If you are involved in content marketing on any level, then you will have been inspired over the past 12 months by a few brands that are seemingly perfect at the creation and distribution of valuable content using inbound marketing strategies.
Big brands have caught on to content marketing very quickly, but let’s get one thing clear – content marketing is not new… it is in fact over 100 years old, but it is only recently that a new two letter phrase has been coined to describe it. That being said, content marketing is no buzzword, and it is one of the most lucrative opportunities for small and large brands alike. Over the past 12 months several brands have stepped up their content marketing game and have witnessed measurable results from it. Here’s 4 successful campaigns for your inspiration.
We kick off our list with a brand that has done an incredible job of turning their website in to a one-stop resource for dental care. Colgate is the perfect example of brand turned publisher.
Their resource centre features dozens of videos and interactive guides, hundreds of oral care articles, and hundreds of quick questions and answers on oral hygiene.
One of the fundamental aspects of content marketing that brands tend to overlook is that they are the publisher – Colgate clearly understands this, and on top of their already powerful brand recognition, they have sought out to further become a force to be reckoned with in their industry.
The beauty of the online resource? Well, for starters, it’s completely free, but more importantly every single page has a call to action. At the top of every web page is simple navigation that stands out with oral care products; hover over this and a drop down offers options to view toothbrushes, kids products, dentist recommended products plus much more.
Takeaway: By creating an online resource, Colgate has become a thought leader. Thought leadership sells. Become a thought leader, provide genuinely valuable information, and you will increase your sales.
IKEA is an incredible brand when it comes to online and offline content marketing. They have perfected the creation of funny, valuable and visual content and it features across their entire marketing channel, including their catalogues, posters, website and social media presence.
Unique to IKEA in this list is what drives their vision – family values. Every IKEA superstore has a play area for children, and they dedicate whole sections of the store to children… they understand that a huge chunk of their audience are young parents and so they cater to their needs. This in turn caters to families without children and regular shoppers because there will be no ‘little nippers’ getting in the way when choosing a new wardrobe.
This offline approach filters down to their content marketing online.
This is plain to see in their latest video advert ‘PLAYIN’ WITH MY FRIENDS’. This fantastic video – which has been aired on television and is available to watch on YouTube – features children playing with life-size soft toys which turn out to be their parents and responsible adults at the very end.
Colourful, visually appealing and inspiring, IKEA’s content marketing is the perfect example of understanding your audience – by linking all of their content to their social media pages such as Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, they are able to maintain an impressive level of customer service and increase their sales.
Takeaway: Understanding your audience and targeting them with highly specific content marketing is key to success.
Red Bull takes content marketing to the extreme. Undoubtedly, their biggest and boldest efforts come from offline marketing, where they are easily one of the most inspirational brands in the world.
When we talk about content marketing, we talk about telling a story and offering information that is going to attract readers and viewers to a brand. Red Bull outdoes everybody on our list here today when it comes to that – they are, in fact, way ahead of any other brand in the world.
A private company owned by an individual who has a penchant for being insane (the words of Noah Brier, CEO of Percolate), at the heart of Red Bull’s content marketing is extreme sports. They are central to many public-facing sports such as Formula 1 and MotoGP, but they are also crafters of their own events such as Red Bull X Alps. They attract adrenaline junkies and lovers of extreme sports to do the craziest of things on video… and guess what? Red Bull’s customers love it. They watch it. They come in the millions.
A typical example is Red Bull Stratos, a space diving project involving Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner. This had nothing to do with your humble can of Red Bull. It had everything to do with bringing viewers in. The YouTube live feed for this event brought in a whopping 8 million viewers and since then, the recording has brought in over 5 million viewers.
The net result from this type of content marketing is buzz. A lot of buzz. No other company in the world has achieved this level of success, and replicating it is easier said than done. Having said that, small businesses and other brands can learn from Red Bull, who take content ideas by the scruff of the neck and force their appeal.
Takeaway: Creating news worthy content is the best way to generate buzz. Content must be shareable and it must provoke action.
We end our list today with a brand that builds on what Colgate have done with their online oral hygiene resource. Kraft Foods is one of the largest brands in the world and they are a leader when it comes to content marketing, the best example of which can be found at Kraft Recipes.
Kraft Recipes is the go-to resource for recipes, tutorials and guides. The website is completely filled with recipes, tips and ideas to help everybody get the most out of their cooking. The beauty of it? They can recommend their very own products in every single recipe – so, without even trying, Kraft can up-sell their products through their valuable content.
Kraft is the perfect example of a company who have gotten their content marketing ingredient mix (no pun intended) perfect. So good is Kraft’s online content marketing that Julie Fleischer, Director of CRM Content Strategy & Integration at Kraft, recently said “The ROI on our Content Marketing work is among the highest of all of our marketing efforts.”
When Julie spoke at the Content Marketing World Sydney in 2012, she produced a chart that showed Kraft’s mix of content – 25% weight given to pre-planned, dynamic and viral content, 25% highest production value content, 25% lightweight opportunistic content, 25% test and learn versioning content.
Takeaway: Discovering the perfect content marketing mix for your audience is essential toward building a campaign that is going to see results.
Kraft took a long time whilst perfecting their mix, and even Julie acknowledged that there is room for improvement. Testing out different formats of content – video, tutorials, audio, infographics, how-to’s, case studies – is vital toward figuring out what best engages your audience.
Content marketing is a very lucrative opportunity for small and large brands. The four examples above are proof that thought leadership, understanding your customer, creating news worthy content and having the perfect content marketing mix are essential to a successful campaign.
Have you seen content marketing success? What do you think is the biggest determining factor in a successful strategy?