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Shipping and engineering are inherently cool.
I thought I'd take a quick scoot through the websites of General Electric, Siemens and Maersk and check out what sorts of content they provide to market.
It's by no means an exhaustive journey, but hopefully it will give you some links to check out and some inspiration for your own B2B content.
These behemoth sized B2B companies, in the case of Maersk, make great use of their heritage. For GE and Siemens, the task is more about appearing imaginative and innovative and almost appearing as synecdoche or at least flag bearer for particular industries, i.e. an indisputable authority.
Let's take a look.
GE: gifs, videos and data visualization
General Electric is a massive company. It produces lots of content. Here’s just a snapshot.
GE’s reports website, shown below, is a thing of beauty.
The copy in each of the stories, covering a range of sectors and products, is refreshingly open and free of jargon. Rich media abounds, with gifs and lovely pictures (I've include my favourite two, below) and videos embedded throughout.
There's the nice touch of sharing buttons in the hover state over each header image, too, making sure the message is disseminated.
As opposed to many B2B firms, the content is often in article form, rather than whitepapers or PDFs. I personally like this approach as the content is easier to interact with and can be presented in richer formats.
The videos from these report pieces are hosted on YouTube and are very successful. More power to GE for its often entertaining approach. There are plenty of gags in its YouTube masterclasses series and they’re well worth checking out.
Here's one on the jet engine.
General Electric has also been amassing data visualisations relating to various areas of its expertise for quite a while.
Click through from the image below to take a look. Again, they span GE's interests and are mostly interactive.
There often animated visualisations are nicely done.
Take a look at these two on saving energy by decreasing flight times, and energy use analysis over time..
Presenting data in such a nice fashion is a smart move. It’s sophisticated, takes ownership of global issues and looks good presented in meetings.
Look at the copy from the about page below. We are encouraged to add our own data, there’s a link to a video reel, and the brand talks about its own work. This is again almost statesman-like, hinting at a company that reliably shoulders responsibility.
Elsewhere, there are other microsites and websites representing GE initiatives. Healthymagination is one such initiative, dedicated to improving the world’s health. There’s a range of content on the website, from NFL and the prevention of head injuries, to apps for improving health.
This is just a whistlestop tour through GE content, but the takeaway is that it's slick and fun and true to the company slogan - 'imagination at work'.
See David Moth's post for more on GE and social media.
Siemens – an exhibition centre
Siemens has produced educational content for a while. Its website is full of videos that bring back many a geography lesson at school, with a didactic tone and almost third person perspective that seek to position Siemens as the authority.
Of course, there are many documents and magazines that can be downloaded for the various sectors that Siemens plays in.
There’s an education section of the website carrying the tag line ‘exciting and inspiring young people to consider a career in engineering and technology,’ with resources available for teachers, pupils and parents.
But where Siemens has taken this to the next level, both for children, adults and potential clients, is the Siemens Crystal.
The Crystal is a sustainable cities initiative and visitor attraction on the Royal Victoria Docks in London. The Crystal hosts school trips and is itself a great example of technical innovation and brand building that we can perhaps stretch to ‘content marketing’.
Certainly its website contains some nicely put together educational resources.
There’s much talk of the cities of the future, videos and downloads, and sneaky pages like this one talking of Siemens’ expertise in consulting and portfolio.
There’s a magazine called urbanDNA, available from the App store. There are Green City Indexes available for many parts of the world and an urban planning handbook for the city planner.
Tickets to the attraction even come with a free book on ‘Our Urban Future’, another place to subtly promote a wealth of expertise.
Lots of this content is pushed through social media.
A Siemens branded YouTube channel showcases most of the educational and authoritative video content.
Crystal is quite an undertaking, but nothing gives a base for all that content marketing like a physical embodiment of the company values and expertise.
Maersk – scrolling experiences, social, size matters
Maersk Fleet simply has one of the coolest websites around. It appeals to the Top Trumps fan, showing the entire fleet in glorious photos and with the compare tool shown below allowing you to compare the fleet with world landmarks.
The site also includes a live map tracking the fleet and a tour of each ship. It’s perfect for engineering and boat buffs.
The whole site, including the timeline below, shows you the heritage of Maersk, again intended to convey authority and hard won expertise in the market.
Elsewhere Maersk Line Limited is an American part of the Maersk Group.
Its website is a lovely scrolling experience. Click through the image below to check it out.
There’s also great social activity from Maersk, much trumpeted and rightly so.
The Twitter accounts makes maximum use of imagery, with its photo of the day one reason why it has 111k followers.
Maersk is also a big enough brand to have some great crossovers reinforcing the brand.
This LEGO set for example.
And saving the biggest until last, Maersk has been promoting its world’s largest ship using a website, a Discovery Channel programme, and some great YouTube content.
See all the content at worldslargestship.com.