The best content marketing brands are killing it when it comes to innovative storytelling, smart technology integrations and a real commitment to creating engaging, high-quality content consistently. To be successful, many have invested in full-fledged content destinations or content hubs.
The beautiful thing about content hubs is that they give brands a channel to produce the content that fuels their content marketing strategies. But one of the most strategic decisions that goes into building a content hub is how branded the destination will be, or how recognizable the brand is when viewers visit the hub.
For example, the Whole Foods Market brand is front and center when you visit its hub Whole Story, clearly stating Whole Story is “The Official Whole Foods Market Blog” and giving the hub a Whole Foods Market branded URL. Adobe has taken a different approach with CMO.com by using the hub to build an editorial brand. The content and site infrastructure resemble an online publication with a newsy editorial strategy and layout, and you wouldn’t initially assume the site was run and managed by the technology company.
These types of non-branded content hubs are delightful because they deliver useful and engaging content, and they also imply the brand’s strong commitment to building a relationship with an audience without pushing their products front and center.
If you’re building out your strategy for a content marketing hub and think a non-branded hub is the right direction for your business, here are five more examples of awesome content hubs you didn’t know were run by your favorite brands.
As one of the world’s largest brands, Unilever uses content marketing hubs to deliver high-quality editorial and design to engage fans, followers and subscribers for multiple consumer brands. One of our non-branded favorites All Things Hair is the content hub of all content hubs when it comes to finding anything related to hairstyles and hair care. The site only subtly suggests Unilever products as tools to achieve some of the desired hairstyles featured.
Getting old isn’t fun for anyone, but Pfizer celebrates aging and all the joys that come with it on its content hub Get Old. Since 2012, the brand has published around 1,000 pieces of content on a variety of topics including health, family, travel, love, aging and careers. The content is both informational and inspirational about living an active and long life, along with content about the issues that come with aging. Get Old operates as a standalone content hub and has amassed a significant following outside of the Pfizer brand on Facebook and Twitter.
Nestlé is a leading brand for all things sweet and shares more than 2,000 recipes for the creative baker on its hub Very Best Baking. Viewers can explore recipes by category, occasion and skill level and also easily access nutritional information and recipe reviews. But the content hub really stands out from other recipe-driven sites because of its user-friendliness and approach to personalization. The site serves up recipes based on user characteristics, making the content personalized and relevant to the viewer.
While Pfizer addresses the pain points and joys of getting older, MassMutual’s Society of Grownups addresses the coming-of-age milestones of another generation—millennials. This independently operated content hub provides content related to adulthood. Topics range from budgeting and retirement planning to how to shop for your partner for Valentine’s day. You may wonder why a mutual life insurance company is creating content like this. The answer is simple—to delight a growing audience of millennials who will be on the hunt for life insurance one day. When that time comes, MassMutual will hopefully be one of the first brands that comes to mind.
When you’re a lesser-known technology company, great content can do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to building awareness and consideration for your products. AutoDesk recognized this and quickly became a leading content marketing brand in 2013 with its blog Redshift, publishing content on high-tech topics such as robotics, 3D printing and manufacturing innovations. The hub’s focus on “the future of making things” lends itself well to attract multiple audiences of technology enthusiasts. And to ensure the right topics get in front of those viewers, the brand uses personalization technology to serve up articles based on viewers’ content preferences and user behavior.
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