What makes American Express’s content site a raging success

Small-business owners were searching for information. American Express had the expertise, but first it had to listen to what its customers wanted to know.

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Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan’s distance-learning portal RaganTraining.com. The site contains hundreds of hours of case studies, video presentations, and interactive courses.

It’s an alarming statistic, hinting at shattered dreams and financial ruin for hardworking moms and pops all over the U.S.: Nearly 60 percent of small businesses fail within four years.

American Express wanted to reduce that number, says Carrie Parker, director of American Express Open Forum, a content marketing website dedicated to small-business education.

What the company figured out was this: Small-business owners excel in the area of their expertise. If they build widgets, they know those darn widgets inside and out.

What they tend to lack, however, is the knowhow to run a business: finding real estate, setting up payroll, and hiring temporary support.

“They are desperate for content,” Parker says.

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