What We Can All Learn About Content Marketing from Free People

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Free People is one of our favorite B2C content marketers right now.  They do such a great job of using editorial content and a clear visual voice to create a seamless path from awareness, to brand involvement, and then ultimately purchase.

Commitment to Editorial Content and Content Marketing

FP has obviously committed 100% to creating editorial content that delivers value first to their audience.   They are amazing at easing their existing and potential customers into the tip of their ‘purchase funnel.’

One look at the blog and their editorial commitment is apparent.   Authenticity is an overused word but they achieve it at almost every turn – and in the process their content as a differentiating strategic asset.   Their blog “25 Building” is a separate subdomain attached to their main site that doesn’t hard sell.   There are occasional Calls-To-Action but it feels natural, organic.

Audience Understanding & Emotional Resonance

Back to their blog – FP obviously knows their target (and existing) audience extremely well.    They are their audience and nowhere will you find them pandering, trying to hard, or condescending.     And definitely not hard-selling anything at anytime, even on their E-commerce site.  Millennials and teens (and most people) obviously don’t respond well to the hard sell.

As with all content strategy and marketing it’s essential to write for (and completely inhabit) your specific audience and they do that.   There is a culture fit there.

Their popular “Roshambo” short film series feat. Christopher Abbott (formerly of HBO’s girls) set the gold standard for brand storytelling.   It was emotionally resonant, tweeted, and shared across social in a big way.

You can view it here

These videos lived for a long time on their blog, and were a great traffic driver to “25 Building”

Social Media & Conversions

A retailer’s goal should be to develop long-term relationships with their customers across all of their distribution channels – FP does that, while being smart about converting their users to take a desired action.

They also format their content properly for each different channel – one size does not fit all, and your customers know that.    When you do that it also shows that you ‘get it.’

On Instagram not only does Free People use beautiful, on-brand imagery, they also use Like2Buy, a platform created by Curalate that allows Instagram feeds to be shoppable.

On the blog conversion front, it also appears that FP uses keywords, phrases, and trending topics that their audience is already searching for online.  SEO optimized but in a natural looking way.  This helps their posts show up in Google searches organically – and supports any paid media buy.

Content Integration 

FP creates, leverages, and integrates their unique  editorial and visual voice consistently across all of their channels – they close the loop everywhere.   Social, product, website, blog, email notifications, CTAs etc.

A thoughtful editorial content approach matched with a savvy conversion strategy is a key to success.

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