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100 Content Marketing e xaMples 1 100 Content Marketing e xaMples WELCOME! Looking for inspiration or ideas for your content marketing efforts? Look no further. We rounded up 100 awesome examples from companies of various sizes, locations and industries, and packaged them together in this 100 Content Marketing Examples guide. In this guide you’ll get cutting-edge content samples from a wide variety of print, video, online and event campaigns – and that’s just the beginning. You’ll also get checklists, tips and links to additional resources to help you turn these examples into action items for your upcoming content marketing plans. So sit back, put your feet up and enjoy! Have additional examples you’d like to contribute? Connect with us below and share your own personal favorites. Joe Pulizzi Founder Content Marketing Institute @juntajoe 2 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 1 Broadcasts from The Waffle Shop Company: The Waffle Shop Originally featured in: What if You Sold Waffles with a Side of Content? By Andrew Davis Description: Located in Pittsburgh, The Waffle Shop broadcasts a live-streaming talk show with their customers. Their editorial calendar includes “Open Talk,” a show called “CookSpeak,” and a program called “Waffle Wopp.” Each show has its own format. For example, “Waffle Wopp” is a teen magazine talk show hosted and produced by Pittsburgh teenagers. Their eclectic guest list, live music and fun interviews make “Waffle Wopp” one of The Waffle Shop’s most popular shows. Check out the video below for an example. Example:Watch the “Waffle Wopp” Videos 3 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 2 The Conflict Kitchen’s 3 Ways to Get Your Community Food Wrappers Involved in Your Content Company: Conflict Kitchen Marketing Efforts Originally featured in: What if You Sold Waffles with a Side of Content? 1. Take it to the Streets: Explore your Andyewis local neighborhood or rove an upcoming in-person event and take video inter- views with your customers. The insights Description: you gather could provide great fodder The Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant in Pittsburgh for humorous YouTube vignettes, cus- that only serves cuisine from countries that the United tomer testimonials and case studies. 2. Expose Your Charitable Work: Many States is in conflict with. The entire restaurant and its companies run charitable campaigns, cuisine changes depending on the conflict it has chosen so why not honor the customers or fans that support your efforts? After a suc- at a given time. For example, it was recently a Venezuelan cessful event or food drive, list these restaurant called La Cocina Arepas and Bolani Pazi, an contributors on your website or send a Afghan joint. personalized email thanking those who were involved. Every four months, the restaurant changes its theme and uses its food wrappers (see 3. Take a Poll: One of the best (and often link below) to help educate consumers about the details of the conflict. They have untapped) resources for content cre- ation is your customers. Doing a quick a smart editorial calendar (launching a new pop-up restaurant every four months) poll on your website or social sites on a and use every aspect of the experience (from the wrapper the food comes in to the regular basis for content ideas is a great way to keep your audience engaged and signage and menu) to leverage content to help their customers better understand the interested. Plus, when you end up us- world. What a noble experiment. ing one of their ideas, they will love the recognition you give them. Example:See the food wrappers 4 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 3 “CityOne” Simulation Game Company: IBM Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: IBM has long been a leader in gaming-as-content, breaking new ground with its business simulation game, called “CityOne.” In this game, players solve problems in four key areas – banking, retail, energy and water. Each scenario offers opportunities to understand real-world implications of business decision-making in a “Sim City”-style simulation. To date, “CityOne” has racked up to 18,000 players from more than 130 countries since its launch in 2010, proving simulation gaming may be a powerful new content initiative that can engage, educate and influence. Example:Play along 5 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 4 “The Inception of PC Viruses” Video Company: F-Secure Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: In January of 2011, Mikko Hypponen, Chief Researcher and world-renowned computer virus expert at global computer security company F-Secure, used a milestone in the industry – the “anniversary” of the first PC virus — to tell a story of intrigue and high adventure as he sought the writers of that first virus. From this journey, F-Secure produced a masterful video documentary that followed Hypponen as he traveled more than 5,000 miles from Finland to Pakistan to meet the brothers responsible for the creation of the first computer virus, BRAIN. The interview shares how the brothers felt about releasing the virus 25 years later, and Hypponen states, “Listening to their story, I feel like we have recorded some real IT history.” Example:Watch the video 6 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 5 ShipServ Pages – The Movie Company: ShipServ Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: John Watton, former CMO of ShipServ, a B2B marketplace for the maritime shipping industry, had a problem. His company sold a technologically advanced product to a market in which buyers were typically skeptical and highly resistant to change. His goal was to find a friendly, non-threatening way to get their attention, educate them and drive more prospects into the sales funnel. The result: a two-minute stop-motion video entitled, “ShipServe Pages: The Movie.” Watton states, “We needed a way to break the ice [and] to show suppliers the power of online marketing. We went low-tech with the stop-motion video and created Rex, a spare parts supplier, hero and modern-day everyman.” Watton describes the results as, “Highly successful. The innovation is really in how we’ve integrated it with our other social media and content marketing efforts.” Example:Watch Rex in his feature movie “By making a complex message manageable and easily digested, we’ve driven people into our funnel at a faster rate.” —John Watton, CMO of Shipserv 7 100 Content Marketing e xaMples B2B Marketing Manifesto 6 Company: Velocity Partners Ltd. Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor 4 Steps to Publish Description: an E-Book How do you find more of the customers you love to work with? That’s exactly the question London-based B2B marketing agency, Velocity Partners Ltd., asked itself while developing its Make your own “manifesto” by following these four simple steps. new eBook, “The B2B Marketing Manifesto,” using humor, illustrations and a touch of edginess (To read more, visit the complete to deliver a stand-out message. original blog post submitted on CMI by Thomas Clifford.) 1. Discover a common theme from To gather content for the eBook, Doug Kessler, Creative Director and Co-founder of your existing content (articles, Velocity Partners states, “We found three common traits among our most successful videos, podcasts, etc. – the sky’s the limit) and organize customer relationships. Those traits became the basis of the eBook. We focused on your content around it getting our passion on the paper, which led to presenting a call-to-arms to our profession, all designed to attract those core psychographic traits.” 2. Write an introduction 3. Hire a professional proofreader The result? An innovative eBook that drew a large (make the eBook clean and polished) volume of comments, downloads and conversations. 4. Create a cover page (make it As Kessler states, “We’ve been almost overwhelmed by impossible for your customers the success of our approach on this project.” to resist reading!) Example:Read the inspiring Manifesto 8 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 7 “The Message is the Messenger” Infographic Company: Eloqua + JESS3 Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: Infographics have seen a meteoric rise in popularity as a form of content. Sadly, many exist merely as a simple – even primitive – regurgitation of facts. Not this example from Eloqua, however. Joe Chernov, Eloqua’s VP of Content Marketing and co-creator of the “The Message is the Messenger” infographic states his purpose for the piece: “We wanted to – we need to – remain relevant in conversations that marketers are having about marketing. This infographic, and others we’ve created, was a way to make sure Eloqua remains a vital participant in this larger conversation. The graphic sums up the transition from traditional to new media, and captures the ever-growing list of personal brands – new media figureheads – that make up the social marketing conversation.” Example:See the infographic “A good infographic visualizes data to communicate a point of view – i▯t doesn’t visualize data for the sake of visualizing data.” —Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua 9 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 8 Nike Better World Microsite Company: Nike What is a Microsite? Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor A microsite concentrates on a narrow topic or issue, featuring Description: rich content developed by the The Nike Better World microsite uses HTML5 to present content in a hip sponsoring brand itself. Correctly executed, the microsite creates a storyboard-style that amasses all the goodness of the brand and delivers it in an gathering place that positions the unusual, scrolling format. Best of all? The attention-grabbing “Better World” video is brand as a contributing member of made from “100% recycled advertising.” How green is that?” the community. To see five more examples of microsites done well, check out the “How to Develop a Example:Visit the microsite Microsite” blog post by Joe Pulizzi. 10 100 Content Marketing e xaMples LEGO Club Magazine 9 Company: LEGO Originally featured in: LEGO: From Toy Company to Multi-Media Brand by Clare McDermott and Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: In the 1980s and 1990s, LEGO faced a tremendous threat from competing construction toys, and the company knew it needed to build a powerhouse brand and integrated marketing approach to go up against these building-block imitators. Among its incredible branding and content marketing initiatives is the LEGO Club Magazine, which is customized for subscribers by local market and age. The magazine allows kids of any age to receive targeted content that’s relevant to them in a fun, portable format. As an extension of its LEGO Club offering (one of the biggest and most popular children’s member clubs in the world), LEGO worked hard to improve its magazine product in 2011 with more cartoon stories of the LEGO bricks in action, better integration of customer photos and some awesome in-store programs at LEGO store outlets and its new Master Builder Academy. Example:Check outLEGO Club Magazine 11 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 10 The Future of Mobility Video Series Company: BMW Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: Want to know what the future of mobility is? Check out the artful four-film documentary produced by BMW to find out. In the videos, BMW calls on the experts – fifteen of today’s leading academics, pioneers and entrepreneurs – to share the insights of the past, present and future of technology, cities and the automobile. Breaking the videos up into four parts allowed BMW to get all its content delivered in an easy-to-digest format for viewers, and using expert insights gave the company added credibility as a knowledgeable and educational thought leader. Example:Watch the documentary 12 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 11 YouTique – French Connection’s YouTube Channel Company: French Connection Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: What to wear, what to wear? Fashion retailer French Connection knew how often its target audience was asking this question, and happily responded by creating a YouTube channel: Youtique. The company combines the mini-video format of YouTube with the ethos of the Home Shopping Network to offer women snack-sized personal shopping videos based on occasion. In short, it’s every woman’s dream. Example:Browse the YouTique 12 “From One Engineer to Another” Blog Series Company: Indium Corp. Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: Sixteen engineers from Indium have discovered content gold with their “From One Engineer to Another” blog. Through it, they produce valuable content, videos and answer questions about a variety of engineering topics (e.g., how to set up and operate the Indium sulfamate plating bath). Even if you don’t know what that means, you can appreciate what they are striving for: to bring ideas to life through interactive conversations. Example:Read the blogs 13 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 13 The Ford Story Online Community Company: Ford Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: A successful online community not only shares your company’s messages, but allows your customer voices to be heard as well. Ford’s user community achieves this by combining Ford content with user stories, images and videos. The emphasis on the community is clearly on the visitor, as categories like “Your Stories” and “Your Ideas” weigh prominently on the community’s home page. This approach creates a loyal band of community followers who are motivated to contribute content in support of the community, and creates a powerful user experience as well. Example:Experience the community Do’s and Don’ts for Building a 14 The Friend Network Optimizer Loyal Community Following Facebook App 1. Don’t be a show-off (it’s all about them!): Make your content about your visitors, or ask them to directly contribute. Company: SAP 2. Do educate openly and honestly: People can find Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor information anywhere – be the place they get it from. Description: 3. Do be a nurturer: Add community elements like a newsletter or blog to keep visitors engaged, provide Do you know who among your friends is an influencer? Try out SAP’s Friend Network Optimizer app for Facebook. This fun tool demonstrates, in small scale,updates and solicit contributions what SAP does for businesses and is a great example of how to use social 4. Don’t just educate – socialize: Talking to your communi- media, particularly apps, as a content outlet. ty members is the best way to ensure you’re giving them the information they actually want, not just the information you Example:Experience the App want them to have. Use a widget to bring together social media posts and tweets, and answer questions on your own forums. Above all, make sure it’s clear that you’re listening. 14 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 15 The Caterpillar Online Community Company: Caterpillar Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: The Caterpillar online community is a buzzing online forum where professionals who work with Caterpillar equipment and engines can exchange information, find answers and get expert advice from their peers. Where else can you compare skid steers? Example:Visit the community 16 Cries for Help Lighting Revolution Company: Cree Inc. Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: The Cries for Help Lighting Revolution is a monthly contest hosted by Cree Inc., and bright way to get your community engaged and contributing to your content efforts. The contest asks participants to submit photos of a dark, poorly lit space in order to be entered to win free lighting for a forlorn little office or home. Quite an enlightening concept! Example:Check out the contest 15 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 17 Intuit Labs Company: Intuit Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: The Intuit Collaboratory is an open collaboration platform that asks entrepreneurs to help solve the company’s latest product challenges – and rewards winners with cash. In order to reach its broader target audience, Intuit designs challenges for both code-writing techies and tech-challenged entrepreneurs, serving as a great way to foster innovation and engagement while gathering user-generated content as well. Example:Check out the lab 18 MSPtv Community Company: Zenith Infotech Originally featured in: Fab 15 Content Marketing Projects by Jeremy Victor Description: MSPtv is an educational community for managed service providers and serves as an excellent example of how companies can embrace new media to educate the IT reseller channel. The steady flow of useful content on the community, which includes podcasts, webinars, videos and more, helps resellers position and troubleshoot their products, allowing Zenith Infotech to educate customers in a new, interactive way. Example:Visit the community 16 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 19 Lifetime Fitness Company: Lifetime Fitness Originally featured in: 6 Amazing Retail Content Marketing Examples Description: Experience Lifeis the lifestyle print and online magazine developed by Lifetime Fitness, the billion dollar health and fitness company with over 100 centers around the US. Experience Lifeis now published 10 times per year and has a circulation of more than 600,000 subscribers (as well as newsstand distribution). Example:Read the magazine 20 “Being Girl” Community Company: Procter & Gamble Originally featured in: “How to Develop a Microsite” by Joe Pulizzi Description: The “Being Girl” online community stems from a similar concept to the “Man of the House” community, also created by P&G, by delivering content targeted toward its pre-teen/teen female audience. The community provides their niche content in an engaging way, using color schemes to compliment the equally colorful content on the site. The content mission is clear: “Being a girl is like being part of a club where everyone knows what you’re going through… at least on some level. Girls have fun. Girls have opinions. Girls have a lot of questions about stuff like PMS, dating, their bodies and even serious subjects like addiction and abuse – just about anything you can think of that has to do wi.irleing a g A nice content mission. In a study performed by Forrester Research, P&G found that a microsite like BeingGirl.com was four times more effective than a traditional marketing campaign. Not too bad. Example:Visit the community 17 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 21 “Life Goes Strong” Community Company: Procter & Gamble and NBC Description: In this online community for baby boomers, P&G provides a plethora of content relevant for this audience in a variety of forms including articles, Q&As with the experts, blogs and polls. The community is developed in partnership with other “Goes Strong” sub-sites to help provide content by themes: Health, Home, Tech, Play, Family, Style and Work. Through these sub-sites, content is more laser- focused to help deliver exactly the educational information site visitors are looking for. Example:Visit the Community and other “Goes Strong” sites 22 Ecomagination Website Company: GE Originally featured in: “Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011” Description: GE is a great content innovator, and has really “stepped it up” according to Gilad de Vries, VP of Brands and Agencies at Outbrain. “The company is using its site, Ecomagination, to familiarize consumers with different aspects of their business by discussing science, innovation and embracing great challenges that will better our future.” The site organizes its content in a unique and innovative way, almost like a blog. With a mix of bright visuals, videos and cutting-edge articles, it’s a “go-to” for anyone interested in the latest environmental issues and acts as a “forum for fresh thinking and conversation around clean technology and sustainable infrastructure.” Example:Visit the website 18 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 23 Tablespoon Cooking Community Company: General Mills Originally featured in: “Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011” Description: The Tablespoon community is an attractive, interactive site for people passionate about food and entertaining. The site gathers the best of the best, and uses a clean categorization technique for its content, splitting it up by topics that matter most to its core audience: Quick Dishes, Taste for Adventure and Rock UR Party. Depending on the type of cook you are or event you’re hosting, these categories help you find content easily and quickly in a more innovative way than traditional websites. And, with help from their newsletter, readers can also stay in-the-know on the latest recipes and inspirations. Favorite feature: Table Talk: A forum that brings together what people are talking about on the site and about the recipes. It also gives visitors real-time updates on what recipes have been added recently to help them build their repertoire. Example:See what’s cooking 24 Red Bull’s “Red Bulletin” Magazine for the iPad Company: Red Bull Originally featured in: Rent-to-Own Marketing: Red Bull by Joe Pulizzi Description: What do you think about when you hear the word “Red Bull?” Energy? Extremism? Excitement? Red Bull has done an excellent job building its brand on a few consistent themes that permeate every aspect of the company, from goofy cartoon ads to rockin’ live events. Its content marketing activities reflect these themes as well, like the Red Bulletin magazine, which defines itself as a “modern lifestyle mag focusing on sport, people, art and culture designed to break new ground.” Never a brand to be left behind, Red Bulletin also recently extended its print magazine offering to the iPad as an app, which allows for a great amount of interactive content to supplement the original print articles, such as videos, animations, exclusive content and more. The site even boasts a 360-degree view of the mag, and “access to Red Bulletin’s international issue” as part of membership. That’s “breaking new ground” for you. Example:The Red Bulletin Magazine for iPad 19 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 25 NC On Campus (Location-Based Services) Company: NC State University Originally featured in: “Take Your Content on Location with Location-Based Services” by Colleen Jones Description: If you’re going mobile with your content marketing, then consider location-based services (LBS). A location-based service is a network that provides content to your mobile phone or devices based on where you are (your physical location). As an example, North Carolina State University’s On Campus mobile app offers content and features that depend on a user’s location. Some examples include check-ins, event promotions, digital rewards, points, leader boards, maps of nearby locations, reviews and photo sharing. Since there’s so much happening on campus at any given time, On Campus features content about events very prominently, so students and faculty can know what’s happening anytime anywhere. To reward people for attending certain events, On Campus also cleverly incorporates its own branded badges. It’s like content candy. Example:Check out the app 26 Sherwin Williams STIR Magazine Company: Sherwin Williams Originally featured in: Sherwin Williams and Content Marketing: 5 Questions with Ellen Moreau by Joe Pulizzi Description: STIR Magazine, a custom content publication, targets a very specific audience that includes interior designers, architects and people who are simply passionate about decorating their homes. The online magazine combines high-quality articles, videos, interactive tools, blogs, events and “chatter” (comments from their social sites) into a comprehensive resource for people seeking ideas, inspirations, problem-solving tips and more. STIR was also recently made available as a tablet app, demonstrating the company’s commitment to making its content accessible (and readable) everywhere their audience wants it (plus it’s free!). Example:Experience STIR Magazine online 20 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 27 The Museum of Me Company: Intel Originally featured in: “The Story Behind Intel’s Museum of Me” by Pam Didner Description: The Intel “Museum of Me” project is a story of trials, triumphs, creativity and innovation. Bridging the global divide, the Intel creative team worked with their international agency, Projector, to create this powerful campaign. The rough creative concept was to pull information from a consumer’s Facebook page to create a virtual museum of his or her digital life. Photos, videos, and friends were presented as pieces of art, displayed randomly as if in a museum or art gallery. Within 5 minutes of being launched, the page had gotten 36 likes. From there, word spread quickly with the first tweet coming from Madrid. Within 5 days, there were 1 million hits – accomplished without any paid- media promotion. The Museum of Me app captured the attention of 2.5 million people and became the most popular viral video Intel had ever created. Example:Visit the Museum 28 Dive Rite’s Customer Stories Company: Dive Rite Originally featured in: Diving into Content Marketing: How Dive Rite Engages its Prospects by Katie McCaskey Description: Specialty diving equipment company Dive Rite has truly embraced content marketing as a way to beat the competition, increase web traffic and get more referrals. Its top focus is on community involvement and incorporating user-generated content, fostering dialogue rather than providing static information on popular discussion board forums. One element of its strategy that’s worked well is the Customer Stories page on its website. These stories allow people to submit their videos, pictures and experiences using Dive Rite gear, sharing stories that span the past 25 years of the company’s history. This page shows site visitors that the company’s long-term focus and priority has always been to provide their customers with adventures and thrills with the help of its products. Example:See the stories 21 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 29 Target Coupon Mailers – a Poetic Undertaking Company: Target Originally featured in: 10 Strategies for Content Marketing, Events & Marketing Automation Success, a Dreamforce 2011 Presentation featuring Jon Miller, VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo, and Ann Handley, CCO of MarketingProfs. Description: In a presentation recorded live at Dreamforce 2011, Jon Miller, VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo, and Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, share some of their favorite content marketing examples. One campaign they shared that really hit the mark was the Haiku Mailer initiative from Target . These mailers, called “Haiku-pons,” contained discounts and coupons served up with brief, creative Haiku poems. This is a great example of how to use humor and a unique approach to an otherwise traditional marketing medium – print – to make your content marketing initiatives stand out. Spicing up the home mailers gave Target a bit of an edge, offering up a dose of personality to brighten up mailboxes. 30 Zappos ZN App for iPad Company: Zappos Originally featured in: 6 Amazing Retail Content Marketing Examples Description: ZN is Zappos’ digital magazine dedicated to sharing the latest fashion trends. Over the past few years, Zappos has been moving toward selling more than shoes (as this magazine clearly shows). Kudos to Zappos for integrating compelling stories with reviews, and the ability to purchase directly from the iPad (a great example of content to commerce). Example:Check out the magazine app. 22 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 31 Openview Labs “Reimagines” Content Company: Openview Originally featured in: 10 Strategies for Content Marketing, Events & Marketing Automation Success, a Dreamforce 2011 Presentation featuring Jon Miller, VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo, and Ann Handley, CCO of MarketingProfs. Description: Can you create five content pieces from one asset without being duplicative? Yes! During a Dreamforce 2011 presentation, Ann Handley shares an example from Openview Labs to demonstrate how companies can create content pieces that reimagine, rather than recycle, your ideas. For example, one asset piece can be broken down into multiple articles, videos, a snapshot, podcast or social media discussion (See screenshot from the Dreamforce presentation). The challenge is forcing yourself to think about how to create multiple pieces that are truly different from the original content source. Example:Check out the Openview Labs site 32 Chinese Drywall Health Education Company: Roberts and Durkee Originally featured in: 5 Content Strategies for Boring Brands by Patricia Redsicker Description: Just like good brands, good content solves problems. Boring brands have the same opportunity as everyone to share information that improves customers’ lives or helps them to do their jobs better. For example, in 2008, Roberts and Durkee, a run-of-the-mill law firm, used content marketing to become the de facto consumer advocate for victims of the Chinese drywall problem that hit the U.S. market toward the middle of the decade. They created a website/ blog called ChineseDrywallProblem to help thousands of Florida homeowners whose homes were built with toxic drywall. The website provided pertinent information, such as how to identify contaminated drywall, the toxins’ health implications, and the victims’ legal rights. This content strategy established Roberts and Durkee as the expert in Chinese drywall problems and resulted in tremendous business opportunities for the firm. Example:Check out the site 23 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 33 Agilent Puppet Chemistry Company: Agilent Technologies Originally featured in: 5 Content Strategies for Boring Brands by Patricia Redsicker Description: Agilent Technologies produces measurement instruments that help scientists, researchers and engineers measure variables in chemical analysis, life sciences and electronics. Ho hum, right? On the contrary. Going completely against type, Agilent resisted the typical dry technicalities in favor of the truly unexpected: a video puppet show. The highly engaging Agilent Puppet Chemistry is so far removed from the company’s brand image, it immediately disarms, intrigues and captures the audience. And that audience consists of scientists and chemists who work in research and forensic labs – an audience that is relying more heavily on the internet to research instruments and platforms. This technique proved to be highly successful for Agilent, increasing traffic to its website and encouraging more prospects to click through in search of more information. Example:See the Puppet Show 34 Liberty Tax Facebook Page Company: Liberty Tax Originally featured in: 5 Content Strategies for Boring Brands by Patricia Redsicker Description: Social media presents the perfect opportunity to start or join discussions that are about topics rather than you, giving companies the opportunity to participate in conversations that are already taking place on social sites without seeming product-centric, pushy or self-promotional. A good example is Liberty Tax, a tax service franchise (yawn)… with a Facebook audience of over 6,000 people! A quick look at its Wall reveals how Liberty uses a variety of tactics to engage its customers and create a lively atmosphere. They discuss Groupon deals, hold photo contests, show appreciation to different members of the community (teachers, policemen and firefighters, etc.) and so on. It also makes taxes fun (no, really!) by giving away free tax apps, and offering advice and tips on little-kno. ds, etcedits, refun Example:“Like” the Liberty Tax page 24 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 35 Mint Life Community Company: Mint.com Originally featured in: Are Financial Services Companies Wise Investors in Content Marketing? By Manya Chylinski Description: Mint.com started out as a tool to help people understand and do more with their money, so it has a leg up on many other financial services sites. Mint Life, linked to from the Education section of Mint.com, is a community where most of the content (versus the tools) resides. The format is a visually attractive three-column blog format, and Mint isn’t afraid to use color and graphics. The page has space for recent tweets, articles and links to the Mint Life Guides and its popular Facebook page. Articles are readable and relevant, creatively addressing topics that run the gamut of personal finance concerns: Foodie Vacations on the Cheap, 5 Incredibly Stupid Things Consumers Do Online, or Choosing a Broker (a compelling infographic). The site also continues to evolve with the times and remains relevant with its target audience; for example, it has a free mobile app to help customers keep track of their finances while they are on the go. Example:Visit Mint Life 36 WebMD Magazine Company: WebMD Originally featured in: Just How Healthy are Healthcare’s Content Efforts? by Manya Chylinksi Description: WebMD’s monthly magazine, available in print (for physician’s offices) and online (for everyone else), gives exclusive content to readers looking for the latest articles in healthy eating and healthy living. Every issue is available in-full every month in a simple, easy-to digest PDF format, with all back issues archived and content sharing and interactions available across the WebMD Magazine social sites (i.e., @WEBMDMagazine). The best part is that the magazine maintains the editorial standards of its broader website, meaning content is created or edited by medical professionals. Sign-up is also simple: Rather than needing to fill out long, complex forms, you’re asked to simply provide your email in order to receive reminders that the latest issue is available, allowing you to go read it on your own time. Example:Read the WebMD magazine 25 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 37 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Website Company: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Originally featured in: Just How Healthy are Healthcare’s Content Efforts? by Manya Chylinksi Description: The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s website is designed to provide access to critical information on this disease for two distinct audiences: consumers and professionals in the field. The foundation does a good job of making the division clear, and consumer information is written in suitably clear, easy-to-understand language. News coverage is offered on topics such as clinical trials, legislation and the society itself, and the site also offers information on issues such as what MS is, how to live with the disease and how to talk to children who may suffer from or be affected by it. In addition, the site features a multimedia library that is a useful repository of MS-related online magazines and newsletters (including Keep S’myelin, a newsletter for children), online videos, and other web resources. Example:Visit the MS Society’s Website 38 Home Made Simple Company: Procter & Gamble Originally featured in: “How to Develop a Microsite” by Joe Pulizzi Description: Home Made Simple is one of the superstar examples of microsites. With well over six million opt-in members at this point (we are unsure of the exact figures), Home Made Simple continues to develop fresh and relevant content, recipes and tips to keep homeowners organized. The site was developed over six years ago by Procter & Gamble (P&G). After starting with just web and e-newsletter content, Home Made Simple has grown into a TV channel, with social media integration and a ton of great content. Example:Visit the Home Made Simple site 26 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 39 My Starbucks Idea Company: Starbucks Originally featured in: 6 Amazing Retail Content Marketing Examples Description: Description: Since inception, seemingly hundreds of ideas have been reviewed and implemented on the community site, My Starbucks Idea. Example:Visit the community. 40 “The Threshold” Reality Game for Pre-Event Engagement Company: Cisco Originally featured in: How to Create Content that Engages at Face-to-Face Meetings by John Nawn Description: As you design your event, imagine the attendee experience before, during and afterward and make sure you’re optimizing both content and context accordingly. One of the most interesting examples of engaging meeting attendees prior to an event is Cisco’s use of an alternate reality game (ARG) called “The Threshold”. The online game was designed to build teamwork and greater awareness of Cisco products and services during Cisco’s Global Sales Experience. Over 13,000 individuals participated in the game, generating thousands more posts on the discussion boards. Who knew sales people were such avid gamers? Example:Learn more about “The Threshold” on Cisco’s blog 27 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 41 CREO Launch Microsite Company: PTC Originally featured in: Microsite Yields Big Results for PTC by Katie McCaskey Description: When PTC wanted to launch its new software suite, CREO, it built a microsite in order to build community and industry awareness and gain momentum prior to the go-live date. Here are three reasons why the microsite was so effective as a content marketing technique: 1. Topic boundaries were narrowly and clearly defined: PTC’s CREO microsite focuses on the CAD design technology industry as a whole. It also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the development process of CREO, the company’s recently released software. 2. Educational content was developed that invites contributor involvement: The CREO microsite is filled with commentary from CAD experts and specialized engineers. This bookends content contributed by CAD designers, software developers and other passionate laypeople. 3. Content is easily shareable: Passionate people are great ambassadors for other like-minded people. PTC makes it easy for their content to be shared in social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter. Example:Visit the microsite 42 ”Behind the TEDTalk 2010” Video Company: TEDTalk 2010, M ss ng p eces and vimeo Originally featured in: 5 Engaging Video Ingredients: Deconstructing a TEDTalk Mini-Documentary by Thomas Clifford Description: The “behind-the-scenes” mini-documentary of a TEDTalk is a strong example of how companies can use video for their content marketing strategies. Why? Because it’s simple, it’s emotional and it’s intriguing. The interview portion of any video is its bread and butter. When interviewing, be sure to capture answers that reflect what the event means to people; consider what people are feeling and thinking. This will make for some powerful content. Another tip from the event is to shoot footage from various angles to make it interesting and unique. Finally, after the event be sure to interview key event participants to capture their enthusiasm and excitement. Example:Visit the microsite 28 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 43 Vail Resorts Web and Smartphone App Company: Vail Resorts Originally featured in: How to Avoid “Shiny New Technology” Syndrome in Content Marketing [Case Study] Description: Vail embeds RFID (radio-frequency-identification) chips in its passes and lift tickets each year. Customers can then get a personal scorecard of accomplishments on the mountain that can be viewed on the web or via a smartphone. Example:See the data you can view 44 Lauren Luke Instructional Videos Company: Lauren Luke Originally featured in: 12 Organizations Doing Content Marketing Right Description: In 2007, Lauren Luke began selling make-up products on eBay in an effort to subsidize her modest day job as a taxi dispatcher in Newcastle, England. In an effort to improve her eBay sales, Lauren began creating practical make-up application videos and distributed them on YouTube. Five years later, Lauren has her own brand of make-up distributed exclusively by Sephora, she has a series of teen books calledLauren Luke Loo, and she’s built a bigger brand than Estee Lauder on YouTube. Most impressively, Lauren Luke hasn’t spent a dime on traditional advertising. That’s content marketing at its finest. (Thanks to CMI contributor Andrew Davis for his insights on Lauren Luke’s content marketing efforts.) Example:Get the Looks 29 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 45 Guitar Center TV Channel on YouTube Company: Guitar Center Originally featured in: 12 Organizations Doing Content Marketing Right Description: Guitar enthusiast Clyde Miles shares with CMI why he feels Guitar Center has the most rockin’ content marketing practices around. Their innovative, fun and unique videos speak to a very targeted audience in the ways they want to converse: Through music. The Guitar Center TV Channel on YouTube also seamlessly integrates with the company’s website, provides an open forum for discussions from passionate players and features company promotions. Example:Check out the Channel 46 Home Depot DIY Tips & Trends on YouTube Company: Home Depot Originally featured in: 12 Organizations Doing Content Marketing Right Description: Home Depot has extremely relevant content on its online properties for two reasons: 1. The information is tailored by season or region. 2. Most topics are geared towards DIY projects (which the majority of their customers are looking for). For example, during the winter holidays the YouTube channel bore the headline, “More Holiday Cheer for Less”, providing tips and techniques for homeowners who like to decorate on their own without spending too much time or money. Other seasonally-relevant videos include, “Changing Air Filters” (another winter chore) or a Poinsettia informational vignette. (Thanks to Nate Riggs, CMI contributor, for his thoughts on Home Depot.) Example: Check out the Home Depot Channel 30 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 47 AtTask Podcasts Company: AtTask Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: AtTask, the B2B company, regularly publishes a host of relevant content on its website and on TalkingWork.com, a content site featuring industry experts on the subject of project management. As an example, check out their robust and relevant podca.These podcasts are broken up into categories that are catchy, cutting-edge and relevant to their readership. The podcasts are not only relevant for readers, but successful for the company as well: Since focusing on content marketing, AtTask has received more inbound requests for its expertise and syndications of its content. (Thanks to CMI contributor Amanda Maksymiw for her insights on AtTask. Disclaimer: AtTask is a portfolio company of OpenView.) 48 Seasonal Booklets from Whole Foods Company: Whole Foods Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: Whole Foods shows us that you can take it with you with its seasonal printed brochures. Clare McDermott, Founder of SoloPortfolio, shares her recent experience with one of the food store’s content marketing techniques: “I was shopping there one week before Thanksgiving, and I picked up a booklet about preparing the bird, unusual stuffings, why free-range tastes better, etc. The content was fun, totally useful (it was my companion on Thanksgiving Day when I estimated cooking times) and perfectly tied to their offerings. And of course, that awesome stuffing recipe requires some ingredients I’ll find most easily at Whole Foods.” 31 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 49 Hunch Infographics Company: Hunch Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: Infographics are effective because they boil down information to its most important components. Joe Chernov (VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua) states, “Hunch.com has taken one of the elements that has made infographics so popular – that is, they are easily digestible – to an entirely new level. In many ways, Hunch.com has done to the infographic what Twitter did to blogs: Reduced the content to only the essential point. They made data visualization light, fun and accessible. It also doesn’t hurt that each ties into one of the company’s key messages, which is: We know more about you than you know about yourself.” Creepy? Not at all. Effective content? Absolutely. Example:See for yourself 50 Urban Martial Arts Blog Company: Urban Martial Arts Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: The Urban Martial Arts blog is an example of low-cost content marketing. The blog is run by a small martial arts dojo in Brooklyn, NY, and is used to highlight the character building activities and recreation enjoyed by their students (especially children). The blog incorporates a good mix of multimedia to appeal to various audiences, including videos, social media integration and articles. Example:Check out the blog 32 100 Content Marketing e xaMples 51 Orabrush “Bad Breath Detector” Video Company: Orabrush Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Description: Need a giggle? Check out the Orabrush “Bad Breath Detector” video on YouTube. Over 1.7 million other people already have. Why? Because it’s a brilliant example of how content marketing can be just as effective (or more so) when silly and fun as when it’s educational and serious. Orabrush as a company has been around for a while and used to spend a lot of money on television advertising. It then decided to spend about $500 on a funny “Bad Breath Test” video that promoted the tongue cleaner on YouTube. Soon after that the company leveraged the popularity of the iPhone and a gullible audience to the hit video:Test Your Breath With an iPhone – Bad Breath Detector. Since then, they have been producing video after video on a well-optimized YouTube channel. As of this writing, its YouTube channel has received over 39 million views and has over 165,000 subscribers. Orabrush also has more than 295,000 fans on its Facebook page and over 4,000 followers on Twitter. The company has since signed agreements with major drugstore chains to stock the product on their shelves. A very successful content marketing campaign, to say the least. (Thanks to CMI contributor Arnie Kuenn for these insights.) Example:See the video 52 The Careers and Industry Guide Company: AMMA Originally featured in: Must-See Content Marketing Examples from 2011 Descriptio
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