Way back in May 2013, I wrote a post that looked at three awesome examples of content marketing, and what you could learn from them. Looking back, I still stand by those examples and the observations I made about them. However, since then I’ve seen so many websites that I’ve just fallen in love with immediately that I thought it would be a good time to do a bit of a refresh of that post!
So, without further ado, I bring you three more examples of brilliant content, why I love them, and what you can learn from them!
You Just Got Robbed… And It Only Took Ten Minutes
This interactive, scrolling, infographic by the team at safewise breaks down the burglary process in to steps. The minute-by-minute run down of how little time a burglar needs to ruin your day and steal your possessions really hits home, without being too over the top.
Why I Love It
It’s hard-hitting, without taking it too far.
The moment I saw this, I loved the interactive timer – I thought it added a sense of real-world validity as it’s putting the break-in into context. All it takes is ten minutes for someone to be in, and out, of your home which, coincidentally, is also how long it takes to read this infographic.
I also liked the design with its almost sketchy, simple feel. Keeping the colour scheme to blue, white, purple and black with a hint of yellow and red keeps it from looking too busy. The use of fluid lines, little tool tip icons and the actual level of content in each section means it’s easy to read and process.
What Can You Learn?
The shock factor of the timer ticking away at the top of the page kicks your reader’s interest in to gear immediately. The shock increases when the little ‘countdown to robbery’ tab on the right hand side is pulled in. You become even more horrified when you realise that, in the time it’s taken you to read this infographic, someone could have been in, and out, of your house with your prized possessions in their grubby little law-breaking mitts. It’s a terrifying concept, which is where this piece scores big points.
Emotional triggers are ridiculously important in advertising. Emotions trigger how people feel about your brand, and can influence their decision to purchase your products and use your services, or not. There’s been a huge influx of brands using emotions rather than ideas to market their products recently. Take, for example, Apple – who now market their devices as a way to bring people closer together and, most recently, Thomson with their Simon the Ogre campaign. (I personally hate this campaign, I understand it, but I hate it nonetheless).
Safewise are smart about their instillation of fear, though. Rather than going all out and trying to induce stress, they offer simple tips within the piece that are easily actioned, such as installing motion-sensor lights, and how to deter burglars using simple psychology such as closing the gate when you leave the house. These may be small tips, but they are enough to trigger a quick flash of fear followed by a sense of relief when the reader realises they can do something to make a difference. This triggers a feeling of safety and security in the reader – which they then broadcast on to your brand. Safewise are now, in the readers mind, somewhere to look to for securing the safety of the home and family.
- Emotions play a big part in connecting your audience with your content
- Don’t take it too far, you don’t want your target audience to associate you with that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you can’t remember if you set the alarm or not
- Keep your design simple – it allows the information to do the hard work
The Message Is Medium Rare
Created by MINE, a San-Fran based design office, who specialise in branding, identity and design for restaurants, The Message is Medium Rare is a place for them to explore the notion that every “object, experience, relationship, environment, phrase—everything—has locked inside it an insight it wants to share.” To investigate this idea further, they’re eating a burger a week for a year, and sharing the lessons these meaty morsels teach them via the blog.
Why I Love It.
Burgers, design, and insights; what’s not to love?
This is another ‘saw it, loved it’ moment. I can’t remember how I stumbled across this blog, but I remember reading the first entry and sharing it immediately with the rest of the Boom team. The super-simple design, gorgeous pictures of burgers, and the musings they inspire make me happy beyond belief. It’s a little bit out of the box too, which is why I think it appeals to me so much. Can burgers really teach you lessons about creativity? Yes, yes they can!
They’re also recycling their content and turning their posts in to a book after the 52 weeks of burgers are done. I’ll definitely be purchasing it as I think it’ll be great to flick through when struggling for answers, insights, inspiration, or I’m just hungry.
What Can You Learn?
When you’re struggling for inspiration, look in places you wouldn’t normally consider. It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in, there’s always an occasion when you get stuck on a single idea and just can’t drop it, you can’t see past that mental block, or you feel like your creativity has just run dry. This site makes you think about things on a bigger, wider scale, rather than just operating within your normal grid.
For me, it also encourages being different. Design and burgers might not seem like a natural link, but it works so well. It strikes the balance perfectly of being valuable without being exclusive – everyone who visits this site can understand the creative lessons. It’s simple without being boring; the site isn’t flashy, but the photography and the way it’s written is just captivating; and it’s unique.
- Inspiration doesn’t always come from where you think it will. Take time out to look in alternative places. You might just strike gold
- Don’t be afraid to work outside of the box
- Burgers are the best
A Curated Anthology of Tim Hortons Donuts
Yep, another food-related piece of content (I love food, if you hadn’t guessed, and donuts have got to be one of the best!) This example of a parallax scrolling site was created by Canadian-based design company Pilot. A Curated Anthology of Tim Hortons Donuts is a dedication website to the Tim Hortons donut collection which is super popular in Canada! They researched the business, the most popular donuts, and how to order, and turned it in to this cool interactive site.
Why I Love It
Sweet treats and vectors.
I love this site. It’s simple, it’s cute, it uses vector design, it’s informative without being boring and it makes me want donuts. Now.
By breaking down the anatomy of the donut in a unique way, offering little titbits of information about how each donut came in to existence, and providing the all-important ordering etiquette guide, this piece of content provides value and is interesting for the reader.
I also really like that Pilot have made it because they love the brand – they have no association with Tim Hortons or Miles Gilbert Horton.
What Can You Learn?
Not everything has to be about you. If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to create something amazing. If it ties back to what you do in some way, great! If not, it’s not the end of the world.
As I mentioned above, Pilot have no association with this brand. They saw a problem with one of their favourite things, and offered a beautifully designed solution. They spent time researching the original Tim Hortons menu to bring you the origins and inception dates of many of the most popular donuts. They also had to dig deep into some business books to find out more about the franchise started. For something that looks so beautifully simple, a lot of hard work has gone in to it, and it’s not even for one of their clients!
So far it’s generated 1300+ Facebook likes and has been tweeted nearly 400 times, providing Pilot with great exposure, as well as showing off their favourite coffeehouse.
- It doesn’t have to be all about you. Creating content that champions others is beneficial too
- Solve a problem with your content. Ordering coffee when you don’t know how can be intimidating. I’m pretty confident I could walk into a Tim Hortons now and order without looking like an outsider
- Spend time finding out information that isn’t easily available – it gives you an edge
- Make it look good
Quick Fire Bonus Sites
Random Superhero Generator: Put in your name, gender, whether you want a weakness, and how many powers you want and hit ‘Generate’ for instant giggles:
Lauren possesses the power to deflect dazzling illumination. Tragically, Lauren is notorious for being sticky.
- A little fun never hurt anyone. Don’t be afraid to make something silly once in a while (within reason, of course)
Pi’s Epic Journey: Parallax scrolling has taken over the world! This site takes through the creation of A Life of Pi with loads of behind the scenes info and facts.
- Give something away. Your audience will love being let in on little secrets!
The Buffer Blog: Buffer’s blog about productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business.Traditional content done exceptionally well.
- You don’t need to be fancy or flashy. Be the best at what you do, offer actionable, helpful advice and insights and you’ll be just fine
Are there any websites or pieces of content that you learned something from? Or just some really gorgeous web design you want to share? (If it’s food-related, even better!) Let me know in the comments below or drop me a tweet at @LaurenR_Boom.