Taking the bland out of boring

As brands are increasingly waking up to the importance of content as a fundamental building block of their marketing strategy, the question for many remains: “What should my content be about?”

As the Content Strategist rightly pointed out in this article, it is easy if you’re Nike or GoPro or some other inherently cool brand. But what if your business is banking or insurance… or washing powder?

The clichéd answer is that you need to be creative, that ill-defined concept still regaled to those seen to be “artsy”. But really, you need to be creative. Or find yourself a creative content marketer to bring the necessary brush of brilliance to the brand’s offering.

Here are three South African brands that one wouldn’t necessarily regard as “creative” or “inspiring” but that are taking content marketing to a new level.

Skip Washing Powder
Coming up with engaging, memorable content for a brand of washing powder is sure to challenge even the most lateral-thinking creative marketers.

There’s been countless adverts for washing powder over the years involving a woman (always a woman) with a look of extreme joy and contentment and having managed to get her whites even whiter. But there came a time when that just wasn’t enough, so what to do about content when you’re washing powder? The #FabulousDressProject.

With the #FabulousDressProject Skip put their brand promise to the test in a social way by partnering with a fashion designer Celeste Arendse of Selfi and fashion blogger Aisha Baker of Baked The Blog. The fashion designer was tasked to make beautiful stain patterns on a crisp white dress for the blogger to wear and present to her followers on social media. Eventually Skip’s super stain technology was put to the test when it came to washing the white dress.

Take a look at how it played out:

This succeeded in creating excitement and interest around the product’s universe, rather than its features and/or benefits. And that is what is at the heart of great content marketing.

Knorr What’s for Dinner
For many years Knorr was just another brand that you found in average South African kitchen, among the canned foods and the dry ingredients. Oh, and they were the guys that gave us Aromat – that all-purpose yellow seasoning that some kids couldn’t consume a meal without.

But then one day Knorr asked “what’s for dinner?” and everything changed. Because their product is food, or course their content should be about food. What makes Knorr’s content offering more relevant (and far reaching) is the fact that it offers a practical solution to a very real issue.

What’s for Dinner?, or W4D, is Knorr’s online answer to “alleviate the ongoing worry of what to cook for dinner every night”.

Dinner ideas can be hassle but on whatsfordinner.co.za there are endless quick, easy and affordable recipes to choose from – exactly what we all need, come 5pm on a weekday.

What’s more, the simple website design, together with sophisticated search functionality, makes it a pleasure to browse.

The content is categorised into three main sections: Products, recipes and articles.  Products includes ideas for dishes that use a particular product while the articles are focused around Happy Kids, Lifestyle and the Knorr Chefs. Content ranges from spring-cleaning tips to how to host a dinner party.

The variety of the content is where much of the value for the brand lies – come for a recipe but also find out how to grow veggies in winter. And the new content offering never stops, which encourages visitors to come again and again.

Knorr has succeeded in creating a content marketing presence like few other household brands. With 10 million Facebook page likes the brand has is anything to go by, then they’ve certainly got a winning recipe in the bag (enjoy the pun).

One could easily argue that Discovery is not a boring brand. They’ve got a cool brand image, there’s Vitality and all the associated rewards and cashbacks, and they’ve basically single handedly managed to rebrand an entire industry – but they’re still just an insurance company. And insurance, as a brand, industry or service, hardly invokes inspiration. But Discovery does.

And now with their new(ish) content offering in the form of www.discoveryforme.co.za, “Your Healthy Living Website”, Discovery have entered the content marketing space proper, even though it feels like they’ve owned that space for ages.

Their content offering – organised into five main categories: Good Health, Fitness & Sport, Good Food, Money and Time Out – is relevant and interesting, and covers a diverse range of topics within said categories. If the test of good content marketing is simply enjoying the content, without even being aware of the marketing, then Discovery for Me has definitely got my attention.


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