Social media and the internet in general gave us the opportunity to let the world know about our latest vacations in Maldives (wish it was true) or the super delicious burger we had for lunch.
Content gives us a reason to discuss and the internet allows us to share it with the world.
Content marketing is gaining popularity because businesses understand that consumers are interested to consume authentic content alongside with advertisements.
There are basically 3 types of media that can support your marketing strategy:
This is the publicity you get from the content you own, create and the reason your customers talk about your brand. For example, if you run an online bakery shop what kind of content would you create to make your audience talk about your brand and at the same time is not advertorial?
Content that teaches your audience new skills, enhance their lives and makes them proud to share with their friends.
- Teach them how to prepare any of your bestselling cookies
- Teach them how to get started with baking
- Set up a Facebook live event and answer their questions
- Create a recipe book for special occasions
Sources of owned media:
- Social media channels
This is the most valuable type of media any business would love to have, however, the most difficult to obtain. It is your fans and followers are talking about your brand for free and share with their friends.
It brings you traffic and brand awareness otherwise you had to pay. However, earned media can be bad publicity too, something you certainly want to avoid.
Your customers create content for your business by mentioning or tagging your brand’s name alongside with photos of the products or services they purchased.
You can create all sort of tricks and gimmicks that may work in the sort run but all you need to do is focus on your customers by providing great products and services
Sources of earned media:
Gone are the days where social media, search traffic or even brand advocates used to be free. Facebook’s audience reach can hardly get higher than 2%-4% in best case scenarios, which means that more than 95% of your fans will not see what you publish.
Hence paid media comes in place in order to reach new audience or close to 100% of your existing fans’ base.
For example, if you own an online women’s fashion shop at East Manhattan in New York City, you can run a sponsored post on Facebook by targeting the following audience:
- Age 25-45
- Interest fashion
- East Manhattan
The more targeted the audience, the higher the cost per reach, however, the higher the chances for conversion. You do not need volume in these types of campaigns rather audience who is really interested and potentially take an action.
Sources of paid media
- Pay Per Click
Every type of media can support your marketing efforts differently within a typical customer journey map. Content should educate, entertain, inspire, convince your audience and build the required connection with your brand.
This great infographic by the Smart Insights team summarizes the types of content you should use base on your goals.
Content curation is a great way to support your digital marketing strategy. This is the content others create and you share it with your fans and followers.
A great example is Wholefoods, the biggest organic grocery store chain in the USA that was recently acquired by Amazon. Their social media pages are not only full of content they create (owned media) but also content found on other sources and they share at Wholefoods Facebook or Instagram pages.
This is a smart approach to have regular and relevant content on a consistent basis, keep educating and improving your audience lives’ as well as building key connections with other related mind individuals in the same field.
Curated content can position your brand as the ultimate source for a specific industry or sector. For example, few years back Techmeme.com used to be the ultimate source for technology news by curating latest top news from all major news outlets.
Content marketing examples
Here we will examine 4 content marketing examples that have been integrated very well into their businesses’ overall marketing strategy and have been consistently delivering great results
Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe kit service that delivers fresh produce within the United States. Customers order weekly boxes that contain ingredients and suggested recipes by Blue Apron’s chefs.
The company was founded only 5 years ago but went public mid-2017.
Content marketing approach
Blue Apron runs a blog featuring food recipes inspired by its team and their customers. User generated content is also featured across all their social media accounts, with special emphasis given on Instagram.
Most of food photos are accompanied by an ingredients list, so it easier for everyone to cook the exact same dish from the comfort of their home. Content is authentic and most of it created by its users, hence allows Blue Apron brand to capitalize on mentions and hashtags.
Acquired by Amazon back in 2017, Wholefoods is the largest organic grocery store chain in the United States with close to 500 stores and millions of customers across the country.
The company was founded back in late 1970’s and since then has experienced a tremendous growth due its unique positioning, great fresh produce and amazing customer service.
Content marketing approach
Wholefoods runs a great blog with tons of fresh content produced on very regular basis. Due to the nature of the company, most of the content is around food recipes, health tips and well-being.
They often partner with popular food bloggers, featuring unique recipes that are prepared only for Wholefoods customers.
Their social media accounts are packed with owned as well as curated content from other sources that add value and make its audience stick around. Originally, most of its content was in the forms of blog posts, however, with the huge adoption of Instagram, short video recipes start to become the norm.
Scotts Men’s Wear
Scotts Men’s Wear sells a great range of men’s fashion items and it is based in the UK, however they do ship their products globally.
The company does not produce any of its items, rather acts as a distribution channels for major brands such as Adidas, Lacoste, Fred Perry and more.
Content Marketing approach
Needless to say, that the online fashion market is very competitive, furthermore, Scotts Men Wear is selling items that can easily be found across all major department stores.
They have taken a very smart approach by creating content to enhance their customers’ lives and make them look great. For example, blog posts on how to get dressed in specific occasions or what to wear this season to look cool are very frequent.
Their social media accounts’ content has a different approach from the two other examples, it is mostly produced by the company itself with focus on tagging the products shown in the photos, the selling price and a link to the online store.
Hubspot is the pioneer of Inbound marketing. A methodology to attract customers by creating great educational content, optimizing it for search engines and distributing it via social media. Probably one of the best content marketing examples for an Saas business.
The company was founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah back in 2006 and it is focusing on full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core.
Hubspot offers a certification too, to those interested becoming certified Inbound Marketers.
Content Marketing approach
Hubspot’s content marketing approach is entirely based on the foundation of creating great educational content for sales and marketing practitioners.
Their blog is very extensive with detailed guides, how to articles as well as templates on various marketing activities such as planning and search engine optimization.
A great way to build trust, relationships with businesses and brand awareness without having to hard sell its product.
On top of that, their annual Inbound event, attracts thousands of marketing professionals across the world, and setting pretty much the direction of the entire sector of Inbound Marketing.
These 4 content marketing examples showcase a great combination of creativity and inspiration that can apply to most of businesses. You do not need to spend a fortune to get started, focus on delivering value to your audience and stick to a long term plan.