Lessons From a Content Marketing Powerhouse: Intuit


You’re probably familiar with Intuit as a company that provides excellent solutions for your personal finance, small business, and tax software needs. But the real question here is whether or not you’re familiar with Intuit as a company who leads by example when it comes to great content marketing.

If you’re looking for some ideas for your content strategy, pay close attention. Intuit is knocking it out of the park.

Web site

My first stop was Intuit’s web site where I expected to get a little bit of background info and find some links that would direct me to social profiles and hopefully a blog.

My expectations were immediately met and exceeded.

Intuit’s site is a full-blown resource. Every page you click on leads to more information, maximizing the opportunities for them to educate their viewers. So if you’re hoping to learn about this particular  industry, Intuit is definitely the site for you. Right off the bat, you have a few different choices for content options.

There’s a forum for questions and answers, which is a smart move on a few different levels. First, it shows that Intuit is interested in building community as this space allows customers to chat with each other, as well as to ask and answer questions. Second, it leverages the whole concept of questions and answers that has become a mainstream content marketing staple with sites like Quora and LinkedIn Answers.

There’s a contest that’s offering a business grant. This isn’t excessively showy and blends in with the rest of the content on the home page, but a contest is a good way of getting your community involved while continuing to generate relevant content (often user-generated, for a mix).

Looking for some charts and data? Each month, Intuit publishes indices based on information collected from customers. Charts, data, research, stats, and other such information can be a welcome addition to your content mix because they are often overlooked or overshadowed by blogs, video, and social.

And then there’s the blog. I’m going to discuss that on its own in a moment, but there’s something else I want to point out before I do that.

After I’d finished looking at the content options that were presented above the fold, I scrolled to the bottom to see what else was going on, and discovered this:

Content segmentation!

I was really excited to see the options presented like this, but at the same time, I was a little uncertain as to why it was the whole way at the bottom. Perhaps Intuit feels (and I would be inclined to agree) that the options presented above the fold suffice in narrowing down the content options.

Blog(s)

Business bloggers take note! Intuit’s small business blog is a really excellent example of business blogging done right. For starters, it’s updated one to three times a day, so the content is fresh and consistent.

There are also a number of contributors, so you know you’re getting a variety of perspectives.

The layout is easy to follow and the posts include images.

But wait, there’s more! So, so much more.

Intuit’s small business blog is really and truly a resource. It’s not just a collection of posts. Not sure what I mean by that? Check it out:

The blog has its own About page on which Jay Badenhope, blog manager, tells the reader a little bit about Intuit’s intent with it; what he says is content marketing.

Notice how the primary focus is on educating. That’s what content marketing should be doing, and a good content strategy is going to make sure that that’s done in a variety of ways. Badenhope mentions other content as well (apps, social media).

Speaking of apps, this blog has one – available for iPhone and Android.

That’s a smart move, content-wise. They recognize that mobile use is on the rise and that’s how more and more people are accessing content these days. Well-played, Intuit.

To keep the variety going, there’s a featured video in the sidebar with the social media platform information.

There’s even a Word of the Day from Intuit’s Small Business Dictionary. Talk about educating your visitors!

This is all, of course, to say nothing of the blog posts themselves. These posts are exactly what Jay Badenhope said they would be: “brief and timely articles about managing money, marketing, and employees six days a week.”

They aren’t heavy on the sell. They don’t even always mention Intuit. Instead, they aim to educate and keep the readers in the know when it comes to industry news.

So I’m going along thinking about how absolutely fantastic this blog is (because, really… I’m kind of still in awe of this blog) when I realize something.

This is only one of Intuit’s blogs. And even this screen shot doesn’t give you an idea of how many blogs they’ve got. Let it be known that not all of those blogs are hosted on Intuit’s site, but they’re listed as being Intuit blogs.

Social media presence

I know; it’s hard to believe that Intuit is out there making magic all over social media platforms when they’re obviously putting so much work into their web site and blogging efforts. But they’ve built a solid presence across numerous social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, among others.

Intuit’s making really good use of the features available as part of Facebook Timeline, namely the ability to incorporate some of their web content into Facebook. There’s a page about their products, and even one devoted to their customers, which features video content.

In addition to the content mix, Intuit is posting on Facebook about once or twice a day, typically sharing their own blog content, but also giving some context or asking their fans some framing questions to go along with it.

And don’t forget interaction. They’re doing a great job of using social media for customer service.

Note that this isn’t even a person who is complaining. She’s asking for some help in making a choice in software (to anyone in Intuit’s community, presumably), and, given the time stamp, you can see that she received a pretty prompt response.

And again, here you see that the rep even offers a Twitter handle as a means of making more direct contact with the customer.

As a side note, a little detail that I loved across Intuit’s social platforms was that they were all signed. Regardless of whether you’re talking to them on Facebook or Twitter, you know who you’re talking to. Both of the examples I provided happened to be from Sukhi, but I saw one example in which at least two different people from Intuit replied to a particularly disgruntled customer.

Just like it’s got several blogs, Intuit’s also got several Twitter accounts. For my purposes, I just looked at their main @Intuit account, however, as well as @intuitinc as it applied.

I realized something pretty interesting. @IntuitInc is where most of the tweeting out happens. This is where Intuit shares the bulk of its content and posts relevant, industry-related information.

@Intuit, on the other hand, though it does occasionally post something or share content, is almost solely devoted to interacting with people who share Intuit’s content or mention them.

How many of us just send a simple “Thank you” back to those who have shared our work? I know I do. But Intuit set the bar a little bit higher for us. Not only are they replying to those who have mentioned them, but they’re asking follow-up questions in an effort to increase interaction.

A very smart move.

In Conclusion

Intuit’s the real deal. They demonstrate a clear understanding of what content marketing is and how they can leverage it. As I was visiting their pages, I didn’t come across a single example of anyone going for the hard sell. Everything was very informative and more like a publication – exactly how content marketing should be.

What ideas can you adapt from Intuit’s content strategy? How can you incorporate them into your own content marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments!

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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