Thoughtful Giving (Content Marketing Done Well)

Thoughtful Giving (Content Marketing Done Well)

Have you ever known an awesome gift-giver? Someone who always has a really thoughtful or heartfelt gift, always remembers anniversaries, celebrates promotions, or sends a consoling care package.

They just get you – and that’s evident in what they give you.

On the other hand, have you ever known a terrible gift-giver? I know it seems strange, for any gift to be given “poorly,” but it happens.

Bad gift-givers are the ones who just go through the motions, often giving gifts that the recipient doesn’t want or can’t use. Something the recipient has never shown an interest in or connection to.

Remember that scene in Old School when Will Farrell gives little Max the bread maker for his birthday? Yeah, that.

It’s amazing how much advertising is like gift giving. Done thoughtlessly, it shows a total lack of regard for the recipient. Examples include aimlessly and pointlessly buying Facebook “Likes”, or slapping banner ads everywhere – these stupid ads are insulting to the people who see them and wasteful to the people who buy them.

Now, many think content marketing is the savior, the answer to such wasteful ad spending. But just because someone writes a generic blog post for their client – rather than putting up banner ads – doesn’t solve the problem.

Unless you really understand your audience, and give them something truly meaningful, content marketing won’t help. You’re still giving bread makers to little kids. 

When content marketing is a gift

But ah, every now and then, you get a real gift giving pro. Someone who doesn’t necessarily spend the most money but still manages to give the best gifts. An example of great content marketing as good gift-giving, for me, is Salomon Running.

Now, as a runner, I am predisposed to liking Salomon’s content. There ads are definitely aimed at me. But so are ads from Nike, Brooks, and Asics – absolute powerhouse names in running – but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about any of their ads. That’s probably because they are just ads.

What Salomon has done is put together a series of web videos featuring the best trail runner in the world (trail running is Salomon’s unrivaled niche in the running space). His name is Killian Jornet, and the slick videos feature him running up impossibly beautiful mountains, completing unbelievable running feats, all while wearing Salomon’s top of the line clothing and gear. It’s done with finesse, high tech (drones!), restraint (mostly), and a brilliant cinematic touch.

They clearly spare no expense when it comes to production quality, but the costs of this series pales in comparison to a standard national ad campaign. And many of us are hooked.

Salomon has made us fans of their brand, because they gave us a thoughtful experience (through thoughtful content marketing) instead of just slapping a million ads in front of us. They educated us on the space where we play (running), all while showing us their sexy products delivering pro performance.

Each episode is something I feel like I should be paying for.

But I’m not.

Salomon is giving it to me for free.

Now that is a good gift, and content marketing done well.


Photo: asenat29

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Tim Murphy is the founder of - the first free web app to help you track school and job applications.

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