What do you think makes the internet so interesting for its 4.57 billion active users? CONTENT. This ‘content‘ is so appealing that the average internet user spends 144 minutes a day online. And that’s not just the case online. Offline too, everything is made up of content – photos, videos, words, movies, magazines, Ads, and whatnot!
Amidst this digital clutter, how do you stand out among the competition? Through an impactful content marketing strategy. You’ll find it interesting to know that content marketing is not a new concept – it was first used in 1895 by John Deere for ‘The Furrow!‘
Tested by time, content marketingallows you to increase engagement, leads, and, ultimately, ROI. But most businesses find it difficult to chart out a content marketing strategy that truly works for them. Using a poor strategyis like selling ice in the Arctic.
Don’t worry – in this article, we have rounded up some super cool content marketing campaigns used by popular brands. Our research will help you truly grow. Not convinced? Check out these lessons.
12 Lessons from the Best.
1. One Leads to Another
Investopedia: The Hub and Spoke Model
Simply put, the Hub and Spoke model shows how multiple actions or activities are connected with one common activity. It looks like a wheel, with the common activity in the center and the connected activities as spokes. It allows you to visualize multiple ideas at once.
Investopedia that ranks on top when searching financial terms uses this model in the context of keywords to maximize their reach online. Let’s say the hub keyword is ‘capital gains.‘The spokes keywords like ‘capital gains tax lead users to other pages of their website too.?
The website offers a short explanation for the spokes, allowing a reader to delve further into the topic through internal linking.
2. From Wider to Narrower
Hubspot: Creating a Funnel
Hubspot also has a great search ranking due to powerful SEO practices. Their strategy is to start with a wider topic that is often searched, which then links to a specific topic, and then ends with a CTA or two. The website makes sure a user is guided to a CTA through funneling.
Another thing Hubspot does is offer guides and information on what people are seeking. To access these guides, a person enters their email Id, which can then be used by the company to market their products and services.
3. Once Upon a Time
Known for offering stays and experiences, Airbnb’s brand comprises its hosts and guests. To encourage more people to use Airbnb, the company lets its customers tell their story, and they have a dedicated ‘community stories’ section for it.?
Real, visual, and exciting experiences are shared by the customers, making others want to go on a getaway with Airbnb. The company’s ‘Belong Anywhere‘ campaign worked wonders for it, using only stories and snapshots into the lives of Airbnb hosts to sell the brand.?
Airbnb knows what it’s doing. There is a science behind storytelling. Storytelling increases the production of oxytocin – a happiness hormone – in the brain. This ‘feel-good‘ experience is why 92% of customers want Ads that feel like they are listening to a story.?
Storytelling adds a human element to a brand and helps build stronger connections.
4. Spotlight on the User
Coca Cola: Encouraging User-Generated Content
A simple content marketingtool to build an online presence is using user-generated content, like Coca Cola. 61% of consumers are more likely to engage with an Ad if it has user-generated content.
Coca-Cola’s ‘Share-a-Coke campaign allowed people to customize the bottles and cans with messages and names and was highly successful. Because this was something new, something relatable, and something that had an emotional touch to it, it worked well for the brand.?
User-generated content builds customer trust, improves reliability, and shows that a brand truly cares.
5. Not One, Not Two, But Longer Keywords
Hotjar: Using Long-Tail Keywords
Because long-tail keywords have low competition, they have higher conversion rates than their shorter counterparts. Hotjar, a SaaS company, excels at using long-tail keywords.?
They create comparative articles – for example, ‘Hotjar vs. X: What’s Better? – that work as long-tail keywords, driving traffic to their website. These articles are rich in keywords and are made using the Hub and Spoke model.
6. Word of Mouth
Uber: Referral Programs
For a great incentive, any user will be willing to refer another user to your brand. Think of the referral rewards as investments, where your users become your brand ambassadors. This shows that the brand values the customer and also helps beat the competition.
Uber’s in-app, easy to understand referral program gives dual-sided rewards and helps establish their presence in multiple cities across the globe. Because the text used to explain the referral is simple, it was a success.?
The customer acquisition cost was much less than the customer lifetime value for Uber, with a certain percentage of the ride fare earned by the Uber drivers, going to the company every time. You can also use customer testimonials to promote such a program for your brand.
7. Beyond Conventional Content
Hootsuite: Podcasts & More
An important part of content marketing is a well-thought-out social media strategy, and this worked well for Hootsuite. Hootsuite’s CEO and Founder, Ryan Holmes, talked about how their social media strategy helped them become successful in a Forbes podcast. The podcast and the social media strategy are both content marketing.
One of their most engaging campaigns was when they created a relatable, ‘Game of Social Thrones‘ video at a time when the series Game of Throneswas trending. The video went on to garner more than a million views.
8. Go Cross-Platform
Disney: Omnichannel Marketing
Disney’s beautiful website attracts ‘wows‘ from many. Once you book an experience through the website – for example, a ticket to Disney’s theme park – you can also use its mobile app to locate the attractions in the park.?
Also, it’s ‘Magic Bandprogram works as a tool for food ordering, photo storage for photos taken with any of the Disney characters, and also as a hotel room key. The program also offers Fast Pass integration.?
Disney transcends platforms, making the user experience seamless and engaging. You, too, can use omnichannel content marketingto reach your target audience.
9. Customer First
Nike: Imparting Great Customer Service
Nike’s use of Twitter to reach out to its customers and extend customer support is brilliant. Nike is quick to respond to customer queries and is also extremely helpful and polite.
This shows the customers that the brand takes them seriously and takes time to resolve their issues, without solely focusing on sales.
For some inspiration, you can check out @TeamNike on Twitter.
10. Aligning With the Trends
New York Times: Staying Relevant
Super popular in the print media, the New York Times is evolving with the changing times. It has a strong digital presence, and it goes one step further to stay updated and relevant.?
Nike introduced the NYT VR, through which a reader can experience the publication in a unique way. With the use of Google Cardboard and the NYT VR app, the New York Times used virtual reality to woo its readers.
11. Smile Please
Flipkart: Use of Creativity & Humor.
The Indian e-commerce brand Flipkart is known for its famous video Ad campaign, where it dresses up children as adults to catch the viewer’s attention.?
These cute Ads are humorous and help the company gain a lot of positive brand reputation. A study found out that laughing brings people closer, and the same works with brands and customers.
12. Tell Them Something New
Colgate: Educate, Inform & Build Trust
Colgate doesn’t just portray itself as a brand. It publishes insightful articles, guides, studies, and more on its website’s ‘Oral Care Centreand shares it with the people. This information educates people and builds trust and respect for the brand.
These articles are in-line with Colgate’s products. All the information is about oral care, dental issues, orthodontics, tips, latest studies, etc. Without directly promoting their brand, Colgate uses content marketingto its advantage.
Before You Go
Keep these quick tips in mind while creating a strategy:
- First, set your goal. Do you want more followers? More leads? More engagement?
- Select the product or services you want to market.
- Identify your target audience.
- Research keywords and hashtags related to your product or service.
- Always remember to strike an emotional chord.
- Curate your posts around trending content.
- Be as creative as you can; think out of the box.
- Make sure your videos or graphics are visually appealing.
- Re-purpose content and post it across multiple channels.
- Be consistent and keep checking what works and work doesn’t.
- Offer information, give answers to what people are asking.
Content marketing is not an easy task, but it is also not an impossible one. You, too, can create engaging and visually appealing content like these popular brands.?
There is no better time to begin than now! If you’re now convinced, then this article got it right to use content marketing to promote content marketing. Do you get it?
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