Transparency is the Key to Good Content Marketing

Debbie Williams

Written by Debbie Williams on Thu, Dec 01, 2011

Content marketing is all about building relationships and giving people information they can actually use. As content marketing “guru” Joe Pulizzi says, “Your customers care more about your knowledge than they do about your products.”

Good content marketing is also a window into a company, giving people a glimpse into what the company is about, from “meeting” the people who work there, to learning how products are made and where they come from. Being truly transparent helps brands earn consumers’ trust, creating stronger relationships and greater loyalty.

3 Companies Using Content Marketing to Expose Themselves Online:

These 3 brands are opening the curtains and lifting the veil of brand “secrecy” to give the world a real bird’s eye view to what makes their company tick. They are great examples of how to show your human side through content marketing and proactive storytelling. They’ve created fun, memorable, engaging content that inspires you to share and creates a desire to learn more ...and buy their products.

Lays Chips Uses Content Marketing
Frito Lay’s created a great interactive site full of original, engaging content for its Lay’s Potato Chips brand. On the site is a really neat tool, the Chip Tracker, which lets you put in your zip code and the first three digits from the product code from your bag of chips, and it will tell you where the potatoes were grown for your chips. There’s also an interactive map that shows you all of the farms in the U.S. where the potatoes for Lay’s chips are grown.  The site is filled with lots of other interesting content from recipes to information on sensible snacking and environmental causes.

Lay’s has gone to great lengths to transform the image of an “unhealthy” snack into something very positive with a focus on natural ingredients and honest information. This is a great example of content marketing done right.


Organic Valley truly opens up its doors by letting you virtually through the gates of the farms that produce its milk and other organic ingredients. The brand’s website offers a Find Your Farmer tool where you can enter your zip code to find the Organic Valley farms closest to your home and meet the farmers and their families. The site includes pictures and full profiles on every farmer they source from and a directory of farms by region. Their website is also brimming with fantastic content on everything from reasons to go organic and nutrition and health to their online magazine Farm Friends.

Organic Valley’s mission is to “save family farms through agriculture” and the company proves they are doing it from field and farm to your grocery store.

Patagonia is a company that has earned great respect over the years for their genuine business practices and commitment to environmental integrity. Their straightforward company mission is to “Build the best products and cause no unnecessary harm.” To back up that statement and show how they are dedicated to their mission, Patagonia created the Footprint Chronicles. This cool interactive tool allows you to track the environmental impact of a specific Patagonia product from its initial design to material sources through store delivery. They not only show you where in the world the fabric and trim came from, but offer video interviews with people working in those countries who talk about the process from positives to challenges.

Patagonia is so honest in its efforts it reveals the “Bad” as well and explains how the company is proactively trying to overcome those obstacles while in pursuit of making the best possible products.

We are pretty wowed at how honest and real these companies are being. Their efforts are not only examples of what true content marketing is all about, but they raise the bar for other companies to follow. All three of these brands certainly earned our respect as not as a content marketing agency, but as consumers. We might even think twice about how “unhealthy” those chips may be next time we're at the store.

Want examples of more companies being truly transparent in their content marketing? Read about them in our new book Brands in Glass Houses.

content marketing book

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