Creating shareable content: Lessons from American Express OPEN Forum

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What You’ll Learn:: 

It’s an alarming statistic, hinting at shattered dreams and financial ruin for hardworking moms and pops: Nearly 60 percent of small businesses fail within four years.

American Express wanted to reduce that number.

What they came up with was this. Small business owners tend to excel in the area of their expertise: If they build widgets, they know those danged widgets inside and out. What they tend to lack is the knowhow to run a business: meeting payroll, hire temporary support.

“They are desperate for content,” Carrie Parker says.

So American Express created OPEN Forum—an information and business community platform—to do just that.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Create highly relevant content for social amplification
  • Ensure your brand strikes an authentic note
  • Use your brand's mission to drive engagement
  • Leverage a community of users to generate conversation
  • Generate leads through social channels

Hear what OPEN Forum learned in a grand tour of media newsrooms. OPEN Forum publishes 40 pieces of content per week. Learn the five sub-topics, and how OPEN Forum uses reader questions and online discussions to create editorial content.

It uses not only content but events. For one, they created “Small Business Saturday,” a shopping promotional day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. OPEN Forum also has educational events and programs focusing on government contracts.

Find out what you can learn from megahits like The New York Times’ Pulitzer winner, “Snow Fall.” Or how Red Bull racked up 50 million page views in four days.

Find out how OPEN Forum—and other Ragan Training experts—can inspire your communications. Sign up here.

April 2014

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Presenter bio: 

Carrie Parker

Carrie Parker is director of American Express OPEN Forum, an award-winning website dedicated to powering small business success.