Since 1915, the content strategy for American Express has been admirable. The company that is reaching excellence is producing an article of very high quality, able to to compete with the best media mainstream. Although, their success is not only based on their excellent workmanship that we will see later, but also on the strategy and the environment created around it.
The story is called The Journey and follows the lives of two enterprising mothers from a city in North Carolina that led their kombucha tea production company from a mere spot in local fairs to a nationwide company. Through eight chapters with videos, graphics and texts, the story was told by a journalist from the same city as the two entrepreneurs, American Express tells us the difficulties and daily issues the small business faced on its way to success. It took three months to film and prepare the reportage, that was only released a year later. Perfectly executed and thanks to the delay, it was released with an extra chapter linking the story with the results of what was filmed the previous year.
The interesting thing about this story is that it was created and published for and on Open Forum, the content platform that American Express developed for its entrepreneur customers. Far from trying to fool the followers with a piece of PR disguised as journalism, the brand creates real value for its customers, informing them of the potential challenges and solutions that may arise.
Distribution is one of the main issues faced by brands interested in making their own content. Mainstream media has a loyal audience that comes back to them consistently. Without a stable platform, brands run twice the risk of not having relevance in their content. Their message might be distorted because it is viewed as a brand’s isolated effort in an attempt to enhance their brand image instead of really trying to provide something valuable to the follower.
This is why a successful strategy is crucial to the distribution and professional management of the content platform. Along with American Express, brands like Coca-Cola and Ford are also achieving great results producing value-added content.