Content marketing is a new term. Most people are still talking about SEO and link building when it comes to expanding a brand’s digital presence, but many businesses have a hard time transitioning out of the traditional mindset that they have come to accept over the years. The reality is that content marketing is on the forefront of revolutionizing digital marketing. Even fewer people have come to define content outside of just blog writing. While blog writing is an essential component to digital marketing, content marketing consists of generating AND distributing the content, and the content is limited to just blogs. Content is any consumable message that can be conveyed online, and this includes videos, infographics, ebooks and so much more.
As a business owner, you may be asking yourself now how does this affect my business? According to the Content Marketing Institute, 87% of buyers state that digital content has a large impact on their purchasing decisions this year. Why wouldn’t you be taking advantage of that large majority of consumers. Let’s take a look at some of the brands that have been straight up killing the content marketing game, shall we?
Lyft Lyft is a relatively new tech company taking advantage of the crowd sourcing trends by modeling their business closely after Uber. Lyft cars are easily identifiable by donning a pink moustache, as if it were some purple cow personified hipster. Now, this riding sharing industry has not been without controversy, creating challenges particularly with trust and credibility.
Lyft created a user-generated content marketing strategy that tells personal stories using #WhyILyft. This establishes trust and connects with drivers and passengers and helps build that bridge of the trust between the organization and the user. Using graphics similar to the Humans of New York phenomenon, this campaign is brilliant and visually engaging.
Cheerios Cheerios is a brand that has been around many, many years, so it’s the brand’s responsibility to constantly refresh its campaign while keeping its target demographic and brand messaging the same. Relevancy is ultra important when it comes to content marketing, and Cheerios really hits it out of the park. One of their most recent campaigns is the #HowToDad videos on YouTube, which definitely hits the bullseye in capturing the essence of the modern dad, which is all about being cool, hands-on parenting, and being overall awesome.
Not only that, but the user-generated component of this particular campaign encourages ordinary dads to post pictures of themselves using #HowToDad, and displaying it on their website with a dedicated page to just dads: http://www.cheerios.com/dad.
Birchbox This beauty monthly subscription program introduces new and existing beauty products and brands to over 800,000 subscribers all within a very targeted demographic. The idea alone, due to its fresh take on selling and marketing beauty products, took off very much on its own, but for customer retention purposes, Birchbox has created a lifestyle blog that generates content that is very important to its users. What’s even cooler is that Birchbox uses the products they ship as the foundation for the content that is generated and posted on the blog.
After generating that blog, Birchbox used social media as a means for distribution to reach its consumers and create a mutually beneficial brand relationship. After Facebook updated its algorithm restricting the reach to organic users on Facebook, Birchbox adjusted its strategy by changing post frequency and a paid strategy.
Panera Bread Like many other restaurants and food brands, Panera has taken advantage of the leverage provided on Pinterest. Panera generates content that includes original recipes, healthy living tips and tricks, and they add that to their Pinterest board. In addition to all of that original content being produced and distributed, they have been actively curating valuable content from other users on their board as well. If I were Charlie Sheen, I would say that they were #Pinning!