While Groupon may be best known for its locally targeted promotions, CEO Andrew Mason believes the company's "good writing" is what really catches consumers' interests, and marketers developing their own web content should take note.

Consumers are increasingly familiar with Groupon, the web-based daily deal site, and COO Rob Soloman told AdAge the company is on track to generate more than $400 million this year. While Groupon may be best known for its locally targeted promotions, CEO Andrew Mason believes the company's "good writing" is what really catches consumers' interests, and marketers developing their own web content should take note.

Mason told VentureBeat in an interview at the DEMO Fall 2010 conference that well-written content is core to his business. He indicated that people like the promotional offers, but online visitors won't convert without engaging content that convinces them to try a new business.

The Groupon website updates each day with a new offer that is presented to consumers in a compelling way. For instance, the current New York promotion is a deal to get brunch and Italian food at Madison Ave restaurant Salute for $15. The description of the deal might appeal to a wide array of consumers. For those who like Italian fare, Groupon writes a Salute-relevant blurb about how "America Improves Italy's Best." People who aren't foodies may still be attracted by the site's comical description of how we all must "answer the mighty call of a bellowing belly," emphasizing the cash savings of the deal. Others may appreciate the restaurant reviews Groupon culls from respected consumer rating sites.

Even if the deal of the day is of no interest to online visitors, there is ample content on the site to catch consumers' clicks. A discussion page lets users share insight on the Groupon deals they've discovered in the past. Groupon encourages visitor interaction and consumer-generated content by making it easy for people to comment on fellow users' posts.

The site also features a Groupon blog. The blog demonstrates that Groupon is a personalized promotion industry-leader and further engages internet shoppers. For instance, one post from July, entitled "Personalized Deals FAQ," helps establish the site as a credible source of discounts. The entry has garnered nearly 40 comments at press time, and the time stamps make it clear that consumers are still reading and interacting with this post. (Many businesses may find the success of the Groupon blog of particular interest as Brafton reported that marketing blogs are a burgeoning tool among SMBs.)

In addition to keeping content on the site fresh and making it relevant to myriad Groupon visitors, the company also focuses on offering compelling content within email marketing messages. Mason suggested to VentureBeat that email marketing is one of the strongest lead-generation tools for Groupon, and good writing is especially important in this channel."Having engaging copy is the way to keep people engaged and [prevent them from unsubscribing] even if the deal itself isn't something they're interested in," he said in the interview.

Groupon may be a B2C business, but new evidence suggests compelling content is equally important in B2B marketing. According to a study from MarketingProfs and Junta42, 51 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next year. More than one-third (36 percent) of respondents consider producing engaging content as their biggest content marketing challenge.  

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.