Posted to Volacci's blog on August 8th, 2013

[VIDEO] Content Marketing Then and Now: A Southwest Airlines Case Study

Once a business or marketer adapt content marketing, they get it. But many businesses are too busy to take the time up front to fully understand the value and techniques involved with content marketing strategy. One of my biggest challenges as a proponent of content marketing is helping small and medium sized business owners understand the many tangible values that a content marketing strategy can offer. This video is designed to use the example of Southwest Airlines' content marketing efforts to explain how companies can use digital content to reimagine the consumer or client experience, further engage their audience, and strengthen their brand identity.


Every time I fly on Southwest airlines, something is new and exciting about their content marketing. They do a great job providing compelling and engaging content for customers.

Now, we all know the traditional airplane content - an inflight magazine, SkyMall catalog shopping, a basic menu, security instructions and... well... this. This stuff is great, the old lady sitting next to me really enjoyed it. Nice magazine, Grandma, its thicker than my laptop. That was content marketing then, this is content marketing now.

Southwest offers wifi service for a reasonable fee. When I’m traveling on business, I use it, but this week, I was traveling on vacation. I don’t work on vacation. So I explored all the free wifi options available to customers, like a flight tracker telling you exactly where you are and how much time is left on your flight. Hey Milwaukee, what’s up? 

Users can also access all of to make future travel plans, check connecting flights or sign up for reward programs. Nice website, Southwest. Is it Drupal? We should talk.

Southwest’s new partnership with the Dish Network provides free limited TV options with feature films available to rent. America’s Got Talent? I got live TV in the sky! What’s more American than baseball and beer at 38,000 feet? Football! Texas!

The Dish Network wants Southwest’s captive audience. And, to turn those eyeballs into leads. Here, they offer free rapid rewards in exchange for information. Classic lead generating acquisition strategy that every business should have some version of. Well done, Dish Network. As an added bonus, Dish Network’s website can also be surfed for free. This incorporates the core of their digital presence. They even followed up with me by email two days later. Ooh, an exclusive offer! I’m intrigued!

Southwest’s in-flight content doesn’t stop at TV though, it surrounds users like a digital marketing neck pillow. Really, dude? 

Skymall’s gone digital, and provides instant shopping gratification to flyers.

Southwest’s even got games to keep you occupied and test your wits.

By far my favorite section is the guide to your destination city. This seems to be a pilot program, as it was offered on my connecting flight to Chicago, but not for any other city I visited. What an awesome idea though, full of great content!

The greatest part about all this content is that Southwest already it had it available, it just took them a little elbow grease and initiative to turn the content of yesterday into the content of today. If you’re looking for success with your digital marketing, this is exactly the sort of mindset that you need to have. 

At Volacci, we specialize in helping you create new content, and in changing your perspective and strategy to maximize the digital marketing potential of your current content offerings. Take a lesson from Southwest, and lets all soar together.