causes Patagonia cares about and encourage people to make a difference in the world.”
THINXKelsey Meyer, President
“THINX (the company that sells period-proof underwear) presents an opportunity to be a platform about women’s health, body positivity, feminism, and more,” Kelsey said. “Its current blog content seems partly in line with that kind of strategy and partly scattershot. Right now, the blog includes pop culture and political topics that seem only tangentially related to the brand.”
THINX has the opportunity and a basic framework to create and share content that empowers women and people with periods. How does Kelsey suggest they take advantage of it?
“I would focus the blog strategy on more educational content that pertains to the brand’s mission. I’d suggest its strategy expand to include to off-site content on publications that fit its target audience, like maybe Refinery29 or even Buzzfeed.”
SpotifyBob Overmann, Editor
“Spotify is hugely innovative in the music streaming market,” Bob said. “Its ‘Discover Weekly’ feature uses a combination of human curation and technology to suggest new music with uncanny accuracy. Spotify is also solving the problem of multiple users per profile in an interesting way. It’s a cool, fast-growing company, and I think content could help it grow even faster.”
Spotify currently has a blog that includes a mix of contributors, and its content ranges from short-form to long-form. So how would Bob change it up?
“I’d include more thought leadership content. Unfortunately, Spotify’s blog content doesn’t really show much personality or give many opinions beyond those that directly benefit or promote Spotify. I’d like to see Spotify discuss how broad, inexpensive access to streaming media can decrease media piracy. I’m a believer that people steal media not because they don’t want to pay for it, but because it’s the most convenient way to access that content. Spotify has done a great job of making a huge variety of music accessible to its audience.”
ProposifyCherish Grimm, Vice President
“I love Proposify because it makes creating proposals that match your services and your design so fast and easy,” Cherish said. “Creating proposals is a task that a lot of teams don’t have the capacity to do, but it’s something everyone needs. The company has a blog with regularly published content, and I think they can do more.”
Proposify is sales proposal software, and its blog offers content that complements aspects of sales, lead gen, and its software. How would Cherish recommend it enhance its approach to content?
“Because Proposify’s software is specialized for sales, including more sales-related content could be valuable to its audience and customers. I’d like to see Proposify create content about the key parts of the sales process, common places people and sales teams fall short, and the ways it suggests teams overcome those sales challenges.”
Nerd FitnessMatt Langenhop, Editor
“Steve Kamb and his team are inspiring, hilarious, and have helped me transform my life so much already,” Matt said. “I want to help more people discover this resource and benefit from the Nerd Fitness Rebellion like I did!”
Nerd Fitness is already publishing some great content on its blog. In fact, the entire business actually started as a blog. Its founder, Steve, published really interesting content that connects struggles in fitness to pop culture topics, like movies, video games, and more. It also has an email newsletter and even a book. What does Matt suggest Nerd Fitness do next?
“There are so many things that the Nerd Fitness team is getting right. But unless you stumble onto the blog or come across a friend who’s already on the NF train, you may not be aware of its existence. Steve’s content is so fun and engaging that he could get serious traction with guest-contributed content in other health and fitness publications. And with a vibrant blog to link back to for lead capture, he’d be likely to have quick and explosive success.”
Southwest AirlinesTaylor Oster, Director of Marketing
That’s right: I had so much fun with this activity that I decided to share my own ideas for a company that I think could do a lot of awesome stuff with content.
One of my favorite parts about flying with Southwest Airlines (OK, beyond the smiling flight attendants, free checked bags, and delicious pretzels) is reading Southwest Magazine. Every time I’m on the plane, I look forward to checking out the newest issue. I know, I know: I’m totally a content girl through and through.
Southwest’s content appeals to the variety of people flying with it each day. It publishes a mix of lifestyle pieces, fun games and activities, travel spotlights, and even some information about the company and its culture.
I especially love the pieces that give readers a peek into the management and leadership style at the company. I remember reading an article once about how the leadership team worked with employees to redesign their uniforms. Learning about how Southwest works with its company to make the workplace one where employees love to work really made me happier about flying Southwest.
If I took on the brand’s content strategy, I’d suggest going digital. I know that print is really the best way to connect with its audience in the air, but Southwest could look into adding some video content to their in-flight streaming services. What if it created an original entertainment series à la Netflix?
I’d also encourage its leadership team to write about their innovation and culture in online publications. I can see the same story I mentioned earlier really shining in an online publication like Inc. or Entrepreneur.
Are there any content ideas that you’d love to see your favorite brand publish? Share your ideas in the comments below!