A recent Harvard Business Review article has been making the rounds in the marketing and communications circles, “Content Is Crap, and Other Rules for Marketers” by Greg Satell.   We’ve all heard that content is king, so declaring that content is crap is a pretty strong statement to make. The point isn’t that content doesn’t matter. The point is you should want more than some flash-in-the-pan content—you should want a relationship with the consumer. The article explains, “Today, marketers need to build an ongoing relationship with consumers and that means holding attention, not just grabbing it.  To get people to subscribe to a blog, YouTube channel, or social media feed, you need to offer more than a catchy slogan or a clever stunt. You need to offer real value, and offer it consistently.”

We like this idea. We see this as relationship building, and relationships are what drives engagement and results for businesses and organizations.

Thinking about this relationship-building and engagement-driven content, I wanted to highlight some organizations on our radar. These are just a few examples that have caught—and kept—our attention by keying in on the human experience.

General Electric – GE has been pumping out quality content since before Ronald Reagan was in politics. They are constantly innovating, and I, personally, am consistently impressed with its marketing efforts beyond the customary Facebook and Twitter channels. I have to admit I follow GE on Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat and even LinkedIn and Tumblr. It’s all different content, and it’s all done exceptionally well.

GE has come a long way since the days of General Electric Theater. If your team needs some inspiration in the digital space, check out how GE is and engaging the younger generations through #EmojiScience.

  • Bonus: GE Health is also creatively promoting their new Automated Breast Ultrasound technology by explaining breast density with emoji. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty G-rated.)

GE - Breast Density Explained with Emoji

 

Southwest Airlines – You’d be hard-pressed to find a value airline that has more LUV for its customers than Southwest. Enter its new trademark: Transfarency, Southwest Airlines’ philosophy that means “low fares actually stay low — no unexpected bag fees, change fees or hidden fees.”Southwest Periscope Teaser with Rangers

So our bags fly for free, and the in-flight hot chocolate always hits the spot. We’re on board, but what’s really caught our eye with Southwest lately is its Periscope channel. While most big brands have jumped on the Periscope band wagon, Southwest has definitely set itself apart from the noise. Building anticipation through Twitter, Southwest shows us different sneak peeks inside the company that aren’t stuffy or scripted, and the company engages with its viewers by listening and responding to comments. Viewers get an inside look at operations, company events and employee life, and back in August, Southwest put the Texas Rangers to work for a day! Southwest is definitely one to watch.

REI – This company is truly all about relationships. REI is a co-op and values its members heavily. They offer special events, discounted rates for its Outdoor School and a great return policy for members—not to mention the year-end rebate. REI promotes clean, crisp and wanderlust-evoking images and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that make you want to quit your day job…

REI_OptOutside If you haven’t heard yet, REI plans to #OptOutside on Black Friday and is closing all 143 of its stores for the day. This bold move, which includes delaying any online sales that day and paying its employees to enjoy the day outside, aligns with the company’s core values. While social is still reeling from this news, we’ve also noticed a coordinated effort for holiday shopping encouraging “no inside gifts.” People seem to like the idea to #OptOutside on Black Friday, and admittedly, it’s probably going to create much more consumer-created content for them. Overall, well-played.

With everything floating out on the internet, we’re impressed by what these brands are doing to grab our attention and keep us engaged. We’re on the lookout for what’s next, what works and what doesn’t, and we’re interested to hear what you think, too. What’s on your radar? Comment below and fill us in!

(Photo Credits: General Electric, Southwest Airlines and REI)

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