From Airbnb to Uber, take a cue from these game-changers who are rethinking the way they communicate with their customers.
What it is: A travel magazine for the sharing economy
The company that changed the way we travel and where we stay partnered with Hearst to launch a branded travel magazine that is meant to fill a newsstand void. “In looking at the existing travel magazines at the time, we noticed most had no people in them, which felt strange since the real magic of travel comes from meeting and connecting with people. So we set out to create something that would fill that void in travel media,” said Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst.
When it comes to the content, Airbnb and Hearst are tapping into well-known writers to help elevate the publication. The first issue included contributors like former New York Times columnist Mark Bittman on what kitchen essentials to pack for an Airbnb experience; Chip Conley, Burning Man board member, on the best summer festivals around the world; and author Jeff Wilser on Alexander Hamilton’s haunts in New York City.
Why it matters: Airbnb’s commitment to hiring the right contributors is an essential part of any content marketing campaign. Your writers should be industry experts, well-versed in the subjects at hand.
What it is: A series of city guides created by local experts
Capitalizing on the company’s presence in nearly every city, ride-sharing pioneer Uber tapped into its local markets to create a series of local blogs that provide timely ideas of things to do paired with behind-the-scenes corporate content. Log onto the homepage of the Uber Phoenix blog, and you’ll find a guide to spring training alongside a Q+A with its email marketing manager.
Why it matters: Uber is uniquely positioned to create local content on topics that people are actually searching for, which allows the brand to connect in a more meaningful way with their audience.
What it is: A bespoke quarterly print magazine for your nightstand
A pub that would be right at home alongside Kinfolk, Darling and Anthology, Wooly is a 96-page, $12-a-pop print magazine launched by a mattress company. Created with help from the team at McSweeney’s, it encourages readers to relax with a mix of personal essays, comedic advice columns, yoga instructor confessions and more. The title itself is a nod to the idea of comfy wool socks, and the overall content is focused on comfort, wellness and modern life.
Why it matters: There’s nothing remotely branded or promotional in Wooly. Content marketing, at its best, should be able to standalone as just content.
What it is: A quarterly print magazine and travel site
Luggage company Away is no stranger to branded content — its podcast, Airplane Mode, explores the reasons people travel and the places we venture to — so it’s no surprise that they’re joining the ranks of companies publishing print magazines. Here’s debut issue featured Rashida Jones in Stockholm on the cover, and departments include things like The Packing List, in which influencers and celebrities share what they pack for different destinations. The content isn’t all luggage-centric, though — as Away tries to morph more into a travel company than a luggage company, Here’s content reflects that, with pieces AFAR-esque pieces like “Mexico Makes Wine You Won’t Find in France” and “In Cape Town, a Contemporary Art Scene to Rival Natural Beauty.”
Why it matters: Here manages to blend brand with content at just the right level. Travel coverage is a natural fit for a luggage company, and they do it well.