Last week I was talking to a client about content marketing, one of the most important growth areas of marketing where a brand manager curates content (think articles, blogs, and videos) to build relationships and brand affinities. 

I recently opened my email and found a nice example of content marketing from one of my favorite brands: Harry’s. Founded by Brits Jeff Raider & Andy Katz-Mayfield, Harry’s is a shaving supplies retailer that seems to be thriving by making quality goods at a discounted price. Imagine that! It also uses solid and thoughful brand messaging and design.

So, back to the email I got. The page was nicely designed (a must for me) with the very-clickable headline The One Question About Fatherhood I’ve Never Been Asked, and a link to a timely post on fatherhood from co-founder Jeffery Raider. In it, Raider talks about the challenge of balancing family and work, and he chooses the run-up to Father’s Day (probably a heavy sales period for shaving stuff) to post about his bedtime routine with his young kids. You might immediately be suspicious about any message from a shaving supplier just before Father’s Day, right? Thing is, this fully authentic blog post never mentions the brand, and by never trying to sell, it works.

One reason why I think this post is so great is because it’s authentic. It’s not “canned”content. It’s written in Jeffery Raider’s own voice (or by a really skillful writer under his supervision) and from his personal point of view. Next, It has well-designed and appealing graphics that fit the mood and grab the reader’s eyeballs to prompt them to read. And finally, because it comes into my inbox based on a couple of purchase I made, using a clean email list with an opt-out link in each message. That way the user is in control and can opt-out of your list at any time,—which is a good thing. After all, do you want to hold people hostage via email, or do you want to build relationships and brand affinities? 

So the takeaway here is that to build customer relationships in today’s market, you need to create some engaging content—then fire it out there into your audience’s laps.