In the marketing world, it’s “sink or swim.”

You may know Ali Baba from the classic folktale One Thousand and One Nights, but the Alibaba Holding Group is much more than the beloved story collection from which it derives its name — it’s a portal connecting Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers in a global B2B empire. And now, the company is making a major splash in the content marketing world.

An Online Trading Marketplace

Launched in 1999, Alibaba.com is a leading platform for global wholesale trade. The brand offers services to help businesses discover new opportunities and connect with new clients. With three main sites — Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba.com — and hundreds of millions of users, Alibaba handles more business than any other ecommerce company.

Although the brand is wildly successful, Alibaba is always looking for ways to keep up with trends and stay on top of the ecommerce market. To maintain success amongst fierce competition, Alibaba has jumped on the content marketing bandwagon in more ways than one.

The Launch of a Branded Publication

First, Alibaba’s branded publication, “Alizila,” covers Alibaba’s corporate and business news and the digital economy. Using this platform, the brand produces interesting stories and offers a sneak peek into their company values, goals, and global impact.

It was via this branded publication that Alibaba recently announced the redesign of Taobao, stating that they would turn their mobile shopping app into a “full-blown lifestyle channel, with content at the heart of their strategy.”

Content-Centric Redesign

Alibaba encourages businesses to use Taobao to increase consumer engagement through content — giving prospective clients an opportunity to better understand the brands featured on the app and, in turn, spend more time on the Taobao platform itself.

Taobao has recently debuted a separate channel featuring live streaming video content. By adding this feature, users gain access to video bloggers, advice, recommendations, and much more. Alibaba says their new content marketing approach is aimed at creating a “more exciting interaction between merchants and consumers.”

What does this mean for the future of content marketing? Quite simply, it means that the content-centric approach of brand publishing is here to stay. Brands that aren’t willing to take the plunge risk drowning amongst the competition.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

Author Ami Foote

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Ami is a staff writer at L&T. She has previously written for Ireland.com, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Britax Child Safety, and a variety of non-profits around the country. On a good day, you can find Ami obsessively consuming one or all of the following: folk music, NPR, black coffee, jeopardy, or Guinness.

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