No big mystery that Xerox CMO John Kennedy would embrace content as a way to achieve commercial and brand goals. After all, he was part of IBM’s golden years of Smarter Planet. That initiative famously created a bigger, purpose-driven platform that intersected so well with what IBM sold and injected ‘content’ into advertising.
Now Xerox has a new Web site that reeks of content. The landing experience starts with a clean, tile-based approach of content promotions that lead to articles, pdfs, videos.
Articles on Business Process
Articles on Transportation
Articles on High tech and Communications
Content Demonstrates a Brand Position
Xerox is a brand that has gone through plenty of change over the past few years. Clearly they moved beyond copiers years ago but I couldn’t say what they stood for…until now.
A very clear lead article tells us “Work Can Be Better” and prompts us to “Read Our Point of View.” A very clear “About Us” section leads into a clear section including a pdf document on innovation under the banner of "who we are.' . They tell us that they are all about simplifying work and “provide the most diverse array of business process and IT outsourcing support and the industry’s broadest portfolio of document technology, services and software.”
Content can demonstrate what a brand is all about by delivering value in the form of insight, information, inspiration or instruction. Unlike traditional advertising, it doesn’t brashly ‘claim’ superiority. Content makes an impression and lets us come to our own conclusions. It can build belief that Xerox really is about simplifying work.
The brand positioning seems much stronger than in the past. Using content to bring the ‘simplifying work’ promise to life appears very smart.
“Distribution is Queen”
Now a cliché, the statement ‘content is king’ is often followed up by the adage that ‘distribution is queen.’ Xerox seems to be doing plenty to get their content out there.
First, they have made share functions a big part of every article. Even the pdf documents have a search-friendly abstract page which allows the content to be shared via social networks like this one for Flow Killers.
They have over 560K followers on LinkedIn and are publishing organic posts that drive back into the content. I presume they have an extensive paid and highly targeted sponsored post program to drive the right audiences into the content they have on verticals/horizontals like transportation, healthcare, government, insurance and printing. The content is often delivered in pdf form. Originally, I thought this was a little old-school and not as Google-friendly as possible. But Xerox still maintains its roots as the ‘document company’ and business people (and Xerox sales people) still crave a digital nugget they can save on their desktop and read when the Amtrak Wi-Fi gets sketchy.
There are some interesting content off-shoots like Chief Optimist which is both a digital “magazine” of business insights – all with a positive tone – and a LinkedIn page with almost 5K followers. That offers a narrow platform to use some of the same content available on the core Xerox content site but in a contextually relevant collection. Simple@work was a signature customer event in the UK this past year featuring Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns. I can imagine them re-using that event banner going forward.
Xerox has been experimenting with content for a few years. An earlier health-centered content site, Health Biz Decoded featured articles about the intersection of tech and healthcare. It remains live while any new content would be a part of the new Xerox site mentioned above.
This history of experimentation with content is key to where they are today. I look forward to seeing what they do and where they go next.