As of 2023, there are approximately 4.89 billion total social media users worldwide. So, it’s safe to say that social media for businesses is no longer an option, but a necessity. Your customers are on some form of social media or other digital platform and want to consume content online. The best brands understand the importance of content marketing and make it a key part of their digital strategy or have outsourced to a content marketing agency.
What is content marketing?
It’s not only about catchy headlines and avoiding clickbait (although that’s part of it!). In essence, content marketing is a strategy used to attract, engage and retain an audience through the creation of blogs, images, videos, podcasts and other types of media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness and keeps your business top of mind when consumers are ready to buy your product or service.
The power of content marketing in driving business success
Content marketing on social media is one of the most effective ways to develop your online presence, drive sales and stay ahead of competitors. Companies that use content marketing best practices usually have good relationships with their target audience because content marketing aims to answer your audience’s questions through educating, informing or entertaining. It also assists in building trust, improving conversions and generating leads.
Content marketing services are well worth investing in to drive business growth and content marketing agencies help to deliver personal and results-driven services. In today’s times, customers expect high quality, consistent content from their favourite brands. This has become increasingly difficult to achieve with the current cluttered digital landscape. So how are businesses breaking through the noise? The 15 brands below reflect the type of success that can come from content marketing.
15 brands that used content marketing to succeed
Apple: Crafting compelling stories to build a loyal customer base
Apple has always been a company that focuses on customer loyalty and they’ve done a brilliant job, having gained some of the most loyal customers in the world. By prioritising their target audience, they’ve been consistently able to rank at the top. This has massive value as happy customers often lead to user-driven content and Apple has a long history of capitalising on this in their content strategy.
In 2022, Apple hosted a new #ShotoniPhone campaign with their #iPhonemacrochallenge. Apple asked owners of an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max to take their best macro photo and post it on socials using the hashtags. This is a great example of user-generated content marketing success stories for business growth.
Coca-Cola: Creating shareable content to build brand awareness
Coca-Cola is another brand that’s doing content marketing in a way that benefits them greatly. This is one of the big brands with good marketing that has built a successful strategy around content marketing.
The brand’s “Share a Coke” campaign in 2011 was iconic, creative and an excellent example of shareable content creating brand awareness. The campaign involved printing names on Coke cans and bottles to entice customers to share their Cokes which created a lot of buzz on social media. The “Share a Coke” campaign was successful as it encompasses elements of personalisation, social sharing, emotional appeal and was fun and engaging. These are key ingredients of a great content marketing campaign that will not only increase brand awareness but also drive engagement and sales.
American Express: Investing in content to build trust and loyalty
American Express’s content journey started off with the brand producing travel guides with tourist spots and travel tips then branching out into glossy magazines. With the rise of digital, American Express launched the OPEN Forum – an online hub filled with expert advice for its readers while connecting them with American Express’s brand messages.
By investing in content such as well-written brochure copy and adjusting to changing times, the company has gained trust and loyalty from its customers. This shows that content marketing campaigns, whether it be traditional or digital, can generate significant results and build a loyal customer base for any company.
Red Bull: Building a lifestyle brand through content marketing
Red Bull is famous for utilising content marketing to gain a competitive edge in the energy drinks industry. Red Bull TV provides videos and live streaming of global events, including Red Bull Racing. Consequently, this has attracted masses of people who are interested in adventurous activities that Red Bull drinkers often engage in. Red Bull instantly gained an advantage over others in the industry and this goes to show that your content strategy doesn’t have to look like your competitor’s in order to be successful.
Airbnb: Leveraging user-generated content to drive engagement
Airbnb launched a global marketing campaign in 2021 during the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. They did this by utilising a user-generated campaign that would have an emotional appeal to audiences. Airbnb asked a group of photographers to book an Airbnb with their friends and families and submit the photos. Airbnb then created video content that felt nostalgic, authentic and relatable to anyone. This was one of the content marketing campaigns that aired during lockdown, providing hope and inspiration to people stuck in their homes.
HubSpot: Using inbound marketing to generate leads and sales
Inbound marketing attracts customers by providing them with valuable content and solutions to problems they already have. The evolution of HubSpot and inbound marketing has contributed greatly to both the platform itself as well as its content marketing strategy. The buyer’s journey is constantly changing and in order to generate leads and sales, asking customer-focused questions is key. HubSpot understands that creating relationships through inbound content marketing is a great way to increase exposure and establish a sense of trust in your brand.
Dollar Shave Club: Creating viral content to drive customer acquisition
Dollar Shave Club is a classic example of a startup that gained a ton of traction due to quirky content. The company was launched with a video casually titled “Our Blades are F**king Great” that quickly blew up on the internet. This shows the power of comedic content marketing campaigns to capture the attention of an audience and gain traction on social media.
LEGO: Fostering a community through creative content
LEGO’s content marketing strategy involves turning customers into a community with LEGO Ideas – a platform where fans can submit new concepts for LEGO sets and proposals are voted on by other fans. Chosen ideas are turned into sets and the fan designer receives 1% of the royalties. The community has grown massively and through this platform, LEGO has successfully transitioned from simply building for customers to building with an engaged community by shifting their content marketing approach.
Sephora: Empowering customers through educational content
Sephora’s marketing team recently collaborated with TikTok to release new educational content programmes on video marketing and show start-up beauty brands how to use content marketing best practices. This collaboration will connect businesses on Sephora’s Accelerate programme with content creators on TikTok. Brands that understand influencer marketing and creator relations have a clear advantage in creating quality beauty content that educates audiences and empowering customers.
General Electric: Humanising a corporate brand through storytelling
General Electric is a great example of a B2B-focused business with inspiring content marketing. Although it’s not the most interesting of businesses, the brand’s Instagram account reflects creativity and innovation. For example, their #GEInstaWalk which involved influencers who specialise in photography creating excellent drone footage of a person in between a massive wind turbine propellers. General Electric also allowed these influencers to tour their manufacturing facilities resulting in more content and thousands of new followers.
Buffer: Being transparent to build a loyal following
Buffer has defined their value of transparency within their culture and shared many things for the public to see including team salaries, equity shares, SaaS metrics, investor funding and more. Buffer’s transparent content marketing has helped them to grow and expand as customers and employees trust them more and transparency helps with innovation, credibility and getting valuable feedback. This is a unique digital strategy as it focuses more on sharing key aspects of the business rather than creating content.
GoPro: Using visual storytelling to create an engaged community
It’s unsurprising that GoPro hits the nail on the head with video content strategy and visual storytelling to engage with the audience. The team has realised that adrenaline-inducing videos are super favourable and so they implemented it into their content strategy. They have been quick to capitalise on user-generated content and have incorporated external content into their blog with their Creator Series, where adrenaline junkies share their personal tips on how to use GoPro.
Warby Parker: Building a brand through smart, relatable content
The secret to Warby Parker’s digital marketing success has been a smart and human-centric marketing strategy. The eyewear company connects with its audience through digital marketing channels as well as through building apps and being an advocate for social justice. Warby Parker prides itself on non-salesy email marketing that provides value to customers, for example a “Find your frames” quiz, a video showing how glasses are made as well as a Virtual Try-On tool. This digital strategy combines creative email marketing content with customer satisfaction to build the brand.
Intel: Innovating with interactive and data driven content
Intel is at the forefront of digital technology and the brand utilises this expertise to take advantage of the power of content marketing. The Intel blog page contains content from employees who publish articles related to the company’s brand image. Creating a specialised hub for the content your customers are looking for is a great way to draw them to your brand.
Key takeaways and lessons from successful content marketing strategies
The above mentioned companies are prime examples of how content marketing has helped brands make a fortune. From user-generated content, shareable content and viral videos to storytelling, educational content and transparency, all businesses have a different approach as there’s no one-size fits all when it comes to digital marketing.
Content marketing companies identify key business objectives before developing your comprehensive digital strategy. Let our in-house marketing team help you navigate the complexities of the digital world. Contact us today for a content marketing agency dedicated to helping your business grow.