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3 Hot Takes: These Brands Make Content Marketing Look Like Kid Stuff

It’s a hot week for youth and youthful topics. Shopify launched a workbook for kidpreneurs. Zillow published a new real estate book for children (and their parents). And Trek devoted its catalog to inspiring stories about heroes on bikes.

Shopify teaches the next generation

Shopify wants to help young entrepreneurs learn how to launch a business. The e-commerce platform created a print workbook called Shopify Kids’ Business Starter Kit: Design Your Own Business, with activities that walk children through the process of creating their own company.

The first activity: Define your target audience. The kit comes complete with a pencil and stickers. Bethany Johnson, who tweeted about it, credits Shopify’s long view: “Smart move, investing in tomorrow’s entrepreneur.”

The Shopify site dedicates a whole section to young entrepreneurs, where it shares stories of young entrepreneurs and links to Shopify content such as its logo creator, videos, and guides. It includes its blog How to Start a Business Before You Graduate (10 Kidpreneurs to Inspire You), which includes not only the young people’s business stories but the best advice for getting a business up and running.

As Moziah Bridges, CEO of Mo’s Bows Shopify store, says: “Figure out what you like doing, then find out how you can make money doing it, then just let your passion drive your business.”

WHY IT’S HOT: You build a long customer lifespan if you can grow your customer base by working with young people. But more than that, Shopify has tapped into inspiring stories and advice for entrepreneurs (or entrepreneur wannabes) of any age. Shopify doesn’t simplify or dumb down its content for the younger generation. Much of the content linked from the page goes to standard Shopify materials, which are written to appeal to business owners of all ages.

.@thanybethanybe admires @Shopify for playing a long #ContentMarketing game – teaching the next generation of entrepreneurs via @CMIContent. Share on X

Zillow reaches home buyers by helping their kids

The real estate listing giant is no stranger to publishing. Its first book, Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate, hit The New York Times bestseller list in 2015. But that one probably didn’t make it onto the tablets of young readers.

The Girl Who Didn’t Want to Move takes a roundabout approach to helping people in the market for a new home – aiming for their hearts rather than their smarts. The nicely illustrated e-book tells the story of a young girl, her parents, and her stuffed animals facing the complicated mix of emotions that comes with moving. In the end, the girl comes to see moving as a new adventure. Zillow offers the book, which includes a discussion guide for parents, as a free, ungated PDF and for $1.99 on Amazon Kindle and Apple Books.

New Zillow Children’s Book Helps Kids Cope with Moving Stress

Money raised from the book will go to Covenant House, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services to young people facing homelessness. Zillow will match each download with a donation for a maximum of $25,000.

WHY IT’S HOT: Zillow’s strategy sprang from research that found one reason parents choose not to move is their concern for their children. With this child-centered book, Zillow helps those who choose to move – and those who must move – navigate that challenge times. It also goes beyond a fun kids’ book to offer expert advice so the adults can lead productive and helpful conversations with their children. No one book can solve every challenge that comes with moving, but the book serves as a helpful tool and a reminder to the audience that Zillow wants to help them along their journey.

.@Zillow aims its new book straight at the heart of home buying – the kids (and their parents) affected by the moves via @AmandaSubler @CMIContent. #ContentMarketing Share on X

The Trek catalog that isn’t

Friend of CMI Marcia Johnston almost threw away a Trek catalog that landed in her mailbox, thinking it was just another sales catalog. Her husband stopped her. “That’s some excellent content marking right there,” he said. “I’ll be reading it. You’ll want to, too.”

Marcia says: “He was right. It’s full of profiles of ordinary people doing extraordinary things related to biking.”

The quarterly catalog from the bike manufacturer features 22 riders using bikes to change the world for its summer issue. As the intro explains: “From parking lots in New York to pathways in Bahrain, these 22 riders are inspiring, teaching, and encouraging more people to find happiness on two wheels … Whether they’re lobbying for bikes in the House Chamber, inspiring a wider range of athletes to hop in the saddle, or just making people smile, these riders represent the very best of cycling’s present and future.”

The catalog fits well with Trek’s mission: “We believe bikes have the power to change lives and change the world.”

WHY IT’S HOT: Calling this content marketing piece a catalog is almost a disservice. The beautifully designed publication works well as a digital magazine. The print option takes the reach even further (you can sign up on the site to receive the print issue). With exquisite images and concisely written, impactful content, this “catalog” will likely live on coffee tables for months to come.

No higher #ContentMarketing praise: “I’ll be reading it. You’ll want to, too” – said of the new @TrekBikes catalog (that’s so much more) via @MarciaRJohnston and @CMIContent. Share on X
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute