Why I love the White House's Instagram takeover


If you follow the White House on social media, you're probably aware that the Instagram account was recently turned over to President Obama's Chief Speechwriter, Cody Keenan, and his team to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for the State of the Union address. If you don't follow the White House on social media, I'd suggest you take a look because the content they're putting up is fantastic. From speech drafts marked up by Obama to shots of the press from behind the podium to candid shots of Sunny and Bo, the series gives a previously unseen perspective on the preparation involved in the State of the Union address.

This series isn't run by heavy-handed political strategists regurgitating talking points. Instead, it's a fantastic example of content marketing done right. It tells a story, it connects content through time (no isolated infographics here), and it provides something interesting to the brand's (in this case, the White House's) audience—all concepts at the core of an excellent content strategy. But here's why I really love this campaign—it's content marketing in its purest form.

Is there an implicit message in all of this? Sure: "Watch the State of the Union." (Although any content marketing has that implicit message: "Buy our stuff.") But the photos aren't so focused on that singular message that they become dull. There's plenty of room for jokes about being caffeinated and comments on the nasty weather forecast. All of the photos are about the State of the Union but only in the broadest strokes. What they're really doing is fleshing out an engaging narrative that the brand is trying to tell in order to engage with its audience

In the business world, lead generation and consumer action are core "whys" for producing any kind of content. But sometimes, it pays to take a step back and focus less on specific measures of driving leads, and more on connecting with your target markets—what would your audience think is so damned cool that they can't help telling others about it? (Like I'm doing here with this blog post, maybe.)

What's the lesson here? Fun content for content's sake can be just as effective a tool as a carefully targeted marketing campaign.

You can view the whole photo series on Instagram or Twitter (#InsideSOTU), and don't forget to watch the State of the Union address tonight at 9 ET!*

*See? The campaign's so good it's made me a brand advocate!