Content marketing for large companies needs to take a different form than content marketing for small companies. When your organization is big enough to be quickly recognizable and memorable to consumers, and your brand is well-established and understood, you face both new challenges and new opportunities.
Let’s explore both as we look at what makes strong content marketing for larger organizations.
Define Content Marketing
Before we dive in, however, let’s remember what content marketing means, at its core. It means marketing that provides its audience something, free of charge, that they both value and find relevant to their lives and experience.
It’s an approach that requires a strong understanding of your audience, and one that places direct promotion behind that understanding; the value you provide should always take center stage, with your brand as a memorable yet non-dominant backdrop.
Challenge #1: Audience Expectations
With this in mind, the first challenge that faces large companies in content marketing is one of relativity. Put simply, if your audience knows that you have a large amount of resources, personnel, and influence, the value you provide them should reflect that knowledge.
In a small company, providing an extremely high-budget comedic video that promotes your brand will dazzle audiences who did not expect such quality from a business that they might not expect to have the resources to create it.
In a larger company, the expectation is inverted: people will expect high-budget, well-made content, and be quite disappointed if you deliver less.
The solution is to create content that befits a company of your status—or goes beyond.
Make sure the value you provide stands out.
A somewhat extreme example of this might be Oprah’s automobile giveaway. Oprah’s audience knew that she could do something like give each of them a car, as her brand is well-known to be both successful and loyal to its audience. They did not expect that she would do something like this, however, so her content marketing went above and beyond their anticipation.
Of course, you don’t have to give your customers a car, even if your organization is highly successful. There are plenty of ways to go above and beyond.
If your content marketing is a YouTube video, shoot it someplace impressive. Don’t just use the office—unless, of course, the office is rarely seen and gorgeous. If you have the ability, hire some recognizable actors. Include special effects, or edit it in a memorable and exciting way.
And those are just ideas in the video realm. No matter your content’s format, put in the resources that befit a company your size.
Challenge #2: Ignore the Desire for Brand Promotion
Next, the flipside of the coin: dial down your brand promotion. You’re a major company, and people know you. Your characters don’t need to be wearing branded t-shirts in every shot.
You can afford to be more subtle.
Foreground the value and relax on the promotions. Think of how movies promote themselves—how many times do you see the studio logo? The answer is usually once, at the outset, and then it’s straight into the film footage.
The studio knows you probably don’t care about it. You care about the movie: the stars, the action, the music, the jokes. Those elements make up the value, and they comprise almost the entire trailer. The studio, of course, is making the real money from the product, but they wisely understand the logic behind downplaying their self-promotion.
We’ve discussed the scope of your content marketing as it relates to your company’s size, as well as the wisdom of focusing even less on self-promotion than the content marketing of smaller companies—but what about the amount of content marketing?
At a basic level, how much should you concern yourself with content marketing?
Challenge #3: Know the Right Balance of Content Marketing
The short answer says that you should care quite a bit. One of the few disadvantages to being a large, successful organization is the loss of the personal touch. While this potential is not a fault of your company, the larger and more influential you become, the greater the likelihood that the uninitiated will see you as a monolithic entity, rather than a collection of individuals.
Content marketing is a great way to dispel that misconception.
Put human faces in your content marketing, even if you’ve decided not to use recognizable figures. You can be high-end in your production values without using star power—in fact, in many situations, it might be better to do so.
Think of a video of employees skydiving, or working together to create a colossal mural. These sorts of content marketing keep the scope of the project congruent with the size of your business but add an unmistakably human feel to the promotion.
Remember that while it’s great to show people loving your products and services, it’s often equally worthwhile to show your team members loving their roles in your organization. There’s nothing “corporate” (in the derisive, unfeeling sense) about a group of energized, comfortable, happy employees creating something together.
Lean into the human angle, and do it often. Content marketing is a great place to provide customers with value while showcasing the company culture that brings you and your team members pride.
Challenge #4: Make Your Content Marketing Easy to Access
Finally, content marketing for large companies should be broadly available. Make sure that the content marketing that you (hopefully) created with considerable time and resources can be easily accessed. Your YouTube channel, your website, all of your social media channels—wherever you can promote your content, do so.
The reason for this proliferation is two-fold: for one, it ensures that you get a good return on your investment. Content marketing doesn’t help any organization if it’s obscure and difficult to locate, and this is especially true of higher budget content marketing.
The other reason is related to the scope question. If your audience expects high-end material from a company of your size, they expect equally high-end efforts to distribute it. It will confuse your audience if a large, highly successful company is unable to adequately display its marketing efforts, and likely frustrate them. For a company your size, this would be seen as a ‘rookie mistake’.
Make your content marketing as impressive as your organization, relax your self-promotion, lean into the human angle, distribute it well, and do it often. With these goals in mind, your large company will see great success in content marketing.
If you’d consider your company a large one, do you see these sort of efforts going into your content marketing
Does your company take a different approach on one, or several, of these approaches?
How might your next marketing initiative make use of these suggestions?