Many brands are playing the long game in terms of building up their publishing platforms. One of those is Santander’s corporate banking arm, which is pushing a lot of content both via its own site and through a deal with The Times.
Santander’s Knowledge Hub
Santander has split its content into two areas. Firstly, there is a series of case studies featuring customers of different sizes. One is a hotel and spa in Ayrshire, for example, while another is discount retail chain Poundworld.
Then there is Knowledge Hub. This is a showcase for articles concerned with corporate strategy. Examples include an 800-word piece about Jaguar Land Rover running seminars to incentivise staff, while another is focused on companies who are diversifying.
In 2013, Santander announced it was teaming up with The Times for a series of articles based around the concept of Successful Modern Entrepreneurship (SME). These feature 1,000-word profiles/interviews with figureheads of British companies, such as food chain Leon or record label Fanfare.
Interestingly, the content only seems to feature on tablet editions of The Times. Another question surrounds the benefit of pushing this content on a subscriber-only product rather than going to the FT or even The Guardian.
Here’s the news, but not from us…
One aspect of this treatment is new. Various current financial news stories are served up alongside a disclaimer stating they are produced by a third party and thus views are not those of Santander etc.
At a time when everyone’s fearful about content duplication, the stories do not appear anywhere else but on the Santander site. Possibly they are computer generated or mass produced by one of the rewrite companies out there.
Santander seems to have taken the need to produce quality content seriously. There is plenty there, although it is difficult to gauge the frequency without a publishing date.
If we have one criticism it is that Santander has sought to differentiate it from its main site in terms of design. First impressions are everything and any content can be let down if it uses the same CSS file as your loan terms and conditions.
This is rectified to some extent with the SME site, which has the feel of a magazine albeit with Santander colourways.
Santander content marketing strategy is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.