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9.1.2018 8.50

How to turn your content into a story – an excellent example of content management by Retkipaikka.fi

  • Content Management

Without content management, digital content may be nothing more but just a hotchpotch of disparate articles, images or videos. A fragmented content experience produces meagre results in sales and marketing, whereas good content management helps you build consistent stories and create many kinds of paths that lead your audience to you. An excellent example of high-quality content management is Retkipaikka, which has turned wilderness hiking and the Finnish nature into a phenomenon.

The international market abounds in examples of companies which have harnessed good digital content for boosting their marketing and sales efforts. But how about Finland, where do we stand? I performed a query with Internet’s swarm intelligence and limited the inquiry to lower-budget operators.

Based on the responses, I realised that the global success stories had slightly led me astray. Content marketing or creating content-driven digital business is not just a question of better financial resources, but at least part of their success has to do with something money can’t buy.

Of the proposals, I chose to take a closer look at a service called Retkipaikka, as hiking in nature has become such a big hit lately, and the appreciation of the Finnish nature has revived. Personally, this phenomenon has caught my attention in the news feeds of my social media channels. It’s surprising how many of my friends are into hiking and how even more of them have become interested in it only recently. This topic gets coverage also in the traditional media frequently and in depth.

I decided to contact the founder and CEO of Retkipaikka, Antti Huttunen.

Retkipaikka.fi:n etusivu tammikuussa 2018.

Retkipaikka is not just a digital media, but a fully developed content concept

After the interview with Huttunen, I was astounded. Retkipaikka is not just a digital media, but rather a fully developed concept of its own, with an entire community embracing the
Finnish nature and hiking built around it.

Retkipaikka was founded in 2012 when a passionate nature-lover and photographer Antti Huttunen started to organise his scattered hiking-related content on one website. In fact, the service was practically just a blog at first.

Today Retkipaikka is both a tourism-related business and an online store, which has advanced the digitalisation of the experience-based tourism in Finland. More than 60 enthusiastic contributors, who are experts in the field either by profession or passion, produce content to the service.

Today Retkipaikka is both a tourism-related business and an online store, which has advanced the digitalisation of the experience-based tourism in Finland.

Structured content and location data as basis for good content management – right from the start

So, it all started not only with content but with good content management too. Huttunen says that right from the start content was created by following a certain structure and, for example, location data was added to the metadata of every single article.

As the content mass grew, it was possible to construct a service where you can search for content on a map and easily categorise hiking destinations by region. With the help of interfaces, Retkipaikka has taken advantage of the open data provided by others on its website.

What is more, since hiking destinations have been categorised by type, the readers of Retkipaikka have many different options for searching for destinations, content and content-related services that they find interesting.

Retkipaikan Kohteet kartalla -hakutoiminto.

Besides establishing a solid foundation right away, Retkipaikka was put together with the future in mind. Its high-quality content is not merely a collection of articles, but with the carefully implemented metadata, the articles can together form a rich variety of content entities, offering an excellent digital user experience at the same time.

With good content management, you can reuse content and build many kinds of content experiences out of it.

Besides sorting and providing content, metadata is a useful tool for exhibiting the nature services offered by third parties as coherent experiences. According to Huttunen, the online store aims at shortening the journey to the actual purchase.

Retkipaikka represents a truly omnichannel content experience. In addition to the website and mobile app, a book has been published, and Retkipaikka is also visibly featured in “Metsien kätkemä”, a TV series produced by Yle. As this omnichannel presence indicates, when content creation is at the heart of the company’s operations, the content it provides can be applied in a range of capabilities. With good content management, you can reuse content and build many kinds of content experiences out of it.

Good content management requires discipline – and the best content comes from the heart

In the end, Retkipaikka’s good content management relies on some fairly simple factors. A standardised form and carefully structured content equipped with good metadata is accessible to everyone. Naturally, succeeding in content management calls for vision, but it also takes a whole lot of patience and discipline. Today it is already a default requirement that the technical environment enables the presentations of a variety of content and that they can be built flexibly by using your own metadata or provided by others.

As the story of Retkipaikka goes to show, at best content and its professional management can generate new business, increase an entire line of business and spark off compelling phenomena.

However, money can’t buy the passion with which the employees of Retkikunta, the hikers and the Finnish nature enthusiasts explore the domestic hiking destinations, creating exhilarating visual stories out of them. The content provided by the Retkipaikka community is of very high quality and sets high standards for the content other brands produce.

As the story of Retkipaikka goes to show, at best content and its professional management can generate new business, increase an entire line of business and spark off compelling phenomena.

In other words, content and content management are the true cornerstones of digital business.


Tuija Riekkinen

I am a pragmatic and experienced digital professional with a proven track record for getting things done.

I possess an excellent combination of the core skills needed to deliver successful digital solutions. Creating a great digital user experience and profitable online services requires that tasks are done well behind the scenes. Good structured data and content, streamlined and efficient processes and a well-designed technical architecture are all necessary and I have a great eye for each of these items.

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