It's easy to get stuck in a rut and keep publishing the same old blog posts and articles month after month. But to truly succeed at enterprise content marketing and stand out from your competitors you need to mix things up, take risks, and think out of the box.If you're in need of a little inspiration for your content marketing strategy over the coming months, take an idea or two from these real-life examples of truly innovative and effective enterprise content marketing.
IKEA are well known for their innovative approach to furniture design (as well as their meatballs!) but they've also produced some killer content in recent years, ensuring they stay well ahead of their competitors and a favorite brand in the eyes of their customers.
In an industry that's all about the visuals and the experience, blog posts and other textual content simply aren't going to be effective. Instead, IKEA relies mainly on image and video content to get its message across. The IKEA catalog itself is an example of hugely successful traditional content marketing, and the company prints over 200 million copies every year.
The print catalog is now accompanied by a digital version, which includes additional immersive experiences such as an augmented reality app that allows users to see how IKEA
furniture will look in their own home.
IKEA has also harnessed the power of user-generated content on their IKEA Family Magazine Instagram account, reposting images of IKEA furniture and accessories in real homes all over the world.
The brand is also known for their quirky YouTube videos, which include storage ideas, home tours, and even an "Oddly IKEA" series that latched onto the growing trend for ASMR - videos consisting of sounds that give the listener a pleasant tingling sensation.
IBM has created several memorable content marketing campaigns over the years. Their YouTube account is one of their main content marketing channels and includes a mixture of promotional and informational videos including "Ninjas vs Superbugs: Adventures in Nanomedicine", "World's First Cognitive Dance Party", and "THINK: A film about making the world work better". Some of the videos have achieved millions of views.
The global IT brand is now positioning itself as an industry leader in the marketing technology niche with its Watson AI platform that enables users to build chatbots, personalize customer experiences, and carry out advanced data processing with the power of AI and machine learning. Many of IBM's marketing campaigns are now powered, at least in part, by Watson.
One example is their "Cognitive Cooking" campaign powered by "Chef Watson". This was in the form of an app and a printed recipe book that users could buy. The platform used Watson to combine ingredients into unique flavor combinations after analyzing 10,000 recipes from Bon Appétit. Some of the recipes invented by Chef Watson included rye whiskey stir-fry, avocado, and tomato gazpacho soup, and blackberry-cherry cobbler with honey whipped cream.
IBM also frequently works with bloggers and key influencers to reach targeted audiences and build their brand trust and authority.
The Bank of America partnered with the Khan Academy to produce their "Better Money Habits" site - an educational personal finance site that includes interactive tools, quizzes, informational articles, and a video series following the career stories of young people and how they manage their money.
In a subject as dry as finance, it's vital to keep content fresh and engaging and The Bank of America achieved great success with this, using just the right level of illustrations, infographics, and interactive elements to make the content more interesting and easy to understand without being condescending.
Financial service providers also have a problem in that much of their content appears similar and it can be difficult to maintain a strong brand presence through their content. By adding a human touch and providing real value to their users, the content not only makes the brand more memorable but also increases its trust in an industry that consumers are traditionally suspicious of.
B2B companies often seem stifled and stuffy in comparison to their B2C peers when it comes to content marketing. However, Salesforce is a great example of how to do B2B content marketing well in a way that's both creative and educational.
Salesforce built Trailhead - a free interactive learning tool - both to improve the user experience of its existing customers and to create a substantial hub of high-quality content for SEO purposes.
The meat of the content on Trailhead consists of educational modules to teach the user various Salesforce skills. Modules are extremely user-friendly, split into individual units with clear guidance on how long each will take to complete. To make the experience more fun, Salesforce has gamified the platform so users earn points for completing each module. They can also "choose an adventure" and earn a badge with short tutorials.
Salesforce has also laid out information into various Salesforce career paths, including administrator, developer, marketing manager, and business analyst. Visitors to the site can see information about each career, such as average salary and annual growth rate, and then be guided through the Trailhead learning platform in the modules aimed at this career path.
It can be challenging for e-commerce brands to produce content that doesn't seem overly promotional, but subscription beauty brand Birchbox has achieved just the right balance with their individual online magazines for men and women.
As well as features on the actual products on offer, Birchbox publishes informational content such as "The ABDEs of Melanoma", product tutorials, customer profiles, how-tos, and style inspiration.
The content perfectly fits the formula for being shareable on social media, including trending topics, "hacks", listicles, and clickbait titles. Some example articles include:
Much of Birchbox's content is video in the form of makeup and hair tutorials, which makes sense for the type of products it sells, and are also highly appealing for their mainly millennial audience to share on social media.
The company also benefits from user-generated content, with thousands of Birchbox "unboxing" videos on YouTube. Birchbox contents photos are also widely shared on Instagram, partly due to the thought that goes into the product curation and packaging.
Birchbox is one brand that's successfully using the live video trend for content marketing. It streams weekly on Facebook with a Q&A format that's presented by Birchbox employees. This live content gets around 4x the engagement than other types of content on the platform.
Birchbox's strategy may be one of the simplest on this list but it's one that works. The company has grown from 600 subscribers in 2010 to over a million in 2019, with 2.7 million likes on Facebook.
Learn more about Content Marketing, Content Intelligence, Content Marketing Artificial Intelligence on our blog.
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