AMERICAN EXPRESS OPEN FORUM AND SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAYS
Statistics show that nearly 60% of all small businesses fail within 4 years. Back in 2007, American Express decided the best way to acquire and retain a great customer base was not to advertise to them about their product, but instead, help their business succeed by providing great content and the tools these businesses needed. At Digitas, we got the fantastic opportunity to test the power of content marketing – and ultimately build on it’s success and audience growth year after year.
OPEN forum was born online with one key goal: to assist small business owners grow their business by providing both insights and resources in the digital world. Helpful advice and blog content is created by a mix of in-house writing staff, users, and publishers like Entrepreneur, Mashable or Inc. Magazine; making it a hybrid of guest blogging and in-house editorial operation. Content covers a wide array of topics, including advice for small businesses on leadership, finances, marketing, and any arising issues business’s face.
Today, Open Forum attracts over 16 million unique users per month. It’s success has enabled it to reach it’s ultimate marketing goals — expand into an untapped market and ultimately grow its customer base. Additionally, there are over a quarter of a million link back referrals on the site – organically building on it’s success everyday through site content and participation form it’s user base.
More importantly, having such a successful editorial destination and community allowed American Express to spend less money on advertising the Open card, and more money to invest back into helping small businesses. Most notably, the massively successful and Cannes award winning Small Business Saturday’s campaign back in 2010; a now yearly initiative to support small business owners globally by encouraging shoppers to spend with the lesser known brands and companies in their area.
Please review the video case studies above to learn more about both Open Forum and Small Business Saturdays.