There it is. The mental block. The brain fog hindering you from coming up with great ideas for your content marketing campaigns.
The problem is, you know you need to push forward. All the future rewards from your hard work are at the front of your mind, keeping you motivated to produce compelling content that has your audience begging for more. You just need that spark. A little bit of inspiration to get you back on track and well on your way to completing your mission.
There are plenty of great content marketing examples out there to help inspire you and remind you of the success you set out to achieve. What you need to remember is that success can come in many different forms. Maybe for some, one viral video skyrockets their business into the stratosphere. But for many, content marketing success comes with a consistent and optimized strategy. The path you take won’t be the same as everyone else.
To help get you back on that path and out of the ditch, why not have a look at what other businesses have done to reap the rewards of their content marketing efforts? A sneak peek into the results of monumentally successful content marketing examples certainly can’t hurt. Whether these examples help you come up with your next big idea, or the results help motivate you to keep up your efforts, hopefully these content marketing examples will get you back on track and giving your audience what they need.
1. General Electric’s #GEInstaWalk Campaign
We all know social media can be a fantastic tool for content marketing. Whether you’re promoting your content on Twitter, or posting impactful and engaging photos on Instagram, social media is a big part of any successful content campaign.
What might not be so obvious is how a company like General Electric, who are typically viewed as a boring industrial company, could become an Instagram juggernaut.
GE was likely motivated by this view of their company. They wanted to be seen as more than just your typical industrial company. They wanted to be more visible and more appealing to the next generation of potential shareholders.
So how did they accomplish this goal?
GE came up with the idea to start an Instagram campaign to show people what it’s like to actually be inside their different facilities and view their work up close and personal. From the Aviation Engine Testing Centre in Winnipeg to the Transportation Manufacturing Facility down in Fort Worth, Texas. For every tour, GE chose six Instagram influencers to take breathtaking photos and upload them with the hashtag “#GEInstaWalk”.
On top of that, GE also invited other members of the public to take part in these walk-throughs using different contests.
The images that resulted from these walks put GE on the social media map and made them more visible than they ever imagined possible. But what were the actual concrete results?
For starters, the campaign brought over 3.8 million unique viewers to the GE Instagram account. There were also over 200 000 engagements within a few days after the first tour. And to cap it all off, GE gained 3000 new Instagram followers. This was all accomplished with no paid media support. Crazy, isn’t it?
GE set out on a quest to bring more awareness and visibility to their brand and by all accounts, smashed through their expectations. They knew something needed to be done in order to garner interest from the younger generations, whether they become future employees or shareholders. What better way to build this awareness than with an innovative Instagram campaign?
The key takeaway here is that no matter what you think the public perception of your brand is, there’s always something you can do about it. General Electric has proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. The power of an effective social media strategy should never be underestimated.
2. GoPro’s Usage of Consumer Generated Advertising
What’s one of the most effective ways to show the world just how cool and hip your product is? If you said “have your customers promote it for you”, then you would be absolutely correct.
This is precisely the type of content marketing campaign that GoPro used on their meteoric rise to the top of the video camera world.
GoPro’s content strategy is simple: Instead of crafting their own overproduced and artificial content using their cameras, they seek out real action-packed and impactful videos made by users of their cameras and share them with the world. Not only that, but GoPro also partners with popular athletes to boost their own brand awareness by tapping into those athletes’ fanbases. This two-pronged approach to content curation has done gangbusters for the GoPro brand.
A few different campaigns, like this GoPro Awards campaign, literally ask for content to be sent in for contests, offering rewards for the best videos. In the end, GoPro gets the content they need, and their audience has a compelling reason to send in the best videos they can get. A true win-win situation for all parties involved.
But what did this actually mean for GoPro? What did the numbers actually look like?
Well, an astronomical 75% increase in sales from year to year should be enough to convince you that GoPro’s content marketing campaigns were an astounding success. On top of that, the GoPro YouTube channel views went up by 84%, and watch times climbed to 140%. Now, in 2020, GoPro has over 9 million unique YouTube subscribers.
As opposed to a one-and-done style content marketing example, GoPro’s approach to content marketing is more long and drawn out. This is a prime example of a company optimizing their content strategy and being consistent with their content curation. That consistency is key to GoPro’s success. They know exactly who their target audience is, and they continuously curate content to keep that audience interested.
Not every company can take advantage of consumer-generated advertising the same way that GoPro has, but if you’re able to, it’s a fantastic way to bring awareness to your product or service. Don’t sleep on it.
3. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign
Here’s a content marketing example you’ve likely seen over and over if you haven’t been living under a rock. The question is, have you actually taken the time to figure out why it’s been such a monumental success?
Personalization is a huge part of any successful content marketing campaign. Blanket statements that are relevant to few and irrelevant to most are going to be counter-productive to your success.
That being said, what could be more personal than calling someone out by name? This wasn’t a simple addition of a name to an email subject line, though. This was consumers seeing their name on a bottle of Coke and feeling compelled to not only purchase the bottle but take photos of themselves holding the prized bottle with their name on it. Starting to see how this could work out in Coca-Cola’s favour?
On top of the high level of personalization that came with this campaign, Coca-Cola also came up with a unique yet effective call to action. Hard to forget and catchy, this CTA essentially had consumers begging to purchase a bottle. Whether for themselves or for a friend who’s name appeared on the label.
Although Coca-Cola was already very much a household name, the results from the Share a Coke campaign were astounding. Some of the milestones include:
- A 2% increase in soft drink sales
- Over 500 000 photos shared
- 25 million new followers on Facebook
2% may not seem like a huge increase, but when it comes to a company with as many sales as Coke already has, that increase suddenly becomes much more relevant.
But what can you take away from this? Most businesses don’t have the capital comparable to Coca-Cola. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t key takeaways for businesses to replicate. Here are a few key strategies they used:
- Incredible levels of personalization
- Extensive knowledge of their target market
- Consumer-driven advertising, similar to GoPro
Even if you’re a smaller business, you can take advantage of some of the strategies used by Coca-Cola during this successful content marketing campaign.
4. How Drift 138x Their Blog Traffic in Less Than a Year
No list of the best content marketing examples would be complete without Drift and their highly successful blogging strategy. Going from 198 visitors to over 27 000 is certainly an incredible feat. Especially when SaaS content marketing can be a difficult beast to tackle.
If you don’t already have a blog, then you’d better add one to your to-do list. Businesses who use blogging as a part of their content marketing campaigns see up to two times the amount of traffic compared to businesses that don’t.
But how was Drift setting themselves apart from the countless other blogs out there?
One word: patience. Drift understands that blogging isn’t some get rich quick scheme. They know that if they want to see results, a consistent posting schedule is necessary. Some of Drift’s blog posts only started seeing high views after being up for several months. Instead of expecting results right away, they played the long game and reaped the rewards later down the road. Not only that, but Drift prioritized creating quality content over quantity, with 76% of their blog traffic coming from 20% of their posts.
Drift’s blogging strategy included some other important factors, such as:
- Prioritizing the promotion of their content
- Putting more focus on topics instead of keywords
- Not getting overly wrapped up in Google Analytics data
Using all of these strategies in tandem with each other has helped Drift boost their blog traffic to astronomical levels. With an effective blogging campaign, they’ve essentially gone from zero to hero in less than a year.
As you can see, having an effective blogging strategy brings with it a plethora of rewards. The next time someone tries to convince you that a blog isn’t necessary to any business, remind them of this example. Drift has absolutely set the tone for blogging success.
5. Dollar Shave Club’s Effective Use of Storytelling
Nowadays, there are more and more examples of subscription-based product selling. You pay a flat monthly fee, and a company sends you a monthly supply of their product, eliminating the hassle of going out and purchasing it yourself.
One of the pioneering businesses using this model would have to be Dollar Shave Club. And they got to be known as such by being an excellent example of content marketing brilliance.
It all started with a viral video explaining how effective their blades are. Starring Dollar Shave Club creator Michael Dubin, the hilarious video is just over a minute and a half of Dubin walking around a warehouse with various absurd occurrences happening around him. It was outrageous to the point of being must-see content. In fact, only 48 hours after release, the startup received over 12 000 orders, and the video is now up to over 26 million views.
Dollar Shave Club didn’t stop there, though. Dubin knew that calling it a day after one viral video and coasting off its success wouldn’t work long term. The company continued producing hilarious video content relatable to their target audience.
On top of that, they started a newsletter-style content hub called “The Bathroom Minutes”, where loads of different content related to grooming is published. Some of it is educational, and some is just plain entertaining.
While DSC may have exploded due to a viral video, that isn’t all there is to learn here. Their content is a fantastic example of what it means to tailor your content to your target audience. From that first video, they continued to produce quality content that their potential customers would grab on to, and the strategy has been working ever since.
Take the time to pinpoint exactly who your target audience is and what type of content they would enjoy. Once you accomplish that, you can set yourself up on the same path that Dollar Shave Club has been on for years.
6. SecureWorks’ Mastery of the Marketing Funnel
When you think of excellent content marketing examples, companies in the cybersecurity industry may not be the first that comes to mind. Such a complex industry surely must fall behind in the content marketing area.
Enter SecureWorks. Through optimized marketing personas and customer journeys, SecureWorks managed to eliminate all the guesswork from their content marketing strategy.
SecureWorks’ journey to content marketing success began with acquiring a new director of global marketing, Kira Mondrus. Her mindset was simple: Put the audience at the heart of all SecureWorks content. This strategy involved an extensive understanding of the questions and problems that SecureWorks customers had at all stages of the buyer's journey.
She came up with three stages:
Towards the start of the journey, the questions were more general and centered around business issues. As they made their way to the end of the journey, questions and concerns shifted and became more about what SecureWorks could do for them. This meant that content needed to be optimized for each stage of the funnel and required extensive knowledge of the specific problems each stage had.
SecureWorks produces all different types of content, such as:
- White papers
- Case studies
There’s something here for everyone, and that’s the brilliance behind their entire content strategy. No stage of the marketing funnel gets left behind. They aren’t pointing their top of the funnel audience towards product demos and sending those potential customers running for the hills.
Because of Mondrus’ content marketing prowess, SecureWorks managed to increase conversions by over 50% and even closed sales with over half of the new leads they generated. It’s safe to say their content marketing efforts yielded results beyond what they hoped for.
Knowing your target audience is only half the battle. Depending on where your customers are in the buyer's journey, you need to create different content that answers their questions and solves their problems. Using the strategies that SecureWorks used, you can make sure your customer’s content needs are being met as well.
7. LeadPages Goes From Underdog to Serious Competitor
There’s certainly loads of competition out there as a company that offers landing page templates as their service. For one to be successful in this industry, they’re going to have to find a way to stand out from the pack.
This is exactly what Clay Collins, CEO and founder of LeadPages, set out to accomplish. Collins believed that a team of only 4 content creators could get the job done. And he was right.
LeadPages’ team of 4 developed multiple streams of content, including:
- A successful blog
- Weekly webinars
- Marketing courses
While all of these channels contributed to LeadPages being an excellent example of content marketing success, possibly their most interesting creation was a popular podcast titled “ConversionCast”.
With podcasts growing more and more in popularity every year, LeadPages knew this was an opportunity they had to jump on. They enlisted the help of elite podcast creator Tim Paige to get them started. What resulted was a successful series of podcasts discussing the latest marketing news and strategies which helped them compete with the giants of their industry.
Using this newly created podcast and some of the other content marketing examples above, LeadPages managed to grow to a whopping 35 000 customers in just 3 years. On top of that, their revenue hit over 16 million the following year. It’s clear that the strategies LeadPages set in motion are working well for them.
The fact that LeadPages managed to accomplish all of this using a team of just 4 content marketers goes to show that you don’t need a huge team of marketers to get the job done. This David vs Goliath story should also help inspire smaller companies in competitive industries and let them know they can find success too. It all starts with an effective strategy and some hard work.
Content Marketing Success Stories Summary
If there’s any bit of knowledge to walk away with after reviewing these examples of content marketing success, it’s that there are many different paths you can take to achieve your content marketing goals. Whether you’ve created a genius viral video similar to Dollar Shave Club, or you’ve come up with an extensive blogging strategy like Drift has, you’re capable of achieving the same results.
There have been many key strategies used by the companies here, including:
- Blog optimization
- Consumer-generated advertising
- Video content
- Marketing funnel optimization
Using a combination of these strategies can help get you back on track and smashing those goals you’ve set out for your business. Whether you’re in need of a whole new strategy or if you just need a little bit of inspiration to help get you motivated again, these 7 examples of content marketing greatness should come in handy.
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