“Content marketing is the best form of marketing” is quite an ambitious thing to someone who has never seen the effects. Yes, most people have heard several times that content marketing works, but where are the successful content marketing examples to prove that?
Fortunately, there are several examples of brands who have tried several flavors of content marketing, only for it to work out extremely well for them. Also, there are done-for-you content marketing templates you can implement in your business today to catapult your sales.
In this article, I’ll start by explaining what content marketing is, before diving into some of the best examples of excellent content marketing strategies that have worked for big and small brands alike. Then, you’ll learn about some done-for-you example templates to take your marketing to the next level.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is so expansive that it often gets defined wrongly. Before going into the excellent content marketing examples, it makes sense to look at what content marketing is exactly. So, where is content marketing exactly?
CMI describes content marketing as a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating relevant, consistent, and valuable content for distribution in a bid to attract and retain a defined audience. When you start looking at content marketing that way, you begin to understand the distinctions between it and other forms of marketing.
According to statistics from Statista, around 97% of firms have some form of content marketing in place. A vast majority of companies with a well-defined content marketing strategy report massive success with the practice, especially since they only do it for brand awareness.
While most firms do practice some form of content marketing, it doesn’t mean they’re all doing it well. Also, it’s never good to take inspiration for your content marketing practice from firms that are doing it the wrong way.
To ensure you’re doing it the right way, I’ll show you some awesome content marketing examples from successful brands to inspire yours.
Awesome Content Marketing Examples
With nine out of 10 customers expecting every brand to produce some form of content, your identity as a business is not complete if you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place. However, it’s not enough to simply have a strategy; you also want to ensure that strategy will work.
A working content marketing strategy will attract and retain customers according to the definition I provided earlier. Here, I’ll show you some awesome content marketing examples that helped the brands attract and retain customers, and how you can replicate them for your business.
With that said, here are creative content marketing examples for your business.
HubSpot is my favorite example of a perfectly-executed content marketing strategy. If you don’t know HubSpot, you’re probably not even a marketer in the first place. HubSpot is the one-stop shop for everything marketing, thanks to its excellent blog with easy-to-understand explanations of complex marketing concepts.
I ran across HubSpot after searching Google for “how to write a marketing email.” There’s a very good chance that you were also attracted by one of the brand’s high-ranking blog posts on Google; after all, the company’s official blog has tons of articles on blogging and marketing.
In addition to attracting customers using the blog, HubSpot also does a good job of retaining them by adding lead magnets that require signups to the blog posts. The brand also keeps a presence on top social media platforms, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn. If you’re looking for one of the best content marketing examples, HubSpot is a great case study.
2. Canva Design Challenge
Imagine if you could post regularly post to all your social media platforms without having to spend thousands on content creation yearly. Well, the popular graphic design platform, Canva, did that easily; and the funniest part? The content doesn’t even come from their content marketing team.
Here’s how it works. Canva launched a continuous weekly contest in 2022, where all Canva users can submit their designs under the #CanvaDesignChallenge hashtag, only for a group of Canva staff to choose their top five favorite designs.
The strategy works to attract customers without having to create tons of content. Also, the challenge encourages creatives that aren’t Canva users to try out the platform, develop designs, and even submit them for the challenge. Remember, the Canva content team doesn’t even have to create a single design to reap these benefits!
3. Shot on iPhone
In 2014, Apple created the Shot on iPhone challenge, and it would go on to become one of its most successful content marketing campaigns yet. It started with the launch of the iPhone 6, and the motive of the challenge is simple: iPhone users will try to take the best photographs they possibly can using their iPhone.
After users have made submissions, professional photographers and Apple staff will look at them, and pick ten winners from all participants. The winners will all receive amazing gifts from Apple, which is exactly there are so many people participating in the challenge in the first place.
The Shot on iPhone challenge is such an awesome example of a well-executed content marketing campaign. Tons of awesome pictures tagged “#ShotoniPhone” on Instagram could easily influence someone to switch to an iPhone. Besides, old iPhone users also keep buying the device, as the awesome photos are proof that it’s not the iPhone’s camera, you’re the bad photographer.
Yet another example of an awesome marketing campaign from Apple.
Most companies don’t think social when crafting a content marketing strategy, but Rolex is enough proof that that has to stop. With over 7 million followers on Instagram, there’s something that the luxury watch firm is doing right that others aren’t.
You don’t have to look deep for that; simply head over to Rolex’s official Instagram handle to see for yourself. Once you get there, you’ll find a curated collection of amazing photos of Rolex watches being shared regularly. That alone should drive you to subscribe to the company’s Instagram handle.
One advantage of Rolex’s content marketing is the exposure; having 7 million people following you is no joke. Admittedly, a lot of Rolex’s followers can’t afford the luxury smartwatches, but the brand has forcefully engraved its name into our memories. Indeed, I’ll have a collection of Rolex watches when I finally become rich enough, you?
We’ve seen awesome examples of companies using written content and images to promote their products. However, we haven’t seen lots of video content marketing examples, and I think Blendtec is good enough to represent excellent content marketing examples in the video category.
For some background, Blendtec is a company that makes blenders; pretty boring, right? Not so much when you’re trying to see if your iPhone will blend. Now, I put this question to you: will you be willing to watch a video of someone blending an iPhone X?
Well, it seems like so many people think exactly as you do, and that’s why the Blendtec Will It Blend video series gained massive traction. Thanks to it going viral on so many social media platforms, millions of people around the world are now aware of the company named Blendtec, including you.
Now, let me get back to watching if the Amazon Echo will blend in a Blendtec blender.
Tips for Effective Content Marketing
The awesome content marketing examples we’ve seen so far should inspire you to start drawing up your brand’s strategy. However, you should recall that diving headfirst into the practice without following due process will likely result in a failure; content marketing doesn’t have a 100% success rate.
One of the most crucial content marketing tips these companies have taught us is to always include customers in your content marketing strategy. Canva uses its customers to create content; the case is almost the same as Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone” campaign.
Ensuring customers are actively engaged in the content creation and distribution process is a surefire way to succeed in content marketing.
Another tip is to understand your customer and what they want before even drafting a strategy. Apple is aware that most iPhone users use their phones for mobile photography, while HubSpot knows marketers need those informative and long-form blog posts. By targeting the correct audience, both brands have recorded massive successes in their various industries.
The last, and probably the most important tip I have for you is not to be boring. Seriously, how many times have you hissed at a piece of content because it was written like it was for robots and by robots?
When trying out content marketing, always let the consumers of your content feel like there’s a human on the other side. One excellent way to do that is creating content that will resonate with them, and Blendtec’s Will It Blend series is my favorite example of that in practice.
Content marketing is undoubtedly the best form of marketing, with most of the firms that use it reporting massive success. However, getting extraordinary success from content marketing is something that happens to only some of us.
This article analyzes some examples of brands with excellent content marketing examples. Also, I’ve offered tips to help you replicate those examples to make a name for your business in your chosen industry.
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