However, content marketing is unique in that the practice isn’t defined by the type of content but rather by the contents of the media. If content marketing is the practice of providing uniquely helpful, practical, or entertaining media to a specific audience, then content marketing isn’t defined by content types but rather by the perceived value the audience receives from the content.
So let’s look at some content marketing examples categorized by types of content.
1. Buffer Open Culture Blog
Buffer’s Open Culture blog looks behind the scenes of the company’s workplace as they try to foster a forward-looking work culture.
Why it works: Not all content has to relate to your product. In its Open Culture blog, Buffer shares its company growth and culture in its Open Culture blog to inspire other workplaces. For Buffer, the Open Culture blog isn’t just about selling their software — it’s also about making a difference in the world of work.
2. CLIF BAR Stories Blog
Clif Bar’s Stories blog features articles on healthy snacks, outdoor adventures, and other topics relevant to their audience.
Why it works: You’d think it’d be tricky to write content for a granola bar, but CLIF makes it look easy. The key here is understanding your audience. CLIF understands that athletes, health-conscious eaters, and outdoor adventures like to eat their bars, so their blog covers topics they’d enjoy reading about.
3. Border States Electric Supply Chain Solutions Blog
The Border States Electric Supply Chain Solutions blog offers workplace efficiency and safety advice to industrial business owners.
Why it works: As an electric supply distribution company, Border States serves heavy industries that value workplace safety and efficiency. Their blog tackles subjects like equipment operation and job site safety to build authority with industrial business owners.
4. Rest Day Massage Therapy Blog
Rest Day Massage Therapy’s blog teaches readers about massage services and how to get the most out of them in different situations.
Why it works: Your customers have questions that make them pause before trying your product. In the massage industry, those might include “How much will a deep tissue massage hurt?” Rest Day Massage Therapy’s blog addresses concerns like these to remove those barriers to scheduling an appointment.
5. Microsoft Stories
Microsoft’s Stories blog tells stories about Microsoft’s people, initiatives, and products.
Type: Hub / Videos
Why it works: Microsoft gives you a peek at the company’s people, initiatives, and products on their Stories blog. Unlike many company blogs, this relies on journalistic content and video to share information. It has high quality and editorial standards.
6. Michelin Guide
Michelin Guide helps you “Find your next great culinary experience.”
Why it works: Michelin Tires originally started their Star Guide to help people on road trips (who eventually would need to buy tires) find the best places to eat along their routes. The Michelin Star Guide has since taken on a life of its own, and nowadays, many people are familiar with the guide without even realizing a tire company makes it. Still, their concept stays the same: Offer value first without directly selling and reap the benefits on the backend.
7. Ford Motor Company Brochure Gallery
Ford’s brochure guide helps drivers research vehicle options.
Type: Content hub / Brochure
Why it works: Car shoppers do more research online than at the dealership these days. Ford has responded to this trend by providing all the information a consumer might need when considering a new car purchase in one place, making it easy for potential customers to find and keep Ford top of mind when making buying decisions.
8. Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO
Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO helps readers increase “Rankings and traffic through search engine optimization.”
Why it works: SEO can be complex and challenging for newcomers to understand. This guide teaches readers everything they need to know to get started in a well-structured and easy-to-follow way, providing immense value and framing MOZ as the place to go for SEO knowledge.
9. Shopify Store Examples Gallery
Shopify’s Example gallery empowers users to see how people like themselves have built websites using the software.
Why it works: People building or considering building an online store with Shopify may want to know what their store could look like and get inspiration and ideas. The Shopify Store Examples Gallery is an excellent resource for this audience and provides potential Shopify customers with the resources they need to be successful on the platform.
10. How We Work at Zapier
How We Work at Zapier is a hub that provides productivity tips and more.
Type: Content Hub
Why it works: This content hub offers insight into how an admired company works and gives potential customers a closer look at Zapier before they buy. This view into Zapier’s workplace operations can make fans out of potential leads, driving them toward Zapier’s other (paid) offerings.
11. CoSchedule Product Training Courses
CoSchedule’s product training courses teach new users how to use the CoSchedule Marketing Suite.
Why it works: CoSchedule’s product training courses are free classes that teach users how to use the Marketing Suite.
As part of our product marketing strategy, these courses loop in new customers and keep them around.
12. Fender Play Courses
Fender Play Courses are available on your mobile phone for new guitar players. “We don’t just make guitars. We make players.”
Why it works: These lessons are geared toward new guitar owners, especially those who buy Fender guitars. By helping new guitar owners learn to play their instrument, they are more likely to stick with it, trust Fender, and (one day) buy more guitars (maybe from Fender). Educational resources like these are great ways to make recurring customers, as users will then turn to your brand for knowledge as they view you as a significant thought leader within your niche.
13. Content Hacker Content Transformation System Class
Content Hacker’s free Content Transformation Class introduces viewers to their content framework.
Type: Video Class
Why it works: Have you ever gotten a food sample at a grocery store? The store lets you try a product in the hopes it’ll convince you to buy it. Content Hacker uses the same principle in sharing a free glimpse at their courses to show interested customers their approach to teaching.
14. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer empowers users to optimize their marketing headlines for free.
Type: Free Tool
Why it works: The Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule is a perfect example of providing value through content. It is a helpful tool that people can make a part of their routine whenever they need to write a headline. In this way, CoSchedule keeps their audience coming back repeatedly, keeping leads within the brand’s ecosystem to continue providing value and pushing leads toward the bottom of the sales funnel.
One key for CoSchedule in making the Headline Analyzer a success has been making continuous updates to the platform, ensuring that they can continue to draw customers back time and time again to try out new features.
15. HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator
HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator helps users develop new content ideas.
Type: Free Tool
Why it works: Content marketers are constantly on the prowl for new topics to blog about and build content around, making this free tool from Hubspot a great value piece for their desired audience. By solving a common problem at no cost, HubSpot frames themselves as a valuable resource and keeps their audience coming back for more.
16. Pedaltrain Pedalboard Planner
Pedaltrain’s Pedal Board Planner tool empowers users to customize their guitar pedal setup before they buy.
Why it works: There’s nothing else quite like this free tool from Pedaltrain. It helps guitarists know which type of board they need to fit their unique pedal collection, helping to drive sales and reduce returns when people find the right board before they buy.
The visual aspect of this tool is perfect for guitarists as they plan their pedal setup, and the diverse collection of pedals to choose from on this tool makes it the ultimate resource for pedalboard planners.
17. U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Economy Trip Calculator
U.S. Department of Energy’s Trip Calculator helps drivers estimate fuel costs for road trips.
Why it works: This free fuel calculator is provided by fueleconomy.gov to solve a real problem, is genuinely useful, and helps people make the most of their money when planning a road trip. It not only calculates the fuel cost for road trips but also provides people with directions they can use on their trip and lets you map out stops along the way.
18. Formula 1: Drive to Survive
Formula 1 Drive to Survive engages fans on- and off-season.
Type: Television Series
Why it works: Drive to Survive is a Netflix series produced by Formula 1, which generates a ton of buzz around Formula 1 racing amongst Netflix viewers who may have never checked out the sport before. By making this sport more accessible and providing viewers with a more personal, in-depth experience, Formula 1 has generated a significant amount of interest in the sport, encouraging casual fans to watch Formula 1 live and engage with the sport in new ways.
19. Le Creuset YouTube Channel
Le Creuset’s YouTube channel helps its fans “Follow along for color inspiration, recipe ideas, cooking tips, and more.”
Type: YouTube Channel
Why it works: Cooking videos are extremely popular on YouTube. Le Creuset takes advantage by sharing their videos and helping to raise awareness of their brand. This is a great example of finding ways to provide value within your company’s niche.
Video content is especially successful in our increasingly digital age, and providing content in a video format is a great way to make your brand more accessible to a larger audience.
20. Guitar Center YouTube Channel
Guitar Center’s YouTube Channel includes artist videos, product demos, and mini guitar lessons.
Type: YouTube Channel
Why it works: Guitar Center’s YouTube Channel appeals to musicians of all levels to capture the company’s full audience base.
A combination of artist interviews, product demos, and guitar lessons show musicians what to do and what they can do if they keep at it.
21. HOKA YouTube Channel
Hoka’s YouTube channel shares human profiles and covers running events.
Type: YouTube Channel
Why it works: HOKA’s branding focuses on optimism and inspiration. In accordance with those values, their YouTube channel uses a human focus to inspire.
This marketing example demonstrates how you can integrate your values throughout your brand messaging and social media.
22. CoSchedule’s Agile Marketing Guide
CoSchedule’s Agile Marketing Guide provides valuable content to its readers in a variety of formats.
Type: Book / Content Hub
Why it works: This guide uses examples and actionable advice to make a complex subject (Agile Marketing) easily executable and digestible for their audience. Then, it gives that knowledge for free to establish thought leadership and provide value.
It is set up in a chapter format, allowing readers to jump to chapters more pertinent to their goals and the knowledge they want to gain. CoSchedule repurposed this content into a printed book available on Amazon.
23. Guinness Book of World Records
Guinness Book of World Records publishes online and printed content for daring feats and novelty.
Type: Book / Award
Why it works: The Guinness Book of World Records connects the Guinness brand to something people are genuinely interested in. The book rarely, if ever, references Guinness products, but it increases the brand’s name recognition just by filling its space within the cultural zeitgeist. This is a great example of content taking on a life of its own outside of the brand supporting it.
24. John Deere The Furrow Magazine
The Furrow is John Deere’s agriculture publication that’s been running since 1895.
Type: Tabloid / Magazine
Why it works: John Deere’s agriculture publication, The Furrow, started as a print magazine in 1895 and now runs as a digital publication on its website.
This magazine is a classic example of sharing educational content from experts to build authority — a strategy that’s worked for over a century for John Deere.
25. Orbit Media Studios Annual Blogger Survey
Orbit Media Studios Annual Blogger Survey shares blogging statistics. “Survey of 1067 Bloggers Shows Which Content Strategies are Working in 2022.”
Type: Original Research
Why it works: Content that cites statistics is viewed as more authoritative than content that isn’t supported by data. By creating original research, you can make your brand the source of that data and naturally attract links from others citing you in their content.
Orbit Media Studios produces this annual blogger survey to establish their own thought leadership and provide context around trends in their industry.
26. AgileSherpas State of Agile Marketing Report
AgileSherpas’ “5 Years of the State of Agile Marketing Report” summarizes data from the past five years on agile marketing practices.
Type: Original Research
Why it works: The fifth-anniversary version of AgileSherpas’ State of Agile Marketing Report uses this year’s data and data collected from previous reports to create a comprehensive document.
This example shows you don’t need to be afraid of repurposing content, especially when it’s a topic you specialize in.
27. CoSchedule Marketing Strategy Trend Report
CoSchedule’s Marketing Strategy Trend Report shares best practices for marketing based on survey data.
Type: Original Research
Why it works: CoSchedule’s Marketing Strategy Trend Report delivers value by going beyond the data it presents.
After sharing a stat drawn from its survey, it dives into takeaways and tips that guide marketers toward their next step.
This piece was originally published on November 22, 2018. It was reoptimized and republished on June 4, 2021, December 1, 2021, July 31, 2022, and September 22, 2022. Leah DeKrey and Owen Piehl contributed to this piece.