Despite all the information available about content marketing, many large and small businesses still struggle with forming an effective strategy.
Whether you aren’t sure where to start or if you’re running out of ideas, this article has put together some of the best content marketing ideas out there to take your strategies to the next level.
One great way to get your content marketing off to the right start is to look at what other successful content marketers have done. Their success can provide inspiration when formulating your own content marketing plan.
Some businesses have great success with different kinds of promotion, such as Linkedin email marketing, webinars, or even a video series. It’s up to you to figure out what will work best for your business to help bring in those potential customers. But, if you’re looking for some great examples to get your creative juices flowing, then here are some of the best content marketing examples:
Example #1: ADP – Bottom Of The Funnel Content
When deciding to purchase a product or service, people go through different stages before they are ready to buy. These stages are often divided into three categories:
- Top of the Funnel – In this stage, also known as the Awareness stage, people become aware that they have a problem and start researching possible solutions.
- Middle of the Funnel – As people learn more through content, they become potential leads. They are getting closer to the purchase and their search queries become more specific.
- Bottom of the Funnel – At the bottom of the funnel, the prospect is ready to buy. They may search for information on you and your competitors or content topics specific to the goal they want to achieve.
If you want to generate sales quickly from content, then you may want to focus on creating middle and bottom of the funnel content.
ADP provides software and services to help businesses with HR and payroll management. In one campaign, ADP targeted prospects that were ready to purchase their services by generating a series of white papers on human capital management for various industries.
In addition to providing useful information, ADP also gave estimates on how much companies could save by using their solutions. These estimates gave prospects a reason to learn more about ADP’s product offerings.
As a result of this campaign, ADP generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities and closed several deals in just three months.
Example #2: Thai Life – Branding Through Storytelling
Another powerful content marketing tactic is using storytelling to attract an audience. This approach can even be used in niches like life insurance.
While many insurance companies use commercials to talk about insurance benefits and how much money people can save, Thai Life Insurance took a different approach.
They used video storytelling to connect with people on an emotional level and generate brand exposure. Their videos are just a few minutes long and are cinematic short films that convey the importance of love and family values.
Thai Life’s videos have accumulated more than 100 million views on YouTube and been shared and watched by people worldwide. They’ve also been recognized at Cannes Film Festival and many other media outlets.
An important thing to note is that Thai Life focuses mostly on creating engaging videos and not on selling. They briefly show their company name at the end of each video and a website link where people can visit to learn more.
Example #3: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Entertainment For Niches
Another great approach for building brand awareness is by entertaining your target audience, which can even work well in boring niches. People love being entertained and a well-designed campaign can even go viral.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of a successful content marketing campaign. Rather than focusing on creating blog articles, the Ice Bucket Challenge encouraged people to dump a bucket of ice on their heads and post it on Facebook or donate to the ALS Foundation.
After dumping ice on themselves, people also had to nominate a friend at the end of the video to participate in the challenge. This call to action encouraged people to keep making these videos, resulting in over 90,000 Facebook posts.
Even celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Selena Gomez took part in the challenge:
Example #4: Orbit Media – Boosting SEO Through Content
Another really effective content strategy is using content to boost SEO results. Studies show that on average, companies that blog receive 97% more links than those that don’t.
These inbound links not only boost rankings for blog articles but also increase the site’s overall domain authority. Higher domain authority can also allow a site to rank for its main keywords.
Orbit Media offers web design services and grew into a 7-figure business with content marketing.
According to Ahrefs, Orbit Media has over 220,000 backlinks from over 5,000 unique domains, which is more than 3x the number of links than the closest competitor.
The high volume of inbound links has not only helped Orbit Media rank for many content-related searches, but also for its main money keywords including terms like “web design Chicago” and “web development Chicago”.
With the high volume of inbound links and the fact that Orbit Media is still creating content, competitors will have a difficult time catching up with them.
With the high volume of inbound links and the fact that Orbit Media is still creating content, competitors will have a difficult time catching up with them.
Example #5: Hubspot – Branding Through Content Creation
According to a study by Hubspot, companies that have published over 400 blog posts get 3x as many leads as companies that have published under 100 blog posts. The study also reveals that companies that write 16 or more blog posts each month get 4.5x more leads than companies that only create 0-4 blog posts per month.
While creating quality content is important, being able to create a large quantity of content is also crucial.
More content allows websites to accumulate more search traffic each month by showing up for long-tail search queries. When people start seeing the same website pop up for different searches, they start to remember the company’s name.
Readers also visit the site more often when they know that new content will be available each day, which can result in more inbound links and social shares.
Hubspot took its own research to heart and published at least one blog post a day on each of its sites. They have separate blogs for sales, marketing professionals, agencies, and customer service to reach their target prospects.
Hubspot is one of the most well-known content marketing success stories and generates over $500 million in annual revenue while employing over 2,000 employees.
Example #6: NerdWallet – Awards and Content Partnerships
NerdWallet grew its valuation to over $500 million using a similar approach as Hubspot by beating out competitors like Bankrate, Lending Tree, and The Motley Fool. According to AHrefs, the site ranks for over 3.1 million keyword phrases and a quick search shows that the site has over 47,000 pages indexed in Google.
Nerdwallet also leveraged its popularity even further to cement its position as a leader in its niche. They created their own award to recognize some of the best providers in the financial space including well-known enterprise-level businesses like Discover and Chase.
In return, some of these sites (including Discover) also linked back to NerdWallet.
Through a partnership with the Associated Press, NerdWallet also was able to syndicate its content to over 1,650 news outlets. Additionally, they allowed other people to submit content to their site through guest posting and other partnerships, significantly increasing content production.
You can learn more about NerdWallet’s content strategy in this post.
Example #7: GrooveHQ – Relationship Building Plus Great Content
Some businesses are bootstrapped and don’t have a large content marketing budget. GrooveHQ was one such business, but founder Alex Turnbull was able to grow his business to over $5 million a year in just three years with content marketing.
GrooveHQ’s content marketing formula included creating great content combined with an effective outreach strategy to build relationships with influencers. The goal was to create content that was so good that influencers would want to share it with their followers.
For content creation purposes, Alex decided to share his startup journey as well as revenue numbers throughout their growth. Alex embraced using transparency and this approach attracted the attention of other startup founders and marketers.
Many content marketers reach out to influencers and ask them to share their content, but Alex decided to take a different approach. Instead, Alex focused on building long-lasting relationships with influencers using an engagement schedule.
Basically, Alex made a list of influencers that he wanted to connect with and made sure to share their content on Twitter and comment on their blogs regularly. After he built the relationships, he would later email them and ask them if he could share a blog article with them.
Alex got over an 80% positive reply rate with this approach. Building relationships before he needed them allowed Alex to get 1,000 subscribers to his blog within 24 hours of launching and quickly grow to over 5,000 within a month.
Example #8: Buffer – Aggressive Guest Posting And Syndication
One of the best ways to get in front of your target audience when doing content marketing is guest posting on popular blogs in your niche. Guest posting allows you to quickly reach an audience that may have taken someone else years to build up.
Guest blogging is most effective when done consistently. When people keep seeing your name on other industry blogs, they start to become aware of your brand and many will start to follow your blog directly.
Buffer is a social sharing tool that allows businesses to schedule content sharing on their social media accounts. Leo Widrich grew Buffer from zero to 100,000 customers by doing 150 guest posts in 9 months.
Creating original guest posts required a good amount of time, so Buffer later adopted a syndication strategy to increase its reach even more. They took their most successful content and syndicated it to other high-traffic sites for more exposure.
For example, Fast Company re-published Buffer’s popular article on the ideal length of tweets, Facebook posts, and headlines which resulted in 6,000 additional social shares.
Guest posting is one of the most popular strategies for building an audience and many other businesses have focused on this strategy to grow.
Example #9: Moz – Original Research And Data-Driven Content
One of the biggest challenges that content marketers face is creating engaging content that stands out from the competition. In fact, 57% of content marketers report that creating more custom content is their top priority.
A great way to create unique content is to do your own original research. Original research is one tactic that separates thought leaders from other content creators that are simply rehashing the same ideas that people have already written about.
Moz is one company that used original research to beat out its competitors. Content marketing allowed Moz to grow to over $47 million in annual revenue in 2017 and site traffic continues to increase each year, getting close to 19 million visits in 2017.
A good content marketing example is Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey where Moz sends a questionnaire to industry professionals and compiles data on their responses. Moz also keeps its data up-to-date by conducting the survey each year and discussing any changes from the previous year.
Moz runs marketing experiments to see what does and does not work with SEO and online marketing. In one experiment, Moz bought links and found that it helped with SEO rankings, which contradicts common SEO beliefs that buying links is always harmful.
By creating unique and useful resources, Moz was able to attract influential followers in the digital marketing space.
Doing your own research requires additional resources beyond hiring a content writer. But organizations that invest the time and resources to create this type of content and promote it can stand out from competitors to achieve thought leadership in their industry.
Example #10 Rip Curl – The Social Media Platform Approach
Rip Curl calls itself the “ultimate surfing company.” One of the ways it expresses its brand is its dedication to an online publication called The Search. Not only does Rip Curl use a major publishing company to help distribute its content, but it uses the social media approach to content marketing.
The Search catalogs high-quality content about the best waves and is the ultimate guide for a surfing lifestyle. It also features some awesome photography and incredible stories told by surfers. Not only does Rip Curl have its own catalog for publication, but they use social media posts to share some of its best content.
With more than 100k subscribers on their YouTube channel and a whopping 2 and a half million Facebook followers, this is a fantastic example of using social media to match your content to a target audience. And a prime example of how to grow a niche business and make it profitable.
Social shares can be an absolute goldmine if done correctly and can help indirectly with search ranking that can end up brewing a higher conversion rate with more lead generation.
But, what if your business is B2B, without a huge self-publication side hustle, and doesn’t target your everyday surfer?
Let me explain:
GE – B2B Influencer Method
If you’re looking for a B2B content marketing example then GE is a good place to get inspired.
GE isn’t your ordinary appliance warehouse that sells washers and dryers. Not only does GE sell some pretty great vacuum cleaners, but they also build and sell jet engines and wind turbines. From an outsider’s perspective, GE might seem like a boring niche that wouldn’t gain much traction.
However, GE is a well-known company that has taken some dull business jargon and brought it to life with its social media content. Their Instagram account and other social media accounts are perfect examples of content marketing.
GE’s combined campaign with influencer marketing and content marketing created the hashtag #GEInstaWalk. That meant giving well-known people with a ton of followers a massive tour of their manufacturing facilities and letting them take pictures and upload hashtagged pictures onto their popular IG accounts.
Their content marketing efforts achieved the following:
- 8 million views on GE’s IG account
- 3 million reaches per tour
- 3,000 new followers
Also, the best part about the above example of this great content marketing is that it was all accomplished without any paid advertising!
Example #11 Superdrug – The Raising Awareness Technique
Superdrug is a health and beauty retailer in the United Kingdom that supplies skincare products, make-up, and other cosmetics such as different fragrances.
Superdrug wanted to boost its digital marketing and expand its brand in its industry. So, the company used an interesting content marketing strategy that focused on beauty standards from around the world.
To accomplish their company’s goal, they asked 18 graphic designers from around the world to edit photos of a model in Photoshop to express beauty norms from different countries.
They used publishing methods, social media presence, and combined a great cause to focus on which is body image standards and issues.
By publishing their efforts on high-authority news sites, they were able to achieve the following:
- Internation News coverage that reached the New York Times, The Telegraph, and even The Business Insider.
- Celebrity endorsements such as Sofia Vergara
- 3 Million views of the original study
- Close to 1 million social media shares
I mean, not only did their social platforms explode, but the company actually got more than 1 million page views on their website within a 5 day period!
Picking the right cause for your company can be challenging, but if it’s something that your brand believes in, then it could definitely be worth it.
Examples #12 Zomato – Visual Content Marketing
I’ve talked about social media campaigns above, but I didn’t really mention visuals. So, let’s jump into imagery and how that can affect your content marketing strategies.
For example, Zomato is a restaurant finder mobile app that is available in a ton of different countries. The company uses entertainment and humor in its marketing strategy which often references pop culture such as spoofs of classic films.
They are modern, creative, and funny. It’s a great marketing strategy and their 1.5 million Twitter followers and almost 2 million on their Facebook page would agree.
The app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and helps prove the point that visual content marketing is a method that is well worth investing in.
In fact, video content takes up a staggering 82% of consumer internet traffic. So, why is that? Video stimulates and engages interests. Video can give so much more information because of the way it is formatted and that’s why it’s one of the best ways for solving problems and engaging customers.
Actually, 70% of YouTube viewers watch videos to solve an issue. Visual content doesn’t just stop at videos, infographics are fantastic for gaining more backlinks and engagement from your target audience.
A Hubspot study suggests that the top 4 formats that marketers use in their content strategy are blogs, videos, images, and infographics. These different types of content marketing all have the same goals, just published in different ways. They are created to boost brand awareness, engagement, and organic traffic.
Color in visuals such as infographics increases the attention span of viewers by 82%. Not only does visual content increase engagement, but researchers spent 39% less time finding information in documents with visuals that use color and charts than without. Visuals reduce bounce rate and increase the general user experience of a viewer who finds your content.
Hootsuite – Video Content Marketing
As I mentioned, video content is one of the best ways to boost your brand’s awareness. Let’s use Hootsuite as a quick example of this. And, I’ll just go ahead and mention again that using pop culture in your visuals is a great way to make your content entertaining and relatable to an audience.
Hootsuite did just that with a brand video that they published on their Youtube channel. At the time, everyone was watching “Game of Thrones,” kind of like how everyone watched “Tiger King” during the beginning of the pandemic.
Anyway, Hootsuite used this as a starting point to tell a story about their brand. This viral video was titled, “A Game of Social Thrones.” This video has 1.3 million views and is their most successful branded content.
Video content is the primary form of media that is used for any content marketing strategy. In fact, 89% of marketers plan to continue investing in video content or increase their video content investment just this year alone.
The style and what platform you decide to publish your video content on is your own preference, but your search engine optimization and content marketing efforts will be worthwhile.
Example #12 The Joe Rogan Experience – Controversial Marketing
Whether you love him or hate him, Joe Rogan has used controversy to gain a huge audience with his audio podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Some people listen for shock value, and others listen because they enjoy his content.
Despite the controversy, his podcast has still managed to become one of the most widely listened to podcasts in the world, with well over 8 million subscribers.
He’s also able to promote more than one piece of content at a time for multiple different platforms such as Spotify and Youtube, making it easily shareable. His Youtube channel has more than 12 million subscribers, with many of his videos reaching over 4 million views.
Actually, 53% of content marketers who use podcasts and other audio content say it’s their most effective format. However, it does have a low ROI.
Not only does “The Joe Rogan Experience” post audible versions of the podcast, but he streams live recordings as well.
One reason why Joe Rogan is so successful is that podcasts can drive results and pay off in terms of leads and sales. 60% of podcast listeners search for a product after hearing about it from a podcast.
Let me just quickly mention that Joe Rogan isn’t the first to use controversy to expand a brand.
In fact, researchers Jonah Berger and Zoey Chen analyzed more than 200 articles just to see how controversy impacts engagement levels.
Their results revealed that low-level controversy encourages discussion, while anything beyond a moderate level can sometimes decrease engagement.
While Joe Rogan wavers on what might seem high-level controversy, his marketing team has done an incredible job at boosting his brand. While most brands avoid controversy as much as possible, some companies thrive on it.
But, how can controversy help a business?
Simply put, it attracts attention. Controversy triggers an emotional response that sparks discussion and engagement.
It’s Time to Put These Content Marketing Examples to Good Use
To sum it up, learning from other successful content marketers is a great way to find ideas and inspiration for your own content marketing plan.
Even “boring” niches can use content marketing to thrive by being creative and using entertainment to connect with their target audience. Content marketing is not only useful for attracting your target customer but can also help with SEO and creating broader brand awareness in your niche.
If you’d like some help with your content marketing from a high-quality marketing agency, check out HOTH Blogger and Blogger Pro where we’ll create awesome cornerstone content for your site!