Inspired by Sesame Street: 10 Ways B2B Marketers Can Improve Their Websites

Inspired by Sesame Street: 10 Ways B2B Marketers Can Improve Their Websites
Michele Linn - Wed Jun 02, 2010 @ 06:13AM
Comments: 34

Sesame Street WebsiteThe other week, I was reading this great post by Mark Schaefer called Stop boring me with your blogs. One of his (several useful) suggestions is to "Do some reading outside of your field. Look for differing styles and subjects you can incorporate into your themes."

Well, as readers of this blog know, I have a two-year-old daughter, and the one place we visit together on the web is Sesame Street. This site is about as far as you can get from B2B, but it has such great applications for content marketers.

Realize you have more than one audience
While the primary audience of Sesame Street is young children, of course, parents are the primary "influencer." They realize this and have a section dedicated just for parents.

Offer different formats
The type of content Sesame Street provides is targeted directly at its core audience: videos, games, music and lots of colorful pictures. While this isn't likely 't the right content combination for your audience, think about the way that your users like to recieve info, and offer more than one choice.

Have multiple ways to search
One of the things I think Sesame Street does particularly well is that it gives users multiple ways to search for info. You can search by format (games, videos, playlists) or categories (subject, theme character). I love that I can browse or find exactly what I want.

Design for mobile
I'll admit that I have shown my daughter Sesame Street videos on my phone when in a pinch (oh how thankful I was for Elmo when we had a longer-than-expected wait at the car dealer). Sesame Street has a different, simplified version of the website for mobile, which is something all B2B organizations should consider. (My favorite go-to blogger for B2B mobile is Christina "CK" Kerley. Check out this section on her website dedicated to B2B mobile marketing if you're looking for ideas on how to get started.)

Invite guests
I'm amazed at how many well-known guests have visited Sesame Street. It really says something about your brand if you can get participation from people who are important in your field. Ask influencers to participate in things like guest blog posts, interviews, webcasts, etc.

Create a customized site
Have you ever gone to a website where there is so much good info and you wish you could keep it in one place? Sesame Street has a section of the website called My Street where you can easily store your favorite items from the site. Handy, huh?

Keep it short
Of course kids have short attention spans, but so do adults. Most videos are under 3 minutes, and they never belabor a point. Think of how much your readers would appreciate that!

Focus your content
Each video or piece of content is very focused on something particular: the letter A or the word "surprise." Again, having a single point just isn't a good idea for kids; your audience can only remember so much, so keep things simple.

Offer related content
Each video has a sidebar where they offer related videos that focus on the same theme or character. My daughter typically gets to watch 2 videos as a treat, and we often choose the second one from the related content.

Don't sell
None of the videos on Sesame Street's site are directly selling their products, but by having educational, relevant content, they are (of course) building their brand. I admit to caving when my daughter asked for an Elmo toothbrush. The power of great content works!

If you (or, more likely, your kids) are a fan of Sesame Street, what other lessons can you share? Or, what other non-B2B website inspire you?

Related posts:

About the author: Michele is the Executive Editor of the Content Marketing Institute where where she works with a fabulous group of contributors who know a lot about content marketing. She's also a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.

Comments: 34


1. Aisling  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 02, 2010 @ 07:49AM

Excellent points and well made. And it made me visit the sesame street website (no kids). We don't get Sesame Street in Ireland anymore, but loved it as a child!

2. Graytuna  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 02, 2010 @ 11:54AM

+1, I agree with Aisling!

I love your creative approach in this blog post Michele! Remember how much I used to watch Sesame as a child but I' must admit that I've never thought about anything to use from them.

I also read Mark's fantastic blog post the other day and I'm impressed that you really used his suggestions, it inspires me too you know. I think we all can experience a new level of creativity by realizing that there's so much round us, even in something as simple as Sesame Street

3. Jon Buscall  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 02, 2010 @ 09:43PM

I'm definitely with you on designing for mobile. The increasing prevalence of smart phones makes this imperative. Just looking at the stats for my own site i can see that month on month I get an increase in mobile traffic.

I personally use a WP plugin to show a mobile version for smart phones.

4. Michele Linn  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 03, 2010 @ 12:19AM

@Aisling: It is surprising how much we can learn from content outside our area of concentration. Sesame Street is doing a lot of things well!

@Graytuna: Until I started letting my daughter watch some TV, Sesame Street hadn't crossed my mind, either. As I was telling a friend who is expecting, I get the best business insights just by spending time with my daughter. And I second your comment on Mark's post - he always has inspirational ideas!

@Jon: Good to know about the plugin. I'll have to check out your blog on my phone to see how it looks compared to the online version. I'm looking for some good examples of this.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

5. Mark W Schaefer  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 03, 2010 @ 02:42AM

Mobile is the the big one ... and almost compeltely overlooked by B2B so far. Thanks for the acknowledgement and the great post, Michele!

6. bobm  |  my website   |   Tue Mar 12, 2013 @ 06:17PM

One of the things I remember from Sesame street is preview, state it, review. Good thoughts on building in this manner. I never thought of the mobile idea before. Would you also suggest other social networks as well?

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