I love seeing companies and organisations seizing the opportunity to become their own media channel by creating and publishing their own content.
I often use examples of content marketing in the presentations I deliver, the podcasts I produce and the articles I publish because, let’s face it, we’re often smashed over the head with the theory but it’s not until you see content marketing in action that ‘the penny drops’ in terms of: “Okaaay. Now I get it!”.
While it’s hard for brands to change their long-held habits – from renting an audience and interrupting people with a message they don’t give two hoots about, to crafting compelling content your customers (and the people who influence them) find interesting and relevant – we are starting to see some companies and organisations string together a decent body of work when it comes to content marketing.
Without further a-do, here are seven wonderful (and diverse) examples of content marketing that kick serious arse. The list is eclectic on purpose, and includes an:
- app developer (Australian);
- enterprise information management services company;
- online subscription service (Australian);
- global nonprofit organisation;
- professional services firm;
- paint manufacturer;
- online design tool (Australian).
Look at that spread of businesses! If you’re thinking your company or organisation has nothing to say, think again!
I urge you to visit the websites of these companies and take a deeper dive into the content they produce and then ask yourself: Is this something we can do in our business?
Buzinga is an Australian company that works with “innovative enterprises and well-funded tech startups to develop game-changing mobile solutions.”
The company’s blog is a ripper! It’s focused on five editorial categories:
- Raising Funds
- App Marketing, and
- Tech Trends.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the company is an active publisher, posting articles on July 8, 12, 13, 15, 18 and 20. A lot of the content tends to be of the helpful utility-based variety, with a strong dash of inspiration included.
One thing I really like is how Buzinga uses the blog to demonstrate the expertise of their people who write the articles, along with external experts who are part of their community. The importance of this element of corporate blogging cannot be over-estimated.
But the blog is just one part of the Buzinga content strategy, albeit an important one!
The company has also published a decent suite of free learning guides and app development whitepapers (below) and also produces a series of crash courses in building engaging mobile products.
Meanwhile, the Buzinga Podcast – available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, SoundCloud and YouTube – is an excellent resource for startups building and growing their business in the tech space.
And rounding out what is a pretty solid content offering, Buzinga produces a handful of excellent case studies that ably demonstrate the company’s app development chops.
Iron Mountain is a global player in the storage and information management business, offering services such as records managements and Storage, data backup and recovery, data centres, secure shredding and document imaging.
Check out the breadth of resources available (see screenshot below) – customer stories, articles, ebooks, infographics, videos, webcasts, podcasts, whitepapers …. and a blog!
Phewww. Very comprehensive.
Let’s kick off with the company blog.
It is well organised, with categories across service lines and industry making it easy for readers to choose the content that’s most relevant to them; a ‘meet the authors’ section not only provides us with background on the blog’s contributors, but allows readers to subscribe to an individual’s articles if they so desire.
Iron Mountain’s repository of ebooks is pretty sizeable and while I’m no expert on the subject matter on offer, they appear to more than serve the needs of the company’s customer base.
What I like about ebooks (and whitepapers) is that they allow a company to go in-depth on key topics relevant to its audience. I like to refer to ebooks as a company’s signature premium content; as a rule they are ‘evergreen’ in nature, and quite often serve as a ‘lead gate’ for the business (i.e. recipients have to provide an email in exchange for access).
Webcasts, podcasts (with transcripts), infographics, best practice guides for information management and a growing catalogue of demonstration videos all point to Iron Mountain being at the peak of its content marketing game.
Okay, now for something a little different!
GoodnessMe Box is an Australian membership service that delivers its subscribers a monthly curated box of the latest health foods, or as the company puts it: Natural food with zero nasties, delivered right to your doorstep every month.
The jewel of GoodnessMe Box’s content crown is its well-maintained and highly-informative blog.
The blog’s articles focus on topics associated with nutrition, and ‘mind and body’; it publishes heaps of healthy recipes as well as interviews with people with high profiles in the health and nutrition space (‘Five minutes with …’ and ‘My Day on a Plate’).
Like the Buzinga blog mentioned above, GoodnessMe Box produces content on an almost-daily basis; for example, see the screenshot below, with posts published on July 8, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 18.
According to its website, YPO is the premier chief executive leadership organisation in the world, representing a global community of leaders committed to the shared mission of becoming “Better Leaders Through Lifelong Learning and Idea Exchange.”
It’s also a great example of a not-for-profit organisation that places great emphasis on original content as a means of providing value for members (not to mention giving potential members a taste of what goes on ‘behind the velvet rope’).
What I like about YPO’s content is the strong focus it places on its members.
The organisation’s podcast, for example, features interviews with its members, who in turn provide stories, insights and ideas that are inspiring and useful for the intended audience (“Get to know the real stories and learn the human-side of what it really takes to be the person in charge”).
The YPO content hub features articles written by and about the organisation’s trusted resources—members, thought leaders and subject matter experts—as well as recaps from exclusive YPO events (see image below).
A highlight of YPO’s content efforts is the YPO Global Pulse survey, which gathers perspectives of its members around the world regarding the overall current economic climate in their region, as well as expected changes in sales, employee counts and fixed investment affecting their businesses.
According to its Twitter bio, Hinge “is pioneering the new science of growth for professional services firms — and taking branding and marketing to a higher level.”
Hinge a doing a great job with its content marketing. To be fair, it is their bread and butter so you’d expect them to be active content publishers, but there are plenty of marketing agencies out there who aren’t much chop when it comes to producing original content, so let’s hat-tip accordingly.
Take a look at Hinge’s ‘meaty’ content offering below.
The company’s content hub (‘Library’) contains books, guides, research studies, webinars, videos plus a blog. So many businesses think that simply having a blog constitutes ‘content marketing’. Done well, it’s a damn good start, but if you want to start aiming higher with your content efforts, check out Hinge Marketing’s library of goodies. They set the bar pretty high!
I particularly like how Hinge knuckles down and produces premium signature content such as books – these serve as great calling cards for the firm and really demonstrate the expertise of its people.
Farrow & Ball is a manufacturer and retailer of premium paints and hand crafted wallpapers. According to the company’s Facebook Page, it is one of a few remaining manufacturers to make all of the paint and wallpaper sold under its name. From small beginnings Farrow & Ball has grown into a global brand with a large following of customers, all of whom appreciate the unique ‘Farrow & Ball look’.
The Farrow & Ball website features heaps of useful content designed to ignite people’s creative juices, for example:
- Beginning your project
- Room inspiration, styles and trends
- Choosing a colour scheme
… as well as advice-based content that addresses such issues as:
- Ordering quantities
- Help with finishes
- Preparation and application
Now, you might say, so what? – plenty of companies publish information of this kind. Such content today is table stakes (although you’d be surprised how many companies do not cover off even the most basic questions people might have around their product or service).
But now check out The Chromologist (aka “One who translates the meaning of colour’).
The Chromologist is what I call a ‘sub-branded recurring content property’. It’s a celebration of colour and design, not a pitch for Farrow & Ball. Essentially it’s a blog, but has the appearance of a bona fide content-rich online magazine.
What it does do effectively is attract a certain audience (that is potentially predisposed to the Farrow & Ball brand) and educates and inspires them to think more creatively about interior design and the use of colour in the home (the publication also covers art, culture, music, books and travel).
But the editorial team doesn’t take itself too seriously. One article that stands out features the heading – Named and Shamed: The World’s Ugliest Colour (you’ll have to click through to see what it is!).
Undoubtedly someone who is interested and informed when it comes to colour and design will be a better customer over the long term.
Canva is a brilliant online tool that “makes design simple for everyone”.
According to its website: “Choose from hundreds of professional templates to create social media graphics, presentations, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more.”
Established in Sydney, the business now has more than 100 team members from 12 countries in three offices. At time of writing, 11 million people had used Canva to create nearly 80 million designs, in the 1066 days since the service had been launched.
Canva harnesses the power of content-based education to build its business.
No doubt the thinking is to use content to attract people to the Canva brand, but also, like The Chromologist, the more people are interested in (and educated about) graphic design, the more they will use and recommend the online tool.
The Canva blog is expansive, informative and well-categorised (see article examples below).
But then Canva takes things up a notch with a series of ‘design essentials’ tutorials, which cover getting started with design, use of colour and fonts, images, backgrounds, shapes and icons, plus lay-out and branding tips.
The tutorials are comprehensive, practical and free, and serve as a great example of a savvy brand that not only understands its audience, but is genuinely intentional about delivering them with value over and above the product it offers.
Again, many companies are starting to roll out a company blog, but precious few are going that extra mile and publishing rich, high-value content that’s super-useful and relevant to a designated audience, content that empowers people with knowledge and helps address an issue or challenge they may be having.
I hope you enjoyed this selection of content marketing examples.
Which ones stood out the most with you?
What are some other examples of businesses and organisations that are producing great content?