CURVED.de: How to Build a Successful Content Marketing Website in 100 Days – and Why

Rainer Markussen of Markussen Consulting gave an interesting speech about CURVED.de, an online portal about mobile digital lifestyle. It provides useful information about all innovations on the mobile technology market and wants to boost the exchange between users.

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Due to the fact that product prices on all platforms constantly rise, the E-Plus Group wanted to make a change for their online marketing strategy. “The Group has a couple of brands on the market that are even bidding against themselves and are rising the prices”,  Rainer Markussen, project coordinator of CURVED.de, told the audience. The E-Plus Group wanted to create an own digital destination. They wanted to add some reach to the Group and add some information into their sales funnel.

Approaches
The E-Plus Group intended to follow two approaches: Reaching their target group and creating great content. Markussen explained that trying to promote your brand does not necessarily have to have something to do with your products. Coca Cola or RedBull do set great examples of this by clever campaigns like the Coca Cola Christmas truck or hosting events like the RedBull Air Races. It’s an easy way to increase the brand likes  by using interesting content and associate your brand with it. Because of this, CURVED is not named after the company, though, the products presented on the page are very close to E-Plus. Reaching the target group by presenting the right content to them is key. The company makes sure to reach this goal simply by asking their users. They send out topics to their community and monitor very closely how the given information is used. “The user can state his emotion about the content with a tag”, Rainer Markussen explained, “like very easy, it’s lame or very cool, I want to have this. Looking at the number, you get quite close information.”

Add value to the E-Plus Group

2 Market information:
„We are writing about products that are coming up, much earlier than they come to the market. So we see if people are interested in them“, Markussen explains. This way E-Plus was able to find out, that things they categorized as very interesting to their customers were sometimes not interesting at all.

Marketing Reach:
CURVED provides it’s readers with e.g. special offers or special prices, which are just available at CURVED or for CURVED users. It is useful because E-Plus Group can take advantage of it for ‘If you visit CURVED on a regulary base, you get this’-like promotional purposes.

Audience tracking:
Does your audience like certain kind of gadgets? Are they more into iOS or Android? Is their favorite brand LG or Samsung? What kind of devices do they use for reading? Rainer Markussen explained to his auditors, that tracking your audience makes it much easier for you to know what to give to your customers.

Ad-Revenues:
“We would also have other companies as advertisers on CURVED, as well! Like Telekom or Vodafone, but they probably wouldn’t want to do that.” More obvious advertisers, as Markussen pointed out, were mobile brands like Samsung, LG or Nokia that also take advantage of CURVED’ target group.

Commerce:
“We bring people to the shops. We usually relate the articles to a possible offer in a shop”, the speaker mentioned.
Even though this statement could give a bit of a feeling that CURVED.de would be a primarily profit-orientated website, Markussen wants to emphasize that they “very much focus on what is interesting to the customers. If someone is interested in a product of E-Plus it’s fine, if not it’s also fine.”

CURVED started on Oct. 28th in 2013. All they had at first was a blank page. “One hundred days later we launched the page with a motivated Team, a stable, innovative IT-platform and a well equipped website.” The basis for their success, Markussen explains, was their clear content concept. He told the audience that in his opinion people don’t want to know how things work, they just want to know how to use them. And this way content needs to be designed.

How did they manage it in 100 days?

4“If you try to get people out of their running contracts it’s kind of difficult”, Markussen said. The deal was not only to deliver the final platform to E-Plus but also producing high quality content and build the technical platform themselves. The team, as he explained, has changed over the time depending on the needs the project came up with in several stadiums of development.

„The approach was very old-school with a lot of paper involved and a lot of talking.“  On their „major steps wall“ all the designs, all the steps were hung up in line. This way e.g. the technicians knew what the designers were doing and the analytics team was up to date what the conception’s guys were doing.

“What we did at planning was also very conservative. We cut the whole thing in small tasks.” The monitoring was important, the advertising, too. But  putting a lot of SEO rules into their CMS was also an important thing. “If you don’t follow the rules, you can’t publish the article.” Just as easy as that. He also pointed out that “the space where the E-Plus Group appears on Google has increased because of CURVED.”

Success Factors: 
Markussen pointed out that doing the concept of a change sometimes takes longer than the actual progressing of the new product itself. He furthermore states: “Our intention is not to win the pulitzer price, our intention is to gain good content for our customers. Our platform is constantly changing. We for example changed the appearance of our products, how they show up for our users, and it remarkably increased the traffic of our page.”

So,  the main success factor is the product: Looking for relevance and editorial independence. Editors shall not think that they are just writing to promote the Eplus Group. And the innovative concept and emphasis on quality content pays out well:

5

„We didn’t buy any traffic, it’s all organic.“, Rainer Markussen emphasized. The main traffic is generated by Google News. 
„What we’re doing here is a Content Marketing Platform. We want to save Marketing Money. Spend Marketing Money to Save Marketing Money would be kind of useless.“

written by Nathalia Traxel (@NathisTraxx)

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