For content marketers, gauging effective performance metrics is no longer a subjective matter. Digital platforms have made it easy to track the effectiveness and reach of any given campaign. Sometimes, though, there may be room for debate. For instance, if you may be writing a blog post, can you exactly tell what role it might play in egging people in their purchasing journeys?
But what you can do is make the blog post a meaningful, informative, and compelling piece of content. That way, even if the customer does not end up clicking the ‘buy’ button immediately after reading it, you can still be sure that it has planted a seed in the customer’s mind. If you follow up with the right message and at the right time, you are significantly increasing the odds of landing a sale. Because as a content marketer, you can never be about the quality of output unless other people vouch for it.
“77% of our survey respondents said that their company had a content marketing strategy, only 9% of those professionals evaluated their strategy as excellent.” – SEM Rush
Now, what exactly makes for compelling content marketing examples?
Generating and executing successful content-led campaigns are akin to performing surgeries. You must prepare incisively for it. The distribution list must be decided upon. The call-for-action button for the campaign should be finalized and backed with product marketing firepower, with an actionable follow-up plan in place.
Many moving parts must be aligned to your desired outcomes.
However, it all comes back to the type of content you have created, distributed, and promoted.
“81% of companies planned on maintaining or increasing their content marketing investment in 2020” – Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs
Forget your run-of-the-mill Return on Investment expectations. It’s time to bring your brand to the age of Return on Relationships because long-standing customer loyalty leads you to destination success.
Thankfully, for content marketers, discovering best practices to get there longer means taking trips to the libraries, buying expensive books, or fixing appointments with pony-tailed content veterans. We have you covered right here, with the 25 best content marketing examples that your Internet bandwidth can afford!
We have also classified them into highly popular content categories so that you can start with the one that interests you the most.
Speaking about content marketing, Moz has been doing just that, through their blogs, since 2014. Co-founder Rand Fishkin had started their first online blog, known then as SEOmoz. IT nurtured a community of SEO experts to share their research, ideas, and insights. In fact, one of their earliest success stories, ‘Beginner’s Guide to SEO,’ helped the company develop SEO tools that they later took to the market.
From then on, they grew their marketing reputation by putting out fantastic content pieces that helped visually convey informative stories. Today, The Moz Blog has become one of the most popular content hunting grounds for content marketers to up their game.
Whiteboard Friday video tutorials
Moz’s Whiteboard Friday – a video series on better understanding SEO – was a smash hit, right from the early years. Would you believe it that Moz didn’t even have anything to sell back then? But it still drew attention because of how well it was made – from the delivery style and the type of narrative to the level of research and the quality of video production. And let’s not forget about Rand Fishkin’s trademark moustache!
- Educate your audience for free – it will pay off
- Align content creation to product ideation
Shopify is big-time. But their brand extends beyond just software. A lot of their momentum, over the years, has been driven through awesome content marketing activities like blogs, podcasts, etc. One look at the Shopify blog and you can tell that they want to help you run a successful e-commerce store by publishing great content.
They post a unique blog post every week across several categories like Digital Marketing, Branding, Dropshipping, Build a Business, etc. They also have a resources section that offers practical tips, hacks, ideas, and related content pieces on running an online business using Shopify.
The Shopify blog attracted prospective customers by sharing in-depth case studies. By telling them how existing customers could create online ventures like an e-commerce store, Shopify gave them a bird’s eye view on plenty of juice content. It included competitive differentiation, customer testimonials, screenshots of content examples, and the best part – great videos that showcased superlative experiences. Is that what a content marketing example is all about?
- Build trust with the audience by sharing success stories
- Keep the content consistent and creative
Other content marketing examples:
Like Shopify, Hubspot is one of the bigger kahunas in the industry when it comes to blog-based content marketing. Every week, Hubspot Blog publishes world-class content that is rich in useful links, examples, tips, and relevant courses.
First Round Capital’s Review
First Round Capital is a venture capital firm that provides seed-stage funding. In case you’re wondering if you should brace for a blog that talks about the technicalities of funding – worry no more. Instead, the First Round Capital’s Review post brilliant content pieces that go more in-depth and help VCs get better at their job, as well as run a smoother business
Microsoft’s Digital Detectives
Didn’t expect to find Microsoft here? We are with you. It’s not as though this giant has been breaking new content marketing ground off late. But if you haven’t seen the Microsoft’s Digital Detectives blog series, you may be missing out on some exciting (that’s right, exciting!) employee-driven content about fighting cyber crime.
Social Media Marketing
In the mid-2010s, Superdrug, a UK-based health and beauty retailer, surged past its competitors by adopting digital content marketing strategies aimed at younger audiences. A considerable part of this change was rooted in their social media activities.
While Superdrug had several stores across the UK, their online presence was in the front-seat of delivering contextual and meaningful content marketing experiences. They started to interact with shoppers, using a warmer and friendlier tone while addressing sensitive health-related issues.
They also commented about pop culture events and happenings that had little to do with their business, product, or service! The brand grew younger by making its content marketing strategy more mature.
This year, Superdrug launched a new initiative called #BeKind that inspired the audience to spread positive messages in the online world and create bully-free zones. Partnering with Ditch the Label, a global anti-bullying charity, the company teamed up with social media influencers to make a safer, friendlier, and kinder place online.
- Define your audience before you communicate to them
- Contribute to a cause that is greater than revenue
Before the panic-inducing pandemic situation that took a grip of the year 2020, many online users only knew “Zoom” as a sound effect. Today, virtual meetings are being used not just to manage businesses but keep alive social bonds. The pandemic has made sure that the online world knows about Zoom as a leading video conference solution and a kick-ass producer of great content on social media.
One could even argue that Zoom has become a social media network unto itself, considering that it’s buzzing with casual users looking to interact with each other. But that doesn’t stop Zoom from delivering engaging content marketing pieces on their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts.
Virtual Background Contests
With the COVID-19 restricting movement and still causing people to work from home, virtual backgrounds could have caused worry. Not everyone has a dream workspace that they want to show off during a business meeting. Maybe, you don’t want your family members to show up on-screen during a friendly group chat awkwardly.
So, what does Zoom do? They spark their customer’s creativity by hosting a contest that rewards the best visual-looking background!
- Evolve and adapt your social media strategy, based on current demands
- Get creative in helping people through a challenging situation
Other content marketing examples
Coors Light’s #CouldUseABeer
Being cheeky or mischievous is a bold social media marketing move for brands. That’s what Coors Light did when they promoted their #CouldUseABeer campaign on social media. What is it about? Customers could use Coors Light’s new clone tool to create short looping videos to sneak out of virtual meetings and grab a beer! Now, there’s one of the best content marketing examples for a hot summer day. How’s that for a content marketing example!
Starbucks has been on the front and center of progressive social media marketing campaigns that promotes diversity and inclusiveness. Earlier this year, they proved it again by launching the #WhatsYourName campaign through which it respected people of all genders by using their chosen names.
In 2017, Chanel was named “the most influential luxury brand on social media” by an influencer research company. Based on total user engagement across different channels, they came out on top, leaving wayside heavyweights like Louis Vuitton. Back then, they had just over 40 million followers on Twitter on Instagram alone. In 2020, that number has risen to over 50 million followers.
How is Chanel getting this done this fast? Simple. They maximized content value by optimizing the design as per the channel. Chanel regularly contributed content pieces that looked visually-stunning, no matter the channels. They also spruced up their YouTube page with regularized video campaigns. It is what makes them one of them best content marketing examples.
Chanel’s Mother’s Day 2020
Just because Chanel is a luxury brand doesn’t mean they can’t tug on heartstrings in the simplest possible way. Instead of creating a complex and intricate design idea for an ad to promote their legendary No 5 product, they took a more straightforward route. The ad ended up showcasing a Chanel No. 5 bottle – as drawn by a child – with a tagline that said, “Happy Mother’s Day.”
- Repurpose your content for marketing cross-channel usage
- Be bold in how simple you want your message to be
Shutterstock is in the business of helping you do more with visual marketing. It is why they are so good at telling visual stories on social media and are one of the best content marketing examples. Since their propriety content is generated by photographers, videographers, artists, and musicians who get paid for its usage, it is easy to think that all they do is share their works.
More views lead to more downloads, right? Well, that’s true since Shutterstock does share some of its unique templates on social media. They also provide insights to people on trends to make their web/print materials look unique, share visuals that tell inspirational stories, and make pop culture references.
Two years ago, Shutterstock did something unpredictable. They created a report to help people that was much lesser than 1,000 words. If you have read enough content marketing trend reports, you already know that you must be prepared to digest a lot of text. Well, not so, according to Shutterstock. All they do is publish the best content!
Using an ultra-inventive and interactive Resources section, they shared a 2018 Creative Trends report through a unique-looking infographic. Thus far, it has been shared more than 10,000 times, with 5K+ social media shares, and more than 100 article mentions.
- Understand that creating content for social media means living up to your brand promise
- Reinvent the wheel in terms of content format with what you are good at
Other content marketing examples:
Privacy Please’s Instagram Posts
Privacy Please, a US-based women’s clothing brand, has been killing it through digital marketing and high quality content. How do we know this? They still don’t have a website! Their outstanding designs on Instagram are one of the many reasons why they have managed to create an astounding level of Instagram engagement. The key to their success has been the consistency with which they use image filters to create a retro aesthetic that younger audiences find appealing.
In 2018, KFC was in a soup. Due to logistical issues, there was a massive chicken shortage. While they fixed it as soon as possible, that didn’t stop them from using it to create more brand awareness. How did that go? They put out a print ad that cleverly shuffled their famous acronym into something to make their customer chuckle! Next time, you’ll have to wonder why the fried chicken crossed the road!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have seen one of the thousands of Apple’s content marketing videos. Last year, the launch videos of iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro were in the top 10 list of most-watched retail videos. One of the reasons is that they consistently promote micro-videos, no longer than 15 seconds, that capture the audience’s attention by immersing them. One of the ways they achieve it is by showcasing their light-hearted personality in their videos.
From launches to feature updates, Apple uses humor to address even user concerns. While the budget certainly doesn’t present itself as a problem, Apple’s winning personality makes it seem quirky despite being an elite brand for all practical purposes.
Ever since the Facebook-Cambridge scandal blew up, content marketing platforms have promoted awareness around the data privacy issue. At the very least, they want to convince people that they take it seriously, without making their Privacy Page seem as complex as an episode of Game of Thrones.
Recently, Apple set aside its quirky and witty repertoire to create a video called ‘Simple as That‘ that emotionally resonated with the customers. Twenty-four million views later, Apple further cemented its status as one of the kings of video marketing. It’s just one of the many examples of content marketing greatness achieved by this top brand.
- Change your brand personality when it matters and where it counts
- Use simplicity to interpret complex subjects – videos are not user guides
GoPro’s video marketing campaigns are iconic for how exciting and engaging they are, from showcasing the antics of free runners to creating a Hero In Action campaign to highlight the good Samaritans. Their advantage is that their users generate most of their social media content! They have enlisted skateboarders, surfers, and even firefighters to upload videos that were shot with GoPro cameras.
GoPro managed to master how cleverly and consistently they turned customers in advocates by merely letting them show what they can do. Think about it – GoPro cameras are made for being used in near-extraordinary situations. Why wouldn’t that be something their video marketing strategy is centered around ?
Highlight – Live streaming
Besides effectively channeling their user-generated content, GoPro has also become synonymous with capitalizing on meeting their users’ needs. With the craze for live streaming in recent years and the subsequent rise on Twitch and the ban on Tik Tok, GoPro jumped onboard this phenomenon.
GoPro recently launched a live streaming feature for its premium subscribers to showcase their action-packed adventures to no longer rely on social media platforms.
- Allow your users to showcase video-based positive experiences
- Develop exclusive video marketing platforms – something special for exclusive customers
Other content marketing examples:
Gensys CX Heroes
Gensys, a contact center technology company, celebrated the human touch in communication with their CX Heroes video-driven campaign. They looked to appreciate the hard work of customer service agents by sharing their heart-warming human stories.
True Influence’s The DemandGen Father
How do you make an offer on social media that customers can’t resist? You should probably create a video series as informative, funny, and witty as True Influence’s The DemandGen Father. Inspired by the Oscar-winning film, The Godfather, it leveraged elements like video personalization and interactive quizzing to build up the tension and deliver a satisfying finale!
As a menstrual hygiene brand, Always has a female-only audience. They understood that certain expressions such as “Like a girl” have been used negatively for far too long. It is why they launched the #LikeAGirl video marketing campaign that celebrated just how awesome it is to be a girl.
You don’t have to be on LinkedIn to know how influential they are as content marketers. Their audience comprises over 40 million decision-makers and 61 million senior influencers. Whether a Fortune 500 company, a bootstrapped start-up, a CEO, or a fresher, LinkedIn is the place to promote your content.
The reason that most marketers find LinkedIn to be the best-suited channel to find great-quality content marketing examples is because the company is extremely good at adding material to LinkedIn Learning – their Resource Center. Some of their noteworthy content marketing pieces include step-by-step user guides, Infographics, on-demand webinars, market reports, etc.
LinkedIn’s The Sophisticated Marketer
Guided by LinkedIn’s Big Rock principle, The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide series made a big splash in the online world. Also available in print format, it provided expert insights into topics like Thought Leadership and Global Marketing. The series was also repurposed into multiple formats like blog posts, presentations, webinars, and influencer posts.
Even today, if you search for the best LinkedIn guides online, you will likely first run into LinkedIn’s original content. Tellingly, before The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide was launched, they were as not featured in Google’s highest-ranking top 10 search results. That’s something to be proud of.
- Control what your users discover by showing up wherever they are
- Provide solutions for recognizable pain-points in your industry
Unbounce, a Canada-based software company that unlocks landing pages’ power to increase conversions, has been focused on enriching its resources section for years. With landing pages emerging as a significant priority for content marketers, Unbounce has been educating users on how this content format can be used to direct customers to accelerate and amplify the chances of landing a sale.
With their commitment to spreading the power of knowledge, they divided their resources material into two major types – Conversion Resources and Unbounce Customer Resources. Each section came with its uniquely styled content pieces in various engaging formats like audio, video, templates, etc.
SaaS Landing Pages
Unbounce is all about landing pages, which is why they recently developed a free guide for SaaS marketers to create memorable landing pages. On the landing page designed to promote it, they claimed, “Learn to Optimize Like Talia Wolf.” Who is Talia Wolf? Well, she happens to be a leading conversion optimization specialist/speaker.
Unbounce also went one step further by intelligently coding the web page to ensure it changes according to user type!
- Be a true thought leader by publishing how-to guides written by external experts
- Customize your content – personalization goes a long way
Other content marketing examples:
Think With Google
The search engine giant’s inclusion was inevitable. But who are we kidding? Google could be featured in any of these categories. But the world’s biggest search engine finds its place here because of Think with Google – an excellent repository of resources that brings together their data, analysis, and insights.
American Express OPEN Forum
Amex Open Forum is one of the earliest digital business resources hubs that won the captured the attention of a vast online audience. Over a decade-old, it continues to be a valuable source of insights across various topics for small business owners.
Every marketing team, worth its budget, taps into the power of content marketing examples. Powerful content market pieces of the past can, after all, inspire your brand to the hallowed grounds of competitive differentiation.
As a B2C or a B2B company, you may hear it from every other content marketer – how they can turn your sales pitches into story-lines and key advantages into anecdotes. How you can meet monthly targets, hire the right talent, and unlock new product potential — all with simplistic yet profound content marketing. Plus, search engines love them.
Sounds easy, right?
As you may have figured it out, that’s easier said than done. But if you pay close attention to these 25 content marketing examples, you would have taken the first step towards perfecting your content marketing strategy.
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