What insights can you gain from studying some of the top content marketing examples? In a study by Meaningful Brands, it was revealed that nine out of ten consumers expect brands to provide content.
Consumers want to know more about your brand and what you can offer before making a purchasing decision. This is because consumers are now savvier when researching the products or services they are interested in. Aside from reading reviews, people also gather information through various channels before making a purchase.
And according to Hubspot, blogs are among the three main platforms for your content strategy today. Blogs give you the freedom to feature several types of content — from regular articles to tutorials, podcasts, videos, and repurposed content. You can get as creative as you want!
Aside from blogs, you can also tap into these platforms to promote your content:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
- Forums and answer sites
But What Makes Great Content for Digital Marketing?
In a study conducted by Zazzle Media, 60% or 6 out of 10 companies are finding it difficult to produce content consistently, and 65% are struggling to create engaging content. When your potential customers do not engage with your content, it means you’re losing money.
Let’s look at some of the characteristics of 10x content or content-led marketing according to Rand Fishkin. 10x content refers to content that is 10 times better and more engaging than the highest-ranking result for a specific keyword. Knowing these characteristics can help you develop your very own unique content marketing series for your content marketing plan that would propel your brand into the spotlight.
Here are the criteria you should consider:
- Great content needs to look good and should provide a great user experience on any device. Readers won’t even spare a look at your content if it isn’t pleasing to the eyes. Your layout, images, colors, and other aesthetic aspects should be able to catch the reader’s attention.
- Great content should have a combination of these characteristics: high quality, trustworthy, interesting, useful, and remarkable. It doesn’t need to have all of them, but having at least three would be good enough.
- Great content should be different in scope and detail from other content that your readers are consuming. You should be able to provide value that is uniquely your own.
- Create an emotional response. The buyer’s decision to purchase is greatly affected by their emotions. They want to feel awe, surprise, joy, excitement, or admiration for your content to influence them.
- Great content must solve a problem or answer a question. By providing accurate, comprehensive, and trustworthy information, you are providing readers with solutions or answers to their problems.
- Deliver content in a unique and remarkable medium. As mentioned earlier, an exceptional presentation is important
If you can tick off all of these boxes, you’ll be able to create valuable and engaging 10x content. Of course, each business has its content marketing playbook so there is no one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy. What works for you might not work for others. And the content marketing examples for 2021 listed below demonstrate the range of content you can come up with.
Content Marketing Samples: Success Stories
Creating great content is easier said than done. So to help you understand what 10x content actually looks like and how it performs, we’ve listed some of the brands that provide great content marketing examples in the past couple of years. These successful content marketing examples should inspire you in creating your own great content for digital marketing.
1. Share A Coke
You’re probably familiar with this campaign from cola giant, Coca Cola. First launched in Australia in 2011, this campaign allowed people to personalize their coke bottle by changing the traditional wrapping to say ‘Share a Coke with…’ and a popular name.
The Australian campaign used 150 most popular names and printed them to the side of millions of Coke bottles. And, it was a huge hit! Everyone was clamoring to get their own Coke bottle with their name written on it.
The main goal of this campaign was to establish a more personal relationship with the customers through personalization. By having their coke bottles named after them, consumers feel special. And reaching out to your customers on a personal level is one of the characteristics of 10x content.
Coke is considered one of the brands with great content marketing but it was not doing some retargeting campaign or tracking some sales metrics this time. Instead, they targeted what matters most to their customers — their name. By personalizing the coke bottles with common names, Coke was able to elicit a sense of belongingness among its customers.
Personalization is such an effective technique in increasing customer engagement, and three out of four marketers already know this. But for some reason, only 19 percent of them apply this concept.
Coke’s viral campaign in a bottle worked by leveraging the emotional connections of its customers. And this, by far, is one of Coke’s most effective campaigns so far.
Think of what emotions you want to evoke with your campaign. How do you want your customers to feel? Once you’ve decided on the emotional aspect, you can then customize your strategy and add some personal touch to your campaign.
2. A Game of Social Thrones
Are you familiar with Hootsuite? Unless you’re a digital marketer or a social media manager, you’re probably not familiar with it. Ordinary internet users do not know what Hootsuite is. But ask them if they know Game of Thrones, and they’d tell you the whole story.
Now, this is where Hootsuite’s creativity comes into play. FYI, Hootsuite is a social media management platform where you can, well, manage all of your social media accounts. It’s not a fun and interesting industry, so the team behind Hootsuite came up with the ingenious idea of piggybacking on the popularity of the Game of Throne series.
And this is the result: Game of Social Thrones.
This viral video talks about how Hootsuite unites each and every social media network into one platform, allowing marketers to manage everything in one place. It was a huge hit.
This is one of the most inspiring content marketing examples because:
- It appealed to the consumer’s emotions.
- The content was delivered in a unique presentation.
- It solves a problem.
- It is different from other types of content that tackle the same problem.
- Plus, the reference to Game of Thrones is a huge bonus.
The message was clear and the execution was very creative. What more can you ask for?
Don’t forget the fun factor when you’re sharing information or sending out a message. Be innovative and don’t hesitate to find exciting ways to connect with your audience.
3. Buffer’s Open Blog
Buffer is another social media management app that lets you schedule posts, monitor your engagement, track your analytics, and handle all aspects of your social media strategy in one place.
But despite its powerful features, its product isn’t perfect. And they want their customers to understand that through their Open Blog. The concept behind this strategy is transparency and trust.
This might seem like a simple idea, but it is actually a brilliant plan. It’s like you’re taking a personal look into what’s going on behind the scenes. For example, you’ll read about how Buffer is transitioning to a four-day workweek and what happens during the quarterly shareholder update.
Aside from showing you what they do, the team also shares tips and pieces of advice that give value to each blog post.
Buffer’s Open Blog tells people what they want to hear. On top of that, they also provide solutions for specific problems that people often encounter. And that’s what makes them effective.
4. Microsoft And Stories
Everyone loves a good story. It’s entertaining and it’s a good way to send your message across. And the people at Microsoft know how to tell good stories via their Stories blog.
People can connect with good stories, hence it is good to incorporate them into your content strategy. Enjoying a good story makes people feel good without being pressured to purchase or subscribe to a service. And if you’re able to make your customers feel some emotions with your story, then they are more likely to trust your brand.
Trust is an important factor in making purchasing decisions. Better stories mean better emotions and stronger connections with your audience. In the case of Microsoft’s Stories, the entries tell the stories of their team members, allowing the audience to see them as human beings. Their stories allow them to relate to the people in the Stories, creating a stronger relationship in return.
Tell stories that your customers would love to read, hear, or watch. Don’t be afraid to be human.
5. McDonald’s Question Time
No, McDonald’s is not all about your favorite burger or french fries. The “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign has proven that McDonald’s is more than about food.
This marketing campaign allows you to know more about your favorite food or everything that’s got to do with McDonald’s. For instance, do you ever wonder what’s in a beef patty? Or why the fries are always crispy? McDonald’s will tell you.
Here are some questions that McDonald’s was very brave to answer:
- What’s’ in a McGriddles Bun?
- Why don’t you call your ‘shakes,’ ‘milkshakes’?
- Can I custom order a no sauce sandwich?
- How is your McRib patty formed?
- What is your soft serve ice cream made of?
- Do you use real apples in your Apple Pies?
- Do you use milk from cows treated without rbST?
- Is your orange juice pasteurized?
Question Time is a campaign about honesty. The initiative was launched by McDonald’s Canada when they decided to answer all of the customer’s questions — every single one of them. They were able to answer around 10,000 customer questions, from the mundane to the weird ones. By sharing these facts and being transparent, the brand was able to build strong relationships with its customers.
Stepping out to share information about your brand builds trust and belief.
Honesty is still the best policy. Don’t be afraid to answer questions and engage with your customers.
6. GoPro’s Visual Content
Visual content is the easiest way to attract attention and they make great content for digital marketing. And GoPro knows how to make the most of visual content to get the attention that it needs.
When you look at GoPro’s website, your attention is automatically drawn to the vivid photos. The images are not simply photos of their products, but other visual content as well. This is because their marketing strategy is focused on quality.
See the example below:
Instead of focusing on their products, they focus on their customers. The images demonstrate the experience the customers will enjoy by using their products. And it’s just a bonus that the pictures look great.
Images, when used properly, can double or triple your website traffic, depending on how effective they are in moving your customers. Posts with photos get more reactions, reach, and engagement.
Use high-quality photos that move people into taking action. Photos can be a very powerful marketing tool if you know how to use it.
7. GE Content Marketing Examples
When you think about GE, you think about boring appliances, such as televisions, washing machines, washing machines, and the like. And you’d expect their website and social media pages to be filled with pictures of these appliances.
But it turns out that GE has a great talent for turning a mundane industry into an interesting one. Instead of focusing on the appliances, GE introduces the other side of the business using interesting photos. When we say the other side of the business, we are referring to wind turbines, locomotives, jet engines, and others.
GE took a boring business and brought life to it using a creative Instagram campaign called #GEInstaWalk. In this campaign, GE used influencer marketing by getting influencers to do the #GEInstaWalk. They were able to tour the manufacturing facilities while taking and hashtagging photos. And #GE did not pay for any advertising.
Social media influence is a powerful marketing tool, as long as you are able to identify who will bring the most benefits to your brand.
8. Zomato’s Humor
Humor makes your customers feel good, making them want more of your content. Zomato is one of the brands known to use humor as part of its marketing strategy. Zomato is a restaurant finder app that serves more than 20 countries. You might be wondering how this app injects humor into its content. Check out the example below:
In particular, it creates and shares images referencing popular culture, as this recent example spoofing an Oscar-nominated film shows.
The photos are simple but witty, with a bit of a minimalist approach. Good food and good humor is always a good combination.
Simple images can sometimes create a huge impact on your readers. Use concise messages. Besides, a picture is worth a thousand words.
9. Shutterstock Content Marketing Examples
Shutterstock is in the business of providing high-quality images, and it is taking advantage of this resource in its marketing campaign. People love good quality photos so they get widely shared all the time.
Aside from attention-grabbing photos, Shutterstock has added videos and music into the mix. You can just imagine how visually appealing their content will be.
Take advantage of the resources available to you.
You might think that just because Rolex is a big brand, it doesn’t need to market its products aggressively. On the contrary, being a big brand means it has to work extra hard to be on top. And Rolex does this by providing elegant and quality photos. Just by looking at the pictures, you can tell about the quality and timelessness of the brand.
Being a big brand doesn’t mean you can ignore your content marketing. The more popular your brand is, the more you need to keep producing high-quality content to stay on top.
Tools for creating the best content marketing campaigns
Generating 10x content is not something that you can on your own. It is a lengthy process that involves great planning, research, designing, editing, and editing. And to help you with this process, here are some tools you can count on:
If you’re maintaining a blog, using BuzzSumo is a must. It helps you analyze topics so you know what type of content is trending in your industry. It also gives you an insight into what your competitor is writing about.
BuzzSumo is perfect for discovering the topics you should write about and for finding influencers to market your content for you.
This tool is useful for jotting down notes during a brainstorming session or making a list of the things you need to do. You can even allow your team members to have access to your notes and collaborate on the app itself.
Content marketing is more than just creating content. You need to know whether people are reading or interacting with it. You can do so using Kred. Plus, it can also help you find influencers who can help amplify your reach.
Need to collaborate with your team on your content project? Trello can help you organize and work together with your team members smoothly.
Creating images has become a lot easier with Canva. It has templates, a selection of images, and sizing references to help create images a lot easier. And you don’t need Photoshop skills to create a great design.
Getting your content out there is a part of your content marketing strategy. MashShare lets you create social share buttons that are difficult to ignore.
Posting on multiple social media platforms can be a pain. Thanks to Hootsuite, you can now manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Nobody’s perfect, that’s why you need Grammarly. You need an extra pair of eyes to go through your content and check for mistakes.
Content marketing is a complicated process. But once you get it right, you’ll be able to stand out from the rest and enjoy the spotlight. Make sure to take into account the characteristics of 10x content and derive inspiration from the content marketing examples above. Investing in your content marketing pays off in the end.