What’s your favorite consumer brand? If you’re a true fan of this brand—you own many of its products, keep up on brand news, and talk about said brand to your friends—it’s probably doing content marketing right. Why? Brands that are able to convey an authentic story while providing real value beyond their core product offerings are doing so through smart storytelling, whether you recognize it or not. Take one of my favorite brands, Anthropologie. This eclectic and increasingly popular store is a self-proclaimed “destination for women wanting a curated mix of clothing, accessories, gifts, and home décor that reflects their personal style and fuels their lives’ passions, from fashion to art to entertaining.” That says it all. Anthropologie has mastered the art of balancing curated and created goods in its stores, as well as in its marketing presence. From its beautiful catalogs to its bubbly blog to its upscale yet estate-sale-styled stores, Anthropologie has homespun a lacy web of content confection that dazzles us at home, online, and in person. Here are some reasons Anthropologie is a storytelling superstar, examples from which all brands can learn: 1. It hasn’t skimped on print. Yes, print—of the paper variety. Anthropologie’s catalogs are beautiful look-books that tell a story and create a fresh, intimate and effervescent world filled with colorful baubles and, yes, fantastic clothes. Hidden within its pages are whimsical calls to action that I defy you to ignore:
“Here is what you must eat (in Paris): Strawberries with your bubble bath. Macarons (but never less than three). Tartes tartes tartes!” “A month of champagne cocktails: blog.anthropologie.com” “We get street style. We get you. Book a free styling session: anthropologie.com/ps”
2. Its blog is a brand lifestyle hub to be envied. With a visual Pinterest-esque layout driven by its own stunning product images and clever clips of content, Anthropologie’s blog is a collage of living the brand lifestyle, the perfect lesson book for all fans who dream of living within the store’s pristinely cluttered walls. From playlists to organization tips to interviews with designers, from recipes to cocktails to snippets from the quarterly journal Darling, this blog covers it all—and it’s good. Plus, the content is artfully supported by products that can be ordered then and there. Not too shabby (chic). 3. Its social savvy. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Google+, YouTube, plus the blog. It’s all perfectly coordinated to support the latest brand content. (Right now, it’s all about Paris, mes amis.) 4. In-store still matters. According to the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute, in-person events are still a huge and rewarding component of content marketing. Anthropologie does in-person right, first with its store experience, and second with its in-store events. Fashion shows, in-store concerts, pet adoption days, DIY tutorials and more. These are all events held at local Anthro stores, and fans are invited if they sign up for notifications. I know what you’re thinking: Anthropologie is also selling items that have mass appeal, so it may be hard for a business-to-business marketer to see how to make the leap from this visually stunning brand to his or her own.
If you strip away the outward beauty of Anthropologie’s products and focus on its core content strategy—consistent brand story, hub for smart content, strategic social media and inbound efforts paired with traditional marketing—it’s something any business can apply. A version of this article originally appeared on the Cursive Content blog. (Image via)