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American Express


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Leveraging content marketing to drive business



“Today the customer is in charge. There are lots of options for her consideration and she knows how to engage them. The financial customer today buys. She is not sold.”

Traditional acquisition solutions such as points and offers were becoming less effective for American Express. The funnel was shrinking and cost per conversion was increasing. The brand needed a new way to generate more leads that would convert, for less.

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A new approach to content marketing

American Express was one of the first entrants to content marketing with Open Forum, but content was largely focused on top funnel efforts. In order to increase the quantity and quality of leads, a critical gap between top funnel content and bottom funnel acquisition tactics needed to be filled.

Mid-funnel content would enable Amex to connect consumer needs to the brand’s products and solutions and ultimately drive acquisition.

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The content

In order to figure out what kind of mid-funnel content Amex should create, developed a content framework that identified the crossover between what mattered to Amex (business priorities) and what mattered to Amex audience (target needs). Going one step further, identified key search terms the brand wanted to own and mapped them to target needs. This exercise produced content themes, which fueled content brainstorming and creation.  

Operationalizing the vision

To support the enablement of the new content strategy, developed and implemented a comprehensive approach to operations which included:

  • Creative and Strategic: Documented tools that facilitated the creation of content for teams around the globe such as a content brief, an intake process to respond to content requests and calendars across planning and publishing

  • Distribution and Measurement: Resources that enabled Amex to host and judge efficacy of content  

  • Organizational: People and processes required to implement the tasks that occur throughout content development

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The results

  • Drove a 70% increase in click throughs, delivering more clicks from organic search to product pages and filing the funnel with more quality leads

  • Regularly recognized as an innovator in content marketing