Content marketing is all a buzz these days and headlines are even reading, “Content Marketing Now a Definitve Industry Term.” Personal brands and big businesses alike are loving all over content marketing, and for good reason. After all, it is proving its value hand over fist by doing exactly what it claims to do:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Here is even some great data you can geek out over: 2015 Content Marketing Benchmark, Budgets & Trends by Content Marketing Institute.
I think most of us can now agree that there is really something to this whole content marketing movement. That is why I thought it would be fun to share some really excellent examples of content marketing. Admittedly, I’m a glutton for some good marketing so here are my favorite pieces of content marketing and why:
1. “Dear Kitten” series presented by Buzzfeed & Friskies
There is just something about cat videos that people go crazy about. Friskies and Buzzfeed capitalize on this obsession with their Dear Kitten series of videos that showcases the Friskies brand through a fun, shareable story that people actually want to watch. It raises awareness of the brand, amplifies their product reach and effectively builds their online audience of cat lovers and turns them into advocates.
2. What’s Up Moms: Pretty much everything they post on YouTube
It’s content that is either super useful or it’s pleasantly entertaining. And at the end of every video they share is the opportunity to opt-in to their subscription list. They are creating compelling content with a very clear call to action to grow their subscribers. From recipes to parodies, these women are hysterical and really relate to their target audience. It’s great content that people come back for again and again.
We see these commercials on television and on their YouTube channel. What I love so much about Subaru’s content is that it is selling what its audience values most. Subaru shows (rather than tells) how it understands what matters most to its customers and that they are designing cars based on that, first. The consistency and clarity of their message is spot on every time, regardless of the specific target audience they are talking to. They bring their customer’s story to life in a truly compelling way that allows their target audience to recognize themselves in Subaru content. It’s glorious.
4. Chris Brogan’s emails, Owner Media Group LLC
If you haven’t yet subscribed to Owner Media, then go here right now. Chris Brogan is one of the fathers of content marketing. He is the shining example of how content marketing should work to drive actual results and sales. All of his marketing outreach has a purpose, is personalized and delivers tons and tons of value. He’s building subscribers honestly and then showers them with so much value that they really do want to make purchases for more. His approach is so simple and so effective. Seriously, just subscribe and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
5. Jimmy Fallon’s #Thursdays
Talk about a fun way to engage your audience! Jimmy Fallon has been doing #Thursdays for a long time now and does it ever get old? Content marketing can effectively accomplish many goals, such as user-based content created by your actual customers and “fans”! When your customers actually want to create content for your brand, your brand goes to a whole new level.
6. Southwest Airline’s employee content
I just really love how much Southwest loves its employees. Happy employees are fun to be around and Southwest really seems to embrace each employee for who they are. This is why on some flights the attendants crack jokes, rap safety procedures or sing. Every flight I’ve ever been on is a little different thanks to the many personalities that shine through each trip. Southwest values its customers and delivers a truly remarkable experience through its happy employees. Just visit their Twitter page and you’ll see customer uploaded videos and pictures of their remarkable experiences with the faces of Southwest: their awesome employees!
Say hello to the rise of the social employee thanks to IBM and their commitment to embracing social technologies! They are all about engaging customers through their content marketing and just brilliant at it! As any good content marketing should do, it should make the customer the hero of any brand’s story and that is exactly what IBM is doing. They are telling their client’s stories and how IBM helped them reach their goals. It’s not about the big wins, it’s about the client’s wins, period. And who discovers these client stories? The employees. Hence, IBM is the model for how other brands can successfully cultivate a culture that celebrates employee engagement that builds client advocacy.
I have even more examples to share of really amazing content marketing … and not so amazing… I think I’ll save the rest for next week.
Just as the best writers read a lot of great writing, the best content marketing takes in lot of great content. Pay attention to the ways these brands are killing it with their content marketing efforts. I think you’ll notice the common denominator with all the examples I’ve shared in this post is that audience is truly at the heart of their content marketing.