It's easy to fall into a rut with your content marketing strategy or to be deceived into thinking content marketing just means publishing a couple of blog posts a week.Done well, content marketing can be wildly successful at driving traffic, building brand reputation, and boosting conversions and sales. Brands that get the most out of content marketing tend to be innovative in their approach and tailor their content perfectly to their target market.
The following are examples of four very different brands, each of which uses a unique approach to content marketing to great success.
SaaS marketing company HubSpot has become a major influencer with its in-depth “ultimate” guides that cover topics such as SEO, social media, e-commerce, and pretty much anything to do with digital marketing. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a topic about marketing, sales, and internet technologies that HubSpot hasn’t covered yet, and they consistently pop up on the first page of Google for many related searches.
HubSpot produces a variety of different content types from short blog posts to long-form guides and e-books, with other resources such as templates and toolkits available too.
What HubSpot really excels at is breaking down information to make it easy to understand without being condescending. Each guide is broken down into bite-size chunks so you can easily skip to the section that’s relevant to you. All online content has an estimated reading time, so you’ll know at a glance how long you’ll need to invest in consuming each post.
HubSpot also conducts its own research and publishes reports that are illustrated with graphs and infographics. As they’re not recycling facts and figures from other blogs, this earns them plenty of traffic and links from other sites as well as a reputation as being an authority online.
While some blogs use their content to push a sales message, HubSpot always focuses on providing as much value as possible for free – no strings attached. This strategy is obviously working out for them. The company has achieved 80% year-on-year traffic growth and reported a revenue of $513 million last year.
Stock photography site Shutterstock might not be the brand that immediately springs to mind when you think of content marketing. However while it may be reputation and paid advertisements on free stock photo sites that brings much of the traffic to Shutterstock, they also have a highly effective content marketing strategy comprising of blog posts, videos, and (as you might expect from a company based around visuals) infographics.
The Shutterstock blog publishes articles on a variety of topics to meet the needs of photographers and image creators as well as marketers and other users of stock images. Some examples of blog articles include:
- How to mod your own lenses on the cheap
- 9 fresh ideas for creating creative business cards
- What to include in your graphic design contract
- Why brands need authentic visuals in marketing
The blog posts are not only highly useful and shareable but also help to bring in search engine traffic and boost the Shutterstock brand.
One example of this highly shareable content is the annual color trends guide it publishes. With the appealing combination of interesting statistics (such as fastest growing colors and most popular color by country) and attractive visuals, the result is a piece of research that has share appeal across many different industries.
The company has also created several video campaigns demonstrating the use of its own stock footage. In January 2019, it released its own version of the official marketing video for the infamous Fyre Festival, demonstrating how effective video marketing can be created cost effectively from stock footage. Well-timed with the Netflix documentary about the festival, the video has already racked up over 600,000 views on YouTube and won a Webby award for best use of video on social.
Skincare and cosmetics brand Glossier was founded by blogger Emily Weiss as a spinoff of her popular beauty blog Into The Gloss, so it’s unsurprising that its content game is strong. This is one example where the content came before the brand.
In the form of an online magazine that’s accessible to the everyday woman, Into The Gloss features a variety of lifestyle content, including interviews, beauty tips and tutorials, and product features that notably focus on other brands of makeup and skincare. This approach has helped to maintain trust and authenticity with the original audience of the blog, in an industry where most other beauty brands ignore the existence of other rival products.
The brand is also highly active on social media, publishing content several times a day. This is a smart move for a company aimed at the millennial market – an age group of which over 70% admit to trying product recommendations posted on Instagram.
The brand’s commitment to content marketing is so great that Weiss views her company’s products as simply pieces of content and classifies her business as a "content company" rather than a beauty or e-commerce business.
There seem to be fewer examples of stellar content marketing in the B2B sector, but a few brands have achieved success at creating a content strategy that drives sales without being dull.
Technology company Lenovo became one of those brands when they launched Tech Revolution, a standalone blog that publishes tech news and thought leadership pieces aimed at IT decision makers across the Asia Pacific region.
Articles are published under three categories: inspiration, influence, and innovation, and cover topics such as artificial intelligence, IT security, the IoT, and cloud computing.
By staying at the forefront of computer and internet technology, Lenovo is ensuring that it both strengthens its brand reputation as an innovator and becomes a valuable source of industry news.
In creating content designed specifically to appeal to its target audience, Lenovo ensures that it is reaching the right people at the right time.
The blog articles drive traffic to e-books aimed at CMOs. They also act as a lead magnet to put Lenovo in touch with Asia Pacific enterprises and drive sales.
Lenovo has also been highly successful in the consumer marketing space by using influencers in a quirky video campaign that quickly went viral. The "Goodweird" campaign featured a dance-off between three international influencers using Lenovo technology and generated over 34 million views.
The company has also co-created content with digital media company Vice in an attempt to reach a millennial audience. The collaboration meant that Lenovo not only benefited from the publisher's video production resources but also increased the credibility of the Lenovo brand with the target audience.
Follow these companies' examples and you can take your content marketing to the next level. To learn more about content marketing that converts, get in touch with our proven content marketing team today.