We always say at Rhubarb Fool that the key to successful content marketing is treating that content the way you would mainstream media, ensuring that you produce a quality product that only stands out for the right reasons.
For example, when we’re putting together a visitor magazine for a well-known UK shopping village, we approach it the same way we would if we were suddenly handed the reins at Vogue.
Despite the project’s overarching commercial characteristics, we still maintain editorial and creative integrity, which results in a high quality end product. It’s the only way to truly achieve the marketing objective: enticing visitors to spend time there, and enhancing the brand’s overall international reputation.
The same must be true of all marketing content, whether it’s fashion magazines, a professional newsletter, or VIP tourist information. Deliver quality content, and you’re far more likely to achieve your aims.
All marketing and content marketing studies come down to the same thing: people are unimpressed by sub-par content, and are only likely to engage with and share the quality stuff that interests them.
It stands to reason – if your first reaction to a piece of branded content is ‘Ugh’ or ‘That’s shoddy’, then you are unlikely to consider that brand worthy of your notice in the future.
One of our favourite content marketing success stories – albeit on a grand and international scale – is the runaway success of new fashion magazine Buy Porter. It is in some ways a companion magazine to the hugely popular designer shopping site net-a-porter.com, but its true beauty lies in the fact that it stands alone as a brilliant publication.
With an inaugural edition that featured none other than top supermodel Gisele Bundchen on the cover, Porter immediately emerged as a serious competitor to the classic fashion magazines Vogue and Elle Order . Subsequent photo shoots and interviews featuring fashion royalty like Lara Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Karlie Kloss, Penelope Cruz and runway favourite Malaika Firth made it clear that this was no flash in the style pan. Pretty impressive, considering that it was only released in February of this year.
But the magazine is more than just gloss: opening it up you’ll find not only the myriad high-fashion shoots that you’d expect, but insightful articles (covering everything from the prospect of a female president of the United States to a fascinating profile of itinerant photographer Giorgia Fiorio), and little Q&As with celebrities dotted everywhere. What does Yoko Ono think about the Chiltern Firehouse? What art does Claudia Schiffer collect? Find out here.
The real USP of Porter, though, is its e-commerce capability. This is the first publication where you can ‘shop the magazine’ – everything you see is available from net-a-porter.com, and discerning customers can purchase at the click of a button (when they’re using the app, that is). There’s no better way to drive consumers straight from an aspirational article or shoot to your site.
This capability wouldn’t work nearly as well if Porter didn’t stand alone as a desirable magazine in its own right. So take a leaf out of Natalie