It can be hard to pin down precisely what makes for effective content marketing. It can take on all kinds of formats, be executed at different budget levels, and help achieve a ton of different business goals.
As such, seeing real-life examples of successful content marketing in action is valuable and can help inform and improve your own efforts. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of some of the best content marketing examples around to help inspire your next great campaign.
Ready to see what killer content marketing looks like? Let’s go.
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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 it is made by a tire company, but their concept stays the same: offer value first without directly selling, and reap the benefits on the backend.
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 been able to generate a great amount of interest around their sport, encouraging casual fans to watch Formula 1 live and engage with the sport in new ways.
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, and then 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 that are more pertinent to their goals and the knowledge that they want to gain.
Plus, guides like this provide a unique opportunity for you to earn organic traffic as long as you ensure your SEO is set up to succeed.
Type: Free Tool
Why it works: The Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule is a perfect example of providing value through content because it is a useful 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 time and time again, keeping leads within their own environment in order 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.
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.
Type: Free Tool
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.
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 they’re planning a road trip. It not only calculates the cost of fuel for road trips, but also provides people with directions they can use on their trip and lets you map out stops along the way.
Type: Blog post
Why it works: This post shows remarkable transparency into how a growing company is doing incredible things, making it possible for members of their audience looking to replicate their success to use ActiveCampaign’s model. It digs into different aspects of their team’s growth including the tools they use and how they use them, and lays things out in a simple way that makes it easy to follow and replicate.
Type: YouTube Channel
Why it works: Cooking videos are extremely popular on YouTube. Le Creuset is taking advantage by sharing their own 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.
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, to trust Fender, and to (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 major thought leader within your niche.
Recommended reading: Content Management Workflow: A Step by Step Guide to Create Your Very Own
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 keeping Ford top of mind when customers are making buying decisions.
Why it works: SEO can be complex and difficult 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.
Type: Interview / Feature Article
Why it works: Etsy leverages the reputation of someone lots of people know and like while strategically placing products where appropriate. The interview draws people in with name recognition alone, and then uses that opportunity to transfer attention to their product offerings. Plus, who doesn’t love hearing Nick Offerman’s takes on the world?
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, makes reference to Guinness products, but increases the brand’s name recognition just by filling its own 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.
Why it works: People building, or considering building, an online store with Shopify may want to know what their store could potentially look like and get inspiration / ideas. The Shopify Store Examples Gallery is a great resource for this audience, and provides potential Shopify customers with the resources they need to be successful on the platform.
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 in order to establish their own thought leadership and provide context around trends in their industry.
Type: Landing Page
Why it works: Charitable and feel-good initiatives are great ways for brands and platforms to give back. This page shows what TikTok is doing to drive positive change, invoking positive feelings amongst their audience and making them view TikTok in a more positive light.
This is a great way for TikTok to boost certain creators and highlight the positivity within an app that has come under fire for privacy and community concerns.
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.
Recommended reading: https://coschedule.com/blog/benefits-of-content-marketing
Content marketing can be an incredibly effective strategy, but it can also take time to see results. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but every marathon has a starting line. It’s time to start!
Remember, your content should be focused on providing value first without the expectation of reciprocity. Value trumps all when it comes to content marketing.
So, what are you waiting for? Start incorporating these lessons into your content marketing strategy and be ready to see greater results than ever before.