Tech companies have long been frontrunners in brand publishing. This sector frequently produces publications that bear all the hallmarks of high-quality publishing, including a clear editorial mission and strategy, targeted audiences and content that’s consistently produced and packaged together in a valuable and engaging way.
Here are the brand publications by tech companies we’re keeping an eye on.
What the company does: Acorns is a financial technology company specializing in robo-investing and micro-investing.
What publication does: Acorns Grow is a collaboration between Acorns and CNBC. It offers money-making advice, financial news, and general finance tips. Grow was launched in 2019 as an initiative to “put the tools of wealth making in everyone’s hands.” It mainly targets existing Acorns users trying to grow their finances and read financial news.
How it does it: How-to’s and explainers, as well as listicles and news articles detailing new and interesting financial news relevant to Acorns’ user base. Some articles are written by contributors at the early stages of their career with relevant financial experience, like side hustles or savings tips — who could very well be Acorns’ own target customers.
Airbnb: Go Near Guides
What company does: Airbnb is a online lodging marketplace.
What publication does: Airbnb’s Go Near Guides offer travelers destinations and travel tips for the places they’ll go—and the places they already live. Offering up guides for destinations ranging from Austin to Venice, Melbourne to Mexico City, the guides are in-depth explorations of specific cities and countries.
How it does it: Go Near Guides provide specific places for travelers to go, sites to see, and restaurants to eat — all while they (ideally) stay at at Airbnb. Written by a combination of hired writers and freelance travel writers.
What company does: Atlassian is an Australian software company that developed Jira, a proprietary project management software.
What publication does: Work Life is a publication focused on productivity and the workplace. Work Life provides people with stories designed to further productivity and worker satisfaction, explore leadership strategies and general future of work news.
How it does it: Work Life targets an audience of leaders, with articles focused on increasing productivity and team building. Work Life is mostly explainers, explanations of studies and how it affects businesses, as well as quizzes and templates provided to do things like run more efficient meetings, improve workplace communication, or provide constructive criticism.
Carta: Equity Education
What company does: Carta manages cap tables for private and public companies.
What publication does: Carta’s publishing endeavours focus entirely on service style content aimed at founders of early and mid-stage companies — Carta’s core user base. It provides explainers about basic concepts such as equity management, hiring, raising money and and compensation.
How it does it: How-to guides about specific topics, interviews with founders about key challenges, as well as a “How to Raise a Round” podcast that interviews executives at early stage companies.
What company does: Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform.
What publication does: Coinbase Bytes is a newsletter for people interested in crypto. Bytes features crypto news and roundups as well as finance tips and news on crypto regulation.
How it does it: Crypto guides and how-to’s, listicle articles relating to crypto, NFT explainers and news.
Google: Google Blog, Think With Google
What company does: Google is a search company and tech giant.
What publication does: Google’s blog involves mostly Google-centric news and articles, plugging the company’s products and leveraging its wealth of products and personalities to create content for its users. Think With Google features insights and creative ideas that uses Google research and data to help with a number of different business problems its customers could have.
How it does it: How-to’s, expert analysis, “My Path to Google” series focused on employee stories, articles on how industries and people are using Google products. Think With Google features guides and consumer insights that are focused on a more B2B audience.
Hubspot: Hubspot Blog/The Hustle
What company does: Hubspot is a software-as-a-service company for inbound marketing, sales and customer service.
What publication does: “Resources” section, including a blog and set of guides and ebooks. It also in 2021 announced its intentions to continue to build a fully scaled media company within Hubspot, with the acquisition of The Hustle, a daily newsletter and premium content service that provides research on trends business owners should know. Hubspot and The Hustle target marketers. Their mission is to be a part of their customers’ lives before they even use the product by providing education and information and help them make business decisions.
How it does it: The Hubspot blog features practical “how-tos” with templates, original research posts (eg. State of Marketing report), lists (eg. the best SEO tools) and tools and resources (email signature generator, social media calendars) and Guides to specific platforms. The Hustle is an email newsletter with the day’s business news, and also has a “Trends” section that features research and analysis.
What company does: Netflix is a subscription-based streaming and production company.
What publication does: Tudum is a editorial brand launched by Netflix in 2021 focusing on news and quick-hit articles based around Netflix shows. Tudum is focused on news and interviews about the shows Netflix produces. It regularly “breaks” news about show development and set gossip that other entertainment outlets then pick up.
How it does it: Articles focus on Netflix properties or involving Netflix actors, using Netflix’s built-in access to its showrunners and stars. Tudum has hired heavy-hitters in the journalism industry to lead its staff, like Henry Goldblatt from Entertainment Weekly, Allure Editor in Chief Michelle Lee, and Bitch Media editor-in-chief Evette Dionne. It also has audience-specific publications, such as Netflix Golden, focused on AAPI audiences and Strong Black Lead, for Black audiences.
What company does: Plaid is a financial services company that lets applications connect with bank accounts.
What publication does: Fin is Plaid’s financial and tech newsletter and blog, aimed at “provide the knowledge and inspiration to help others solve the greatest challenges facing [the financial industry],” according to the company. Fin publishes explainers and news articles relating to consumer finance.
How it does it: Articles tackling financial and tech policy, payments for online businesses, and columns providing business tips and tricks, as well as interviews with finance figures and startup CEOs.
What company does: Salesforce is a cloud-based business software company.
What publication does: Salesforce+ is a streaming platform launched in 2021 that includes original series, podcasts, and live-event programs from the company — sort of a Netflix but for business audiences. Built during the pandemic, Salesforce+ is an attempt to reimagine the company’s brand events online. Salesforce+ creates content about leadership, management, and entrepreneurship. It also streams the company’s annual event, Dreamforce.
How it does it: Video series featuring conversations with business personalities and executives, profiles of small businesses, and programming focused on solving business problems. Topics cover everything from the personal backstories of the leaders behind massive companies to how people dealt with crises like the global pandemic. The company has partnered with publishers like Vox to also produce content for its platform.
Stripe: Indie Hackers
What company does: Stripe is a financial services and software company.
What publication does: Indie Hackers was started in July 2016 as a publication to profile and spotlight profitable online businesses. Stripe purchased the company in 2017. Indie Hackers is now a community forum for business owners to chat and generate ideas. It also publishes interviews, coordinates meetups, and runs three separate podcasts. Stripe also used to run Increment, a software developer publication that stopped publishing in 2021, designed for developers to cover challenges in their industries and better ways of working.
How it does it: Indie Hackers has a forum, a newsletter with insights for business owners, interviews with startup founders and leaders and three podcasts spotlighting startup founders and executives. Increment was a publication for software engineers that featured news and trends relevant to that cohort. It was available in both print and online.
What company does: Zapier is an automation software company.
What publication does: Makerpad is a content and education publication focused on teaching people how to develop software without the use of code. Makerpad was acquired by Zapier in 2021 with the idea that Makerpad will teach people how to make software, and Zapier will make automating the software easier for the user. Makerpad offers standalone articles and courses on how to build software for companies and individuals and the tools they’ll need along the way.
How it does it: Course-based material aimed at teaching people how to no-code software and tutorials on how to use different development tools.