The first week of the 2012 London Olympics is winding down, and everyone seems to have something to say about NBC’s coverage, the tape delay, or the IOC’s social media guidelines. I’ve done my fair share of bellyaching about all of that, so I set out to discover an area in which NBC is getting a solid win. It turns out I didn’t have to look very far, nor for very long.

Content development. Specifically at the NBC Olympics site. I visited with the intent to find out when I could see some swimming live on television.

And then I just started consuming all kinds of available content.

When you land on the site, it’s clear that it took a lot of planning and preparation to have all of this content ready to launch with the Olympics. You’re greeted with the top news and headlines. That’s pretty standard, of course, but check out that menu bar across the top.

Featured prominently are pages for video, photos, and the blog. Three primary kinds of content.

Which is, of course, to say nothing of the other menu options.

Good content marketing is about educating.

With such a rich history, the Olympic Games are practically overflowing with educational opportunities, and NBC’s site certainly doesn’t waste the opportunity to develop that content and add some interactive components to increase engagement.

For example, take a look at the Medals page:

There are a few opportunities to educate, here. Did you ever wonder what country has the most overall medals, or maybe which country has the most Golds from a certain year? Explore the medal tally all you want with this interactive content:

Or maybe you’ve wondered what goes through the athletes’ heads as they’re receiving their medals. The use of video brings a very personal element to storytelling that text alone can’t always create. And, of course, storytelling done right can be a powerfully effective content development tool. NBC uses it particularly well with the sub-section “Podium Stories.” In this featured content, athletes talk about specific wins and what was going through their minds on the podium.

Other types of content included on the Medals page are fun facts (I’ve often wondered if today’s medals are actually made of gold – turns out, they aren’t!) and a poll question that you can answer.

Good content is about providing the whole picture.

From the main page, you can meet the athletes – every one of them. Before navigating to this page, I assumed there would be a picture and a brief bio, as well as information about the athlete’s events and wins.

I was correct, but I underestimated NBC’s content development skills.

Take this screen shot of Missy Franklin’s athlete page. Not only does it give me the information that I expected, but it gives me so much more. Note the tabs that are marked Athlete Home, Bio, Results, News, Video, Photos, Q&A. Everything I could possible want to get the big picture is right there and easy to find.

That includes event schedules and air listings related to the athlete (so, for example, with Missy Franklin, the site showed me all content related to swimming, all in one place).

And that’s not even the end of it.

Good content is bolstered by social. Social is bolstered by good content.

No matter what athlete you choose to read up on, if that person has a Twitter account, it’s connected to his or her profile, and it’s displaying the last several tweets. This allows you to quickly follow any of the competitors in order to keep as up-to-date on them, their events, and their experiences as you want to be.

Does NBC get a win?

In my book, yes. I could break this site down all day and get into the minute details of its content – how they use storytelling, video, segmentation (I didn’t even mention how adding your location details will display information about athletes from your area, as well as other location-specific items).

There’s a tremendous amount of content, and NBC has developed it well.

Have you visited NBC’s Olympics page? Did you find it a valuable source of information?