Content marketing is a proven way to engage your audience and turn them into customers or clients. Most companies that implement content marketing strategies understand it is effective. The tough part is developing a content marketing strategy that generates a return on investment.
If you’re looking to implement a content marketing strategy and need inspiration, we’ve got you covered. This article will share 11 content marketing examples you can use as inspiration for your next campaign. I’ll share a range of approaches and discuss why they are so successful. Let’s dive in.
1. Dominate the Search Results – Hubspot
Most people who visit your site will never return. There’s a consensus that at least three-quarters of site visitors will never come back to your website. Of course, you can reduce those odds and improve your customer acquisition by dominating the search results for content relevant to your business.
Hubspot is a stellar example of a company with an effective content marketing strategy. The Hubspot blog receives approximately 8.3 million visitors a month, according to Ahrefs. The real number is probably significantly higher as Ahrefs tends to underestimate search engine visitor numbers significantly.
When you review the search results, you’ll notice that Hubspot ranks for thousands of search terms related to their target audience. This strategy of dominating the search results helps generate brand recognition.
Hubspot also creates videos for Facebook and drives traffic to them using LinkedIn, a platform many of its potential clients use. To further increase engagement, Hubspot created Inbound.org, a social news website where the Hubspot community members can share relevant content.
You don’t need to be a market leader in your niche to implement a strategy where you seek to dominate the search results for relevant keywords. Moosend has been actively trying to rank for keywords relevant to their niche for the past two years. When you review their search rankings, you can see their strategy of creating long-form content and implementing a guest post strategy is paying off.
If you want to dominate your company’s search results, you will need an active guest post strategy to dominate the rankings for your search terms. You can use an email tracking tool to monitor the responses to guest post requests. Email tracking is a type of email marketing tool which allows you to track the effectiveness of your email outreach.
2. Launch An Insightful Report – Shutterstock
Every year Shutterstock releases a creative trends report based on its search data. The report predicts the global and local trends that will influence design aesthetics and visual culture over the next year.
The report has an attractive design that, as you might expect, makes heavy use of imagery.
Shutterstock also creates relevant infographics to support the report alongside a YouTube video. So far, the YouTube version of the 2020 report has received over 15,000 views.
The Shutterstock report is a great content marketing strategy because it provides valuable data from experts in the field and packages it into an engaging and memorable format. Take inspiration from Shutterstock by adding visuals, eye-catching design, and audio to your content.
Shutterstock is far from the only company to have launched niche-specific annual reports for their audience. Buffer’s annual State of Remote Work is another example worth highlighting.
The report is great for two reasons:
- It provides an authoritative source of information on a topic where there is not much data.
- The report aligns with the interests of their target audience.
A review of the backlink profile of the report reveals that 3,000 domains have referenced the report. They include companies like the BBC, The Daily Telegraph, Entrepreneur, Inc., and more. Moreover, the report drives at least 1,800 visitors a month to their site.
While creating a report is a large investment, as you can see from these two content marketing examples, there can be a huge payoff. Of course, you need to produce a professional report. Invest time in the report’s design, run it through one of the great Grammarly alternatives to catch typos, and include plenty of interesting insights.
3. Jump On Trending Topics – Hootsuite
It can be a great idea to tap into popular culture in your content marketing strategy.
The television series Game of Thrones was an instant hit on its release in 2011. Social media platform Hootsuite had the great idea of using a GoT-inspired marketing campaign. The result was the YouTube video “Game of Social Thrones”:
The video, which runs for one and a half minutes, borrows from the Game of Thrones opening credit sequence and adds logos from the various social media platforms. Instead of Westeros’ kingdoms, the competitors vying for the throne are Google, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
Towards the end of the video, Hootsuite’s owl logo makes an appearance, accompanied by the tagline “Hootsuite Social Media Management: Unite your social kingdoms.”
Unsurprisingly, the video did exceptionally well. At the time of writing, it has over 1.3 million views. It’s a nice content marketing example. Remember: if you’re utilizing popular culture elements in your campaign, make sure you’re not infringing copyright.
4. Create an Information Hub – Colgate
Like Shutterstock, Colgate relies on its expertise to engage its audience. The toothpaste company maintains a database about dental health on its website. This site includes a complete glossary of dental terms along with resources for parents, teachers, children, and volunteers.
Creating an information hub for your niche is an excellent strategy if you have specialist knowledge. Just ensure you fact-check everything as sharing incorrect information will destroy your credibility.
5. Make People Laugh – Skittles
Candy company Skittles combines graphics and witty captions to drive interaction with the brand. Skittles’ social media strategy aligns with its identity – fun, playful, and targeted at a younger audience.
Skittles also makes the most of popular culture, such as in this ad referencing the viral Netflix sensation Tiger King/
The brand also uses viral memes to stay current and relevant to its young audience:
Skittles’ campaign proves that remaining true to your brand identity and tailoring your content to your intended audience is always a winning strategy. Ensure your brand identity and voice are clear and consistent in all your content. Whichever platforms your audience uses to find you, they should be able to recognize your content instantly.
Two other content marketing examples of companies that rely on comedy to drive sales are Wendy’s and the marketing agency Harmon Brothers.
Wendy’s are famous for their in-house social media team. The company secured the number one position on Fast Company’s 2019 Most Innovative Companies on Social Media List, in large part due to the comic timing of their content team.
The last content marketing example I want to cover is the ad agency Harmon Brothers.
Harmon Brothers have been creating viral comic videos for eCommerce stores for the last few years if you haven’t heard of them before. The Youtube Ads they produce are responsible for generating hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. A great example, which I highly recommend you watch, is the Raw Egg Test for Purple Mattress. The video has over 188,621,836 views at the time of writing.
Harmon Brothers create ads that use comedy to engage and focus on product features to sell. If you’re interested in learning more about them, check out this podcast episode on Lemonade Stand with Daniel Harmon, Creative Director at Harmon Brothers.
6. Influencer Marketing – Michael Jordan, Nike and General Electric
Influencer marketing can be incredibly effective. One of the best examples of a successful global influencer marketing campaigns is the collaboration between Michael Jordan and Nike. The partnership, which started in 1984, launched with the signature Air Jordan shoes.
The shoes were a huge success and generated billions in global sales. By 2020, according to Insider, Michael Jordan received $1.3 billion from his partnership with Nike.
You only get paid that much when you help a company generate significant sales.
In another niche, General Electric took advantage of influencer marketing in its #GEInstaWalk campaign. General Electric asked people to take pictures as they toured the company’s manufacturing facilities, upload those pictures on Instagram, and use the hashtag.
The #GEInstaWalk campaign was successful because the company worked with six influencers, which then inspired their massive follower bases to get involved. By the end of the campaign, General Electric’s Instagram account had received 8 million views and 3,000 new followers.
If you want to use influencer marketing, make sure you have a substantial budget set aside as it can be expensive. You also need to do your due diligence to ensure you pick the right influencer. Did you know that you can now check whether an Instagram influencer has fake followers?
7. Think Outside The Box – Burberry
British luxury fashion brand Burberry knows how to get people’s attention. Burberry launched its content marketing campaign Burberry Kisses, which played on the human desire for connection. Through an app, people could send a digital kiss to anyone in the world.
Each digital kiss included a personalized message and was delivered by email:
Recipients could then share their kisses and messages on social media. This unique idea paid off. The campaign video on the campaign received over 700,000 views.
Burberry’s campaign proves that thinking outside the box reaps the rewards. So don’t be afraid to let your creativity run free. Of course, not every creative content marketing idea you try will succeed. That’s the risk of being creative. However, when a creative campaign does work, it can be massively successful.
8. Invest in Video – JetBlue
JetBlue, an American low-cost airline, has an engaging YouTube video marketing strategy. They create engaging video content for their channel that helps them stand out in a crowded industry. Its Jetblue Jr. YouTube videos teach children about all kinds of subjects related to aviation.
They also have a video series on Flight Etiquette that is informative and fun, quirky, and memorable.
Finally, the Just Alright Doesn’t Fly Here series emphasizes the brand’s mission always to provide great service.
JetBlue’s strategy worked, with many of its videos garnering thousands of views. It allowed the company to stand out from the crowd when airlines were receiving a lot of criticism.
If you decide to launch a video series, you need to be consistent in uploading new content. It takes time to build a loyal audience on Youtube.
9. Start a Conversation – LinkedIn
LinkedIn proves that you don’t need to resort to gimmicks to grow engagement with your brand. The professional social media platform communicates with members by asking questions and posting motivational quotes and witty one-liners.
If you decide to utilize this content marketing strategy, make sure your one-liners and questions are interesting enough to elicit responses. You should also include visual, audio, and video content to keep things interesting.
10. Experiment With Striking Imagery – Rolex
Rolex is an iconic luxury brand. Their content marketing strategy on Instagram is simple but effective. The company uses strong and striking images to drive engagement:
This strategy works well because the images are beautifully shot, eye-catching, and memorable.
This content marketing example highlights the importance of great imagery. You should be inspired by the content marketing strategies of other companies, but never steal an idea.
11. Launch a Mini-Site – Zendesk
The final content marketing example comes from software giant Zendesk. The company used competitor intelligence to its advantage when it launched Zendesk Alternative, a website for a fake rock band:
Zendesk launched this website due to a high volume of Google searches for the phrase “Zendesk alternative.” In other words, the company deliberately “hijacked” the keyword that potential customers were using to seek out its competitors.
Clever, right? The website still appears on the first page of Google for that search term. People found the approach funny and admired Zendesk for its bold and creative strategy.
If you’re doing something like this, think carefully about how it will be perceived. There’s a difference between a quirky marketing stunt and deliberately stepping on other people’s toes to become number one.
Summing Up These Content Marketing Examples
Content marketing is essential if you want to attract new leads, drive engagement, and stay competitive. What strategy will you use?
You’ll need to do your research to understand which platforms your target audience members use and what content they find valuable. Once you know that, you can start developing your content marketing concept and building a strategy.
Take inspiration from the examples in this article and from your favorite brands. Remember, there’s no one right way. A concept that works well for one brand will fall flat for another. The key is to understand your audience, build a strong brand identity, and develop your content marketing strategy accordingly.
With research, know-how, creativity, and a dash of inspiration, you’ll be seeing your engagement levels soar in no time.
Hero photo by Product School on Unsplash
Content Marketing Examples FAQs
When people talk about “content,” they are generally referring to anything that can be published online, including articles, videos, and images. In a broader sense, content can also refer to anything that is used to communicate a message, such as speeches, books, and music. Essentially, content is any form of information that is created for the purpose of conveying a certain message. It is important to note that content is not always limited to text; it can also take the form of audio or visual media.
Most marketing efforts today are focused on digital content, which can take many different forms. One of the most common is text, whether it be in the form of blog posts, articles, or even social media posts. Images are also popular, particularly in the form of infographics and product photos. And video is increasingly becoming one of the most effective types of content, with short videos being particularly well suited to social media platforms. Of course, there is also traditional marketing content such as print ads and direct mailers.
One early example of content marketing can be found in the work of John Deere, the founder of the eponymous agricultural equipment company. In 1837, Deere published a book entitled The Manufacturer and Farmer’s Guide to Patenting and Protecting New Inventions, which provided readers with useful information on how to obtain patents and develop their own inventions. While the book was ostensibly about patent law, it also served as a way to promote Deere’s own products and services.
The best marketing content is the one that highlights the products/services being marketed, resonates with the target audience, and meets the overall objectives of the marketing campaign. That said, there are some general principles that can help to make any marketing content more effective. First, it should be clear and concise, with a strong focus on the key message. Second, it should be visually appealing and easy to read. Finally, it should be timely and relevant to the needs of the target audience.
When it comes to content, there are three main types:
1. Visual content – includes pictures and videos
2. Audio content – includes podcasts and music
3. Textual content – includes articles and books