Content marketing on a large scale can feel like a never-ending, exhausting battle uphill. The pressure to do well and the need to make a lot of things quickly kills creativity. There are a lot of creative examples of content marketing that can give you a much-needed boost of ideas.
Even in boring industries, big brands have shown that there are a lot of ways to market with content that will make your audience happy and, more importantly, help you connect with them.
So, take a look at these 10 great examples of content marketing to get a better idea of what great looks like. We’ll also look at how each piece got the attention of thousands of possible buyers.
The state of content marketing in 2022
Even for experienced CMOs, it’s hard to figure out how marketing will change after a pandemic. Many business leaders still hope that customers will go back to stores. But Gartner and others think that consumers will embrace new ways to shop online.
Also, more people are cutting the cord, which makes broadcast audiences smaller, and paid digital advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be.
So, how do marketers reach the people they want to reach if they don’t use more traditional marketing campaigns? Is it even possible to give a brand real, long-lasting value without spending a lot of money on ads?
Even though the next steps are still being worked out, the short answer is yes. Digital campaigns have been used by smart marketers to raise brand awareness for years. The best examples of content marketing do more than just entertain; they also get results that can be measured.
10 great examples of content marketing
Even if your content marketing team isn’t in a rut, you can learn a lot from how these brands have dominated their industries by making viral content experiences. Not only that, but their marketing was more effective because it was based on what customers wanted. Also, they made content that was exactly what Google wanted, so they also ruled the organic search landscape.
Most articles about the best examples of content marketing mention companies like Hubspot, Buffer, Hootsuite, Zendesk, or the Content Marketing Institute. So, we decided to look for new examples of how large companies use similar strategies in their own content strategies to win new business.
Video examples of content marketing
A powerful way to reach people who prefer visual content is through an interesting video series. Don’t forget that not everyone likes to blog, wants to download detailed digital marketing materials, or wants to sign up for email marketing campaigns.
Successful content marketers give their audience useful information in formats that work for everyone.
1. Amazon's Delivery Service for Garage Items
Amazon, the technology and e-commerce giant that is always changing, recently added a new service. Now, you can give the Amazon driver in your area a digital key to your garage door so that your packages can be safely put away.
This is the best solution for people who aren’t home during normal delivery hours and are worried about theft.
Why does this new service make people mad? Because letting strangers into your home has been seen as a bad thing for a long time. But Amazon has been studying how people act and think for decades. As a result, they made a very interesting video marketing campaign with some subtle psychological elements.
Did you notice that all of the garages are made to look like people? They have big eyes and talk to each other just like people who live close to each other.
What was Amazon thinking?
Maybe it’s because people find cute things that have big eyes, like babies. It’s also a great business move because it adds a personal touch to customers’ homes. The campaign makes it seem like Amazon cares about making sure your home is safe. In other words, it changes the idea that letting delivery people into your home is dangerous.
This is a great example of content marketing because it acknowledges the problems customers have and gives them a different story. Amazon is very hard to beat when it comes to marketing content.
2. Jake From State Farm
Jake From State Farm is a long-running viral video marketing campaign for the State Farm Insurance Company. Millions of people have watched the first commercial on YouTube. If you’ve had cable TV in the last ten years, you probably know who Jake from State Farm is.
Jake from State Farm went through a change in the year 2020. But what makes the Jake From State Farm campaign stand out is that it never strays too far from the original version. In the video campaign, both the old Jake and the new Jake see strange things that strangers do to save money on their car or home insurance.
He tells them that everyone gets good deals from State Farm. The story is comforting, and when Jake shows up on customers’ TVs or computers, he can be a welcome, funny, and familiar presence.
Since the beginning of COVID, people have wanted this kind of familiarity. This idea is called cognitive fluency or cognitive flexibility in psychology. In other words, every time Jake shows up on-screen, State Farm plays with brain science.
Because we know Jake well, we can relax and feel at ease. Jake is just the friendly guy who sometimes shows up in our commercials, so we don’t have to make any new assumptions or judgments about him.
This is a subtle example of how the latest research in behavioral science can be used in content marketing to reach new audiences. It also works very well now, after the pandemic.
3. The Chief
The General Insurance Company is a great example of how to use video content for marketing. This is a great example of how a company can change its name and then join customers in making fun of its old advertising.
Since 2001, The General has been flooding cable TV with ads that feature a crudely drawn CGI man in a military uniform and a very annoying song. Most of the time, these ads went viral for the wrong reasons. People didn’t trust the brand very much because they thought it was fake.
So, in 2020, the insurance company changed its name and got famous people to replace the old CGI character.
In one commercial, Craig Robinson leads a group of hikers into the woods where they meet Shaquille O’Neal. Craig admits that it was a mistake to send Shaq to the deep forest for suggesting that the group get car insurance from The General.
Craig says that when Shaq suggested The General, they thought he was “losing it.” But then they realized that The General only seemed sketchy because of its corny ads. Craig says, “The General has been offering good insurance for almost 60 years.”
This is a great piece of content marketing because it is so easy to understand. The characters talk about how they used to feel the same way that people do now, but they changed their minds. The ad directly addresses how people feel about the product, builds trust, and asks people to give it a try.
4. The "New Beginning" ad for Indeed
Creative content marketing campaigns can sometimes have real hearts and address important problems that both consumers and businesses face. All of these things are done in the “New Beginning” ad for Indeed. At its heart, the video is a business-to-business ad. But it also shows customers that Indeed is a site they can trust when they are looking for a job.
In the commercial, we meet Taylor, a job candidate who doesn’t fit a traditional gender role. She is getting ready for an interview. They get dressed for the interview, practice their introduction in the mirror, and then wait nervously in the lobby of the place where they might get a new job.
The commercial doesn’t have much dialogue until the end when the interviewer gives his pronouns and asks Taylor if they are comfortable talking about the pronouns they use. Taylor says, “They/them pronouns” and gives a big smile to the interviewer.
This is very emotional and sensitive material, and Indeed handles the subject with care and thought. Indeed’s video is a great example of content marketing that shows how the company wants to be seen as a thought leader and a business that welcomes everyone.
In 2021, these issues will be important to end-users, so the brands that serve them should also care about them. Indeed does a great job of saying a lot with a small amount of screen space.
5. The Frontiers Conference from Slack (including video talks)
Every year, Slack holds a conference where its 630,000 customers from all over the world can meet and learn from each other. When many companies went remote to stop the spread of COVID-19, it was a big boost for Slack’s business.
The Slack Frontiers conference is a great chance for businesses to find out more about the brand’s expanding services.
In addition to the conference, Slack is putting more effort into powerful growth hacks. The brand posts videos on its YouTube channel that are aimed at decision-makers at other brands who need a way to communicate between offices remotely. The videos are very well-targeted and talk about things that brands and executives are worried about right now. These demos, tutorials, and other video marketing materials also raise interest in the conference.
Content marketing examples for social media
In 2020, the number of people using social media platforms reached a record high of 3.96 billion. Brands need to look at how their social media content is doing in order to stay competitive. Here are two great examples of how brands reached consumers at the right time and with the right message through content marketing.
6. Spotify is all done (user data-driven campaign)
In 2017, Spotify put out a social media campaign called “Wrapped” that was based on data. Using information from listeners, the campaign made a set of fun statistics about how people listen. It worked so well because they paid close attention to the user experience and made sure that these slides were easy to share and looked good.
Because of this, customers went crazy for these slides. Sign-ups for the app went up by 21% in December 2020, which shows that people were excited to join in on the fun. Wrapped is a great example of social media content marketing that is driven by influencers. This shows that making a campaign with user-specific data and visually appealing parts that are easy to share on different social media platforms is a good way to get a lot of attention and make a lot of money
7. The "Shot on an iPhone" campaign from Apple
What’s better than a campaign that’s driven by users? It saves money and most of the work is done by people who already like the brand. Apple is a brand that has used user-generated content for marketing for a long time. In 2015, they started a campaign called “Shot on an iPhone,” which showed photos that iPhone users had taken.
“Shot on an iPhone” plays to the interests and skills of consumers. It lets them know that they can use an Apple product to make art just like the pros do.
Not only did the campaign show up on billboards all over the country, but it was also a hugely popular social media campaign by influencers. The beautiful photos are more than just proof that Apple has great technology. They are also an example of a content marketing campaign that lasts for a long time.
Content marketing doesn’t just have to be about getting quick results. Creating campaigns that last for a long time can cut costs, bring in a steady income, and keep people interested in your brand.
Evergreen Content Marketing Examples
Some types of content marketing will always be popular. Evergreen content marketing doesn’t use a lot of stats, news stories, shopping guides for the holidays, or anything else that will go out of date. Instead, things like these are examples of evergreen content:
- Best tips
- Product and service evaluations
- Blogs with “how to” posts
- Video guides
So, for content marketing to be truly evergreen, it can’t have parts that need to be updated all the time. It should be able to keep going forever on its own. Here are three examples of content marketing that will always be interesting:
8. The Creator Studio at Neutrogena
Neutrogena, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson, said in 2020 that they had made a studio for user-made videos about skin health. Content that is educational, informative, and about the health and wellness of skin can be sent in by filmmakers.
With this campaign, the customer is in charge. Even though video posting is overseen by a board of advisors, this strategy for getting the word out about the brand is mostly on autopilot. This is a great piece of beauty marketing content that will stay in the studio forever. It’s also a great example of how to use people who love your brand and are creative to spread your message.
9. The educational content on Byrdie
Byrdie is a publisher in the beauty industry that does a lot of great content marketing. In fact, the brand does so well in organic search that it beats out major retailers for Google’s market share.
Byrdie’s secret? Long-form evergreen blog content.
Byrdie has a lot of “Top X” content that focuses on a specific product or audience. These posts don’t need to be changed by an editor because they are meant to teach and are often not tied to a specific brand.
It’s a great way for people at the top of the buying funnel to learn more about their problem and how to solve it. Byrdie wins in organic search because its content marketing strategy is very focused and has a lot of educational content that will always be useful.
10. Content hub for education on MINDBODY
Mindbody is a very popular SaaS company that helps brands of all sizes with their business management. They also made an educational content hub with webinars, blogs, and events that help businesses reach their goals for customer retention and sales.
Content hubs are almost certain to last forever, so it’s very forward-thinking to make one for brand decision-makers. It is also organized by the business. Content marketing that is done right doesn’t focus on the brand but on the B2B or B2C user. Customers will be loyal to a brand if it helps them reach their own goals.
This is a great example of how content marketing can help you be a real partner to your customers.
What to remember: the common thread
So, we’ve seen that brands can use almost any kind of content marketing they want. The real challenge is choosing the right kind of content marketing that meets the needs and concerns of your customers.
We looked at a lot of great examples of content marketing with a wide range of themes, brands, and formats. But they all had one thing in common that made them all interesting. In other words, they all met the end user where they were and met their needs.
In other words, if you want your content to be successful, you have to know your customers better than they know themselves.