June 10, 2013

New York Stock Exchange Embraces Content Marketing

Consumers turn to the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) website for reasons primarily related to finance. Whether you are looking to trade stocks or are trying to plan a financial calendar, the content you will find is typically cut and dry—you know what you are getting.  

Some consumers, therefore, will be surprised to learn that the NYSE has officially jumped head first into the content marketing game by creating a new website, “The Big Stage,” devoted entirely to proliferating its brand image.  And the decision to do so should have businesses across all industries paying attention to its strategy.

While the site has a journalistic feel to it, The Big Stage is not using the new platform for traditional journalism purposes. Instead, the website is embodying a concept referred to as “brand journalism.” It serves to promote the revamped brand image of the 225-year-old company by producing human interest stories, videos, company overviews and profiles on global innovators. It is in stark contrast, therefore, to the financial content that the company has been known to produce. Recent examples of posts include a spotlight on Colin Powell’s role as a venture capitalist, the increasing role of intelligence in car dashboards and an article describing LinkedIn as the fastest growing tech company in America. 

“We are looking to supplement stories that are out,” explains NYSE CMO Marisa Ricciardi, “not compete with the media.”

Most importantly, the company is opening itself up and showing a different side of itself to customers who already follow the NYSE. The site is meant to be a means to start conversation and get people talking about the company across previously unexplored avenues.

"It helps us engage in conversations with our audience and not just market to them," adds Ricciardi. "I think marketing is best served when it doesn't feel like marketing."

The website, therefore, is not designed to feel like a blog. Posts do not contain time and dates which makes each article feel more like a living part of the website than a transitory post. Articles are linked to photos, which are posted in three columns on the home page. The effect that this produces is an innovative, user-friendly system that hides text and feels more like a photo album at first glance.

And while The Big Stage is not huge—it’s comprised of a team of only 10 people—the website is producing regular content at the rate of about 25 to 30 stories per week. It is anticipated that this figure will grow as the project increases in size. This speaks to the importance of businesses producing regular content, which is something that websites all across the web should take note of. While there is no set formula for judging when to post content, Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute recommends that as long as a post is compelling and serves an objective for a blog, it is worth posting. And this is exactly what The Big Stage is doing.

The ability for a financial organization to implement a creative strategy that deviates from the norm of its business image, and the fact that this is occurring in the heart of New York’s Financial District is reason alone to get excited about what the NYSE is doing. It is further proof that content marketing is being used at the highest level of business operations as a strategy to increase consumers and educate the public.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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