11 content marketing examples to inspire you
It can be incredibly challenging to figure out how to create content marketing that attracts an audience and converts them into clients. Many companies simply aren’t sure which strategies will work the best and don’t want to waste time and resources on those that don’t work well.
Studying award-winning content marketing examples offers a solution to this in several ways. To start, it shows you the type of strategies that tend to work well. This can reduce wasted efforts and resources. These examples can also serve as inspiration when creating content for your company.
To give you an idea of how important content marketing is, consider that content marketing “leaders” experience year-over-year growth of their unique site traffic at a rate 7.8 times greater than “followers.” For reference, these rates are 19.7% and 2.5%.
What is content marketing, and how does it work?
Content marketing is an approach to advertising where you focus on creating relevant, consistent, and valuable content and then spreading it to potential consumers. The idea is that if you provide potential clients with value, then they will eventually turn to you for help, even if you don’t directly pitch your services or products.
The strategy of content marketing works by using the valuable content you create to draw the attention of potential clients. From there, you maintain engagement with them and move them further down the sales funnel. Eventually, you convert them.
Building on its Real Beauty content marketing campaign, Dove released an ad called Real Courage in 2020. This ad features healthcare workers’ names and images, complete with bruises and marks from wearing protective gear for hours on end while treating COVID patients.
This video shows some of the often-overlooked ways that those in healthcare give back. It is a great addition to the brand’s Real Beauty campaign, which uses real people instead of models.
Cisco took a different approach to content marketing, using Snapchat and giving viewers a glimpse into what it is like to work for the company. This campaign involved a group of “super ambassadors” from various locations. They began by brainstorming how to connect with generation Z, and their decision to share their stories on Snapchat was a success.
The campaign involves the younger employees at Cisco creating Snapchat Stories every day. This strategy boosts engagement and helps younger generations connect with the company.
3. Beyond Silence and be vocal
Beyond Silence is a great example of content marketing that aims to promote meaningful discussions and shed light on worthy causes. The idea behind this type of content marketing is to create a place for open discussions or to actively advocate for those with societal issues.
Beyond Silence is a 29-minute video documentary that looks at mental illness and how it affects the lives of three people. There is no paid promotion from Be Vocal in the documentary, yet it increased Be Vocal’s engagement. With over 242 articles, it brought 416 million impressions as a result.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that a company focused on delivering online marketing has some useful content marketing strategies. A great example is its virtual hunt for Easter eggs; a unique take on content marketing, as the content, was an interactive activity for users to complete.
It was a way for SEMrush to introduce new and standout features on its platform without using a boring press release or blog post. Instead, the website challenged people to complete actions, each of which would result in finding an “Easter egg.”
5. Buffer’s Marketing Library
Buffer’s Marketing Library is an excellent example of a company that created a robust library of valuable content that consistently brings in traffic. Experts say that the library has 203,000 backlinks from 13,000 domains and more than 193,000 social shares. This is in addition to organic monthly traffic of more than 580,000.
Some of this content marketing strategy’s success is likely from the library’s superb organization, including streamlining URLs. The most significant factor is that the company took the time to create such a comprehensive collection of materials.
NerdWallet is another example of content marketing success via building up a vast store of valuable information. Experts say that NerdWallet has 5 million backlinks and 13.6 million organic monthly hits just from the United States.
Developing and organizing all that content took time, but it has paid off, as NerdWallet ranks highly for a long list of search terms. The content is informative and answers the questions that people are most likely to have. The website also stands out thanks to the variety of content types, including reviews, tools, and comparisons.
Another of the best content marketing examples for video marketing is Tasty’s YouTube channel. There are tens of thousands of subscribers each day, along with millions of views per day and more than 2.8 billion views since its launch. It also has more than 29,000 backlinks from more than 1,500 domains.
Tasty’s campaign shows a few keys to success with content marketing. One of those is consistency, as the channel is incredibly consistent with its posting. Viewers know exactly when to expect new content. The eye-catching thumbnails also make a big difference, as they attract attention to the videos. Experts also point to Tasty’s use of a unique video format for its success. When it launched, Tasty was the first to keep cooking videos concise and easily digestible.
8. Rip Curl
The Search from Rip Curl is another amazing content marketing example. The online publication from the “ultimate surfing company” supplies a variety of content types to appeal to a range of visitors. It has an abundance of stories written by and for surfers. You will find detailed stories of trips to find the perfect wave, most of which are accompanied by gorgeous photos, as well.
You can tell The Search is successful thanks to its over 2 million followers on Facebook and 100,000 subscribers on YouTube.
If you take a look at Glossier’s Instagram page, you will find some of the expected images from a beauty brand, but you will also find plenty of fan-created content. Glossier takes the unique approach of screenshotting tweets from fans and sharing them on Instagram.
This type of content marketing works well and appeals to everyone involved. Glossier doesn’t have to work as hard to figure out what type of content to create, as it gets some of it directly from fans. Simultaneously, people feel great when they are featured and are more likely to share its content. This strategy also helps present “social proof” for Glossier and makes followers feel truly part of a community.
BlendTec shows how creating viral videos can work as a content marketing strategy. While there is never any guarantee that a video will go viral, BlendTec’s team has found a recipe for success in the “Will It Blend” series.
This video series is exactly what it sounds like, someone seeing what items can blend in a BlendTec blender. Importantly, the videos don’t just stick to foods; people try blending iPhones, glowsticks, and more. This series has led to the company’s YouTube channel earning a subscriber count of more than 885,000. It has also caused BlendTec to experience a 700% increase in sales in three years.
11. John Deere
No conversation about award-winning content marketing examples is complete without mentioning The Furrow from John Deere. This began as a printed magazine and is now available online, as well. The Furrow was an innovative idea, as many consider it to be one of the first content marketing examples.
John Deere first published it in 1895, so it is certainly decades, if not an entire century, ahead of most modern content marketing strategies. The goal right from the start was to help customers and show off the company’s knowledge, expertise, and usefulness. Considering those are still the main goals of content marketing today, this is a great place to look for inspiration.
Conclusion: why content marketing examples are relevant
With all of the above examples of content marketing to drive inspiration, you should be on track to accelerate your digital marketing campaign and attract clients. Get inspiration from within your industry and from others, then adapt the inspiration to fit your company’s goals and unique offerings. With the above examples spanning written, video, photographic, and social media content, there are plenty of sources for inspiration.
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