By Mark Sherbin published February 22, 2013

3 Tips for Crushing Content Marketing Like the Australians Do

Content marketing examples we’ve seen from the Aussies over the past few years have given many of us great inspiration. It’s a big part of why we chose Australia as the Content Marketing Institute’s first international destination.

With Content Marketing World Sydney on the horizon, we recently spoke with some of the event’s speakers to find out how and why Australia has excelled at content marketing.

What Australians are saying about their country’s content marketing

Researching and writing this article has helped me paint a more vivid picture of how Australian brands are crushing content marketing in their home country. Still, it’s better to hear from communications experts who come into contact with these brands on a daily basis. We asked a few of them to help us understand the current state of Australian content marketing.

Todd Wheatland, Vice President of Marketing at KellyOGC, says the economy could be contributing to the country’s content marketing success.

Business confidence is down and some sectors are definitely doing it tough, but there hasn’t been a recession for coming up on 22 years, and it is virtually the only country in the developed world that made it through the GFC without slipping into the red. I don’t think the importance of that can be overlooked.

But it’s more than just economic prosperity, says Wheatland. It’s about the ability:

The creative talent here is amazing. I’ve lived outside of Australia for the past eight years, and I partner with creatives from everywhere, but even with an outrageously high Aussie dollar, a big chunk of the high-end content I commission — be it editorial, illustration, design, or video — is with Australian vendors. It’s just that good.

Kate Vale, Spotify’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, says Australian content marketing is a young strategy with a lot of potential:

I don’t think branded content is at the level of bigger markets like the U.S., where they’re developing fully-fledged TV shows rather than just spending a chunk of money sponsoring an existing program such as ‘The Voice,’” Kate says. “But it is growing and will continue to become more popular as a creative solution for brands.

Whatever the secret to Australia’s success is, the rest of the world can learn from it. Here are three great content marketing approaches, and examples of how Aussie content marketers are using them.

Go big

A prolific collection of content is a tough prospect for many content marketers. Yet, we’ve seen it pay off for brands again and again.

Jonathan Crossfield, a prominent Australian content marketing consultant and CMW Sydney speaker, says Be Ready is a powerful example of successful content marketing in Australia. Be Ready is an online publication targeting business travelers that was created to promote Traders Hotels, a chain of luxury hotels across Asia and the Pacific.

Be Ready has a similar feel to online publications like SAP’s Business Innovation, IBM’s Midsize Insider, and Sun Life Financial’s Brighter Life. To run a successful online publication, you have to create a high volume of content. Crossfield believes Be Ready does this extremely well:

The amount and frequency of content gives the site a strong SEO footprint for a lot of common searches carried out by business travelers,” he explains. “But the site is also highly visual, avoiding long blocks of text. This works well on mobile — as many travelers will access content in this way — and there are apps for both the App Store and Google Play.

Going big is more than just volume. It could be a big, unique idea. It could be expensive. And it could be totally worth it.

Take Australian iced coffee makers Ice Break, for example. The company won a huge audience with Add a Motor to It, a show where engineers add engines to a couch, a toilet, a barstool, and other items that… well… don’t typically move of their own accord (especially not at record-breaking speeds).

The concept was huge. It probably wasn’t inexpensive. But it won a big audience for the iced coffee brand.

Traders Hotels and Ice Break went big. But to share their success, you also have to be predictable.

Stay consistent

Consistency is a crucial part of content marketing. A consistent content plan keeps your audience coming back for more.

Coke Zero Australia understands consistency. It’s popular Coke Zero Challenges series saw more than 30 related videos spread out over the course of a year. The challenges received millions of views, with each video getting tens of thousands of views. Most of the videos focus on sports challenges, keeping a consistent theme throughout.

True to the Coke brand, the “Challenges” video series offers timeless content. The videos aren’t extraordinarily topical, but they’re still compelling — attributes that Jonathan Crossfield believes are starting to gain steam in Australia:

I think more businesses will benefit from developing content that doesn’t expire when a campaign is over,” he explains. “Or isn’t so topical that it loses relevance overnight. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Long-term relevance, in essence, is a way of producing content that consistently appeals to its audience over time. “Big idea” content — especially the kind that’s more expensive to produce — thrives on staying relevant for years. It’s the “classic” element of Coca-Cola’s brand throughout the world — a point Coke Zero Australia hammers home here.

When it comes to producing “classic” content, authenticity is another extremely important factor.

Be authentic

People don’t always want to hear from corporate talking heads, especially in consumer markets. An authentic story about regular people is something Australia’s leading content marketers do very well.

Authenticity is a core part of how Air New Zealand approached a recent campaign in Australia. The Kiwi Sceptics is a series of vignettes showcasing real Australians with real hang-ups about visiting New Zealand. The skeptics get tricked into visiting New Zealand, where the country’s natural beauty and active scene overwhelm them.

Mining company Rio Tinto is part of a collective of Australian mining companies that put together This is Our Story, a website featuring authentic mining stories, told through video and text.

According to Sarah Mitchell, Australian editor of Chief Content Officer magazine, localizing content has helped Rio Tinto Australia establish an authentic feel:

Large global organizations are often challenged by how much local flavor they can inject into a content strategy,” she says. “Rio has developed a series of short, insightful videos profiling local employees in their work locations.

There’s a lot to be said about telling a story with your content that hits home both on individual and community levels. Through these videos, Rio Tinto accomplishes this, driving an extremely powerful campaign that thrives on storytelling.

Coupled with corporate content, the videos put a true blue Aussie stamp on the whole operation,” Sarah explains. “Not only do you get to see Australian mine sites and mining operations — a rarity in an industry known for high security — you hear employees speak in their own words.

What did we miss?

What other Australian brands are setting the bar high for content marketers across the globe? Share them with us in the comments, below.

There’s still time to get content marketing advice from experts in Australia and across the world. Register now to attend Content Marketing World Sydney on March 4–6, and use the code CMI200 to save $200. 

Cover image by Marxchivist

Author: Mark Sherbin

Mark Sherbin is a freelance writer specializing in technology and content marketing. He shares occasionally insightful information at Copywriting Is Dead, where he promotes authentic communication between organizations and their audiences. Contact him at msherbin@gmail.com.

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  • juicy.com.au

    I work for Juicy Projects a production company and consultancy in Sydney and we’ve been loving making a range of content for the cruise ship company P&O Cruises (part of the Carnival Cruise Lines group). Their YouTube channel features a range of content from Behind the Scenes to a series of true life passenger experiences, called “Cruise Experiences”. With 162k FB likes, their own customers are their strongest advocates, so we get to listen in on their holidays with the tagline, “I found myself…”

  • juicy.com.au

    You can check out their channel here: http://m.youtube.com/user/pocruisesaustralia