If a business can provide informative, interesting content, customers will be interested and more likely to trust their products and services. Some companies who have realized the value of content marketing, and who use it to their advantage include:
Though they approach it in different ways, these companies are exemplary in their innovative approaches to content marketing, and therefore reap the benefits.
GoPro have achieved the quite incredible feat of getting their customers to market their product for them.
Videos taken on the cameras are uploaded to social media sites, complete with hashtags, showing the footage was shot on a GoPro camera. In doing this, GoPro creates content via its own product, and is able to entertain its customers while advertising.
‘At least 6,000 GoPro-tagged videos are uploaded to YouTube every day’, and GoPro’s YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers. This is something they utilize in many ways, including buying the rights to GoPro user videos, and posting them on the official GoPro channel. They also often partner with athletes and musicians, who film their activities on GoPro, creating content that is at once entertaining and aspirational.
Like GoPro, IBM utilize social media platforms to amplify their content. The company has popular YouTube, Vine and Instagram accounts, which they use to post information about the company.
A key focus of their social media platforms is looking at the history of their technologies, such as this vine of an old IBM typewriter being assembled. In doing this, they involve customers in the narrative of their company, and create an emotional connection to the business and its’ products, and since 71% of buyers will purchase a product with personal value, this emotional connection is important.
Another successful content marketing scheme IBM use is called ‘Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson’, which is basically a cookery book, complete with some vine content, that aims to ‘discover new recipes free from the limiting nature of human bias’. By creating, enjoyable, smart content such as this, IBM demonstrates to its customers that it thinks outside the box as a company.
Coca-Cola, known for being an advertising super power, had never been overly concerned with content marketing until 2012, when they launched their website Coca-Cola Journey.
This website serves as an online magazine, covering a huge range of things organized into subject: ‘Stories, Opinions, Brands, Videos, and Blogs – and topic – Brands, Business, Community, Entertainment, Environment, Health, History, Innovation, and Sports’.
The website provides interesting content, relating to the technologies and journeys of the company, while also providing information and news relating to the business. It even includes information on its strategies and business plans in a bid to appear transparent to customers.
BuzzFeed are an incredibly innovative company when it comes to content marketing. Since content makes up the majority of BuzzFeed’s output, it is the focus of their business model, rather than just part of it.
A lot of BuzzFeed’s success lies in their ability to create ‘sharable’ content, which can be shared flexibly across different platforms, and it shows – 75% of BuzzFeed traffic comes from social media.
BuzzFeed stand out from the crowd with the variety of content they provide; granted, this is their main focus, but you would be hard pressed to find another company with such a spectrum of material; they have something for everyone – and this is impressive. The company’s ability to expand across platforms also gives it a good chance of longevity, as it is malleable towards technological and social developments.
ASOS, which has over 30 million unique visitors per month from 200 different countries, is a leader in online fashion retail. One of the biggest tricks up their sleeve is ASOS Magazine, which has over 600,000 copies read online and in print per month.
The key to the magazine’s success, besides hiring a talented team of fashion journalists and editors, is that it puts an emphasis on fashion trends and ideas that are in season, rather than the clothes they want to sell more of.
This builds on their relationship as a magazine, and as a business that prioritizes trends and style over all else, allowing customers to treat it like any other magazine while benefitting from the style advice and tips of tomorrow. While the products do take a backseat, it is easy for ASOS, especially in online copies of the magazine, to lead people onto buying the products in a seamless transition.
While these are large companies, and likely to have much bigger content marketing workforces and budgets than most, it is important to learn from their innovative, exemplary ways of approaching content marketing.
By adopting the proven strategies of the best performers on a smaller scale, you could create long lasting, trustworthy relationships with customers, and strengthen your business considerably.