Author: Tessa Wegert / Source: The Content Strategist While the internet has made it possible for brands to reach consumers just about any
While the internet has made it possible for brands to reach consumers just about anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi connection, much of the advertising industry still seems to take a U.S.-centric approach to marketing coverage. With New York City trying to hold on to its reputation as the media capital of the world, and Silicon Valley dominating headlines, it’s easy to overlook the content contributions from the rest of the world.
But it’s time for that to change.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87 percent of marketing professionals in the UK now use content marketing, and 53 percent planned to increase their spending in the next year. As these companies continue to experiment with social media, online video, custom magazines, and mobile, they’re finding innovative ways to strike that delicate balance between relaying a brand message and creating content that will resonate with customers.
Here are three UK brands that aren’t just keeping up—they’re getting out ahead.
Real Views may be classified as a blog, but to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the London-based commercial real estate company that produces it, the site has become so much more. “We see it as more of a brand journalism site,” said Madeleine Little, JLL’s director of global marketing.
Real Views is penned by professional journalists rather than company employees, and it boasts as much multimedia content as it does text. Because of this approach, JLL has been able to branch out from typical press releases and research reports to establish credibility.
The site launched in May of 2015, and unlike the company’s other blogs, which tend to focus solely on real estate, it addresses a broader range of topics like avant-garde design and the future of charging stations for electric cars. The content is organized into four sections: Trends, Places, Economy, and Industry. In a broader context, the work boosts awareness of JLL and shows of its creative side.
“One of our main motivators was to reach an audience beyond the traditional real estate sector,” Little said, “and to demonstrate how vital and important real estate is to the world at large—to firms from a business perspective, but also [to] individuals, whether in their workplace, home, or even in their leisure activities.”
To produce a steady stream of quality content, from blog posts to graphics and videos, JLL employs a global editor in London along with in-house writers, all of whom have worked as journalists. It also partners with content agencies and a network of freelancers, and even taps its marketing and PR teams for the occasional article.
“All content is subject to the same editorial process,” Little noted. “We have very clear guidelines about the kind of topics Real Views discusses and the tone of voice that it uses.”
Stories for the site are inspired by internal and external industry events, along with breaking news. “Keeping content fresh is vital and something we work hard at,” Little said. So is weighing JLL’s marketing agenda against audience demand. “Not surprisingly, stories about luxury hotels are more popular than stories about industrial warehouses. We have to try to maintain a balance.”
When it comes to big-picture marketing strategy, JLL strives to produce informative content across all platforms, from its corporate sites all the way to its pitches and proposals. Among the company’s other projects are The Investor, a five-year-old publication for real estate investors, and microsites for specific service sectors like retail and hotels.
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