If you work within basically any corporation, we already know you love your corporate buzzwords — but trust us, it’s not cool to find a “new normal” to “think outside the box” to build “synergy” or get the “low-hanging fruit.” We’re not judging (mostly because we’re guilty, too) — but it’s true that we all sometimes use vanilla and ineffective cliche words and phrases.
Perhaps the most egregious example of marketers throwing around a word so much that it has lost its true definition is found in the use of the term “content marketing.” Yes, that’s right, our beloved content marketing — the holy grail of marketing terms. It turns out, the definition of “content marketing” has been seriously diluted.Here are 20 creative #contentmarketing examples to inspire your marketing team. #marketing Click To Tweet
Content marketing does not mean the same thing as “digital marketing.” Please keep this in mind: Content marketing is the practice of stimulating interest in a brand or in its services in a way that doesn’t explicitly promote the brand. So, all content marketing is digital marketing (if it is digital, of course) — but not all digital marketing is content marketing.
20 content marketing examples that’ll fuel your creativity
So, now that we’re on the same page about what “content marketing” is, there’s some good news — content marketing is way more fun than “just” digital marketing. Yeah, we know you’re thinking, “But what could be more fun than developing a customer journey map?” We love you for that—but trust us, content marketing — when done right — is just more fun.
Rather than just talk about what content marketing is and why it’s fun, let us show you. Here are 20 incredible content marketing examples that’ll help your marketing team to “pivot” and “deep dive” into this “unprecedented” opportunity (sorry, buzzwords).
1. McDonald’s Ramadan Hourglass
Because advertising food isn’t allowed during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, McDonald’s developed a clever content marketing tool to stay in front of potential customers, while also respecting the religious rites and country laws. The company developed a virtual hourglass that counts down to the daily evening meal. McDonald’s shared the hourglass on digital displays as well as on its social media channels.
2. Zillow’s “The Girl Who Didn’t Want to Move”
Here’s a clever content marketing example that shows Zillow’s deep understanding of its target market. After learning that one of the main reasons parents choose not to move is to spare their own children the hardship of leaving familiar surroundings, Zillow developed a creative solution to help with the process — a children’s book. The purpose of the book is to help parents know how to talk with their children before, during, and after a move. The book is downloadable on Amazon Kindle as well as Apple Books.
3. New York Times’ ‘What to Cook This Week’ feature
Although the New York Times’ “What to Cook This Week” section used to be behind a paywall, the media organization dropped the paywall when the pandemic hit and it was obvious people were cooking more at home and were looking for new recipes more than ever (raise your hand if you ever actually made your own bread before 2020). Rather than use a paywall, the company now uses an email sign-up list to send recipes to potential readers.
4. Domino’s Homemade Film Festival
Domino’s found that its content marketing efforts go better when they can get other people to talk about them. That’s why they established the “Domino’s Homemade Film Festival” in the midst of the pandemic. Domino’s gave out prizes to winners in the form of gift cards and free pizzas— meaning that Domino’s costs for “marketing” this effort were extremely low.
5. General Mills’ Nature Valley promotes Aphetor Games
Here’s a genius content marketing example that took both creativity and cleverness to pull off. The Aphetor Games is a not-quite-Olympics-level competition (like, not at all) involving influencers and other online content creators. What the Aphetor Games lacks in athleticism and skill, it makes up for in content marketing prowess. Understanding that the creators at Aphetor Games would be sharing content to their own channels, General Mills Nature Valley granola bars decided to become an event sponsor so that, while the influencers were promoting themselves, they also — sometimes even inadvertently — would be promoting Nature Valley.
6. The Home Depot DIY Projects & Ideas
The Home Depot has devoted tons of its website real estate to its “DIY Projects & Ideas” section. A person looking for instructions on how to build anything from a wooden TV shelf to a backyard picnic table can find detailed instructions in this section of the Home Depot site. In addition to the detailed instructions and photos, Home Depot also includes in a “huh, how did those get there?” way the supplies you might need to complete the project. Yes, of course Home Depot wants you to buy their supplies — but it’s clear they don’t let that desire get in the way of simply providing you with useful content.
7. EasyJet’s Instagram Augmented Reality
EasyJet’s “Holidoorways” Instagram augmented reality filter was designed to give potential travelers ideas about where they may want to travel — while doing all of the exploration from the safety of their own home. Just by using their own cameras, Instagram users can walk through a virtual doorway to explore beautiful beaches, coves, and other picturesque destinations.
8. Legendary Pictures’ #GodzillavsKongRoar
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This content marketing example shows the power of hashtags and social media. Rather than take the traditional route to promote its new movie “Godzilla vs. Kong,” Legendary Pictures instead went to TikTok to encourage users to promote the movie for them with their #GodzillaVsKongRoar hashtag challenge. The challenge resulted in more than 7 billion user-generated content views of the hashtag — including this beauty of a video above from Mr. and Mrs. Wash.
9. Ikea’s ‘Escape the Clutter’ Snapchat Game
In case you thought Ikea was only about hard-to-pronounce home goods and Swedish meatballs, you obviously haven’t played the company’s “Escape the Clutter” Snapchat game. The game directs users to declutter a room — but they must do so only by using Ikea furniture. Once you are successful decluttering the room, you can share the solution with your friends on your stories.
10. John Deere’s “The Furrow”
John Deere’s “The Furrow” is often viewed as the first example of content marketing. Lest you think that content marketing is a 21st century phenomenon, “The Furrow” was first introduced in the 90s — the 1890s. Originally developed as a tool to help customers deal with the issues they were facing, the content has been useful for both the company and its customers for more than 100 years, as John Deere still maintains a digital version today.
11. Coca-Cola’s Personalized Bottles
Drinking a Coca-Cola product might be a regular staple of your diet — but giving somebody else a Coke, probably not so much. However, once Coca-Cola started to add names to its bottles, it became “cool” for consumers to want to share a Coke with friends and loved ones. This mixture of developing a product that is half-content, half-gift has been a boon for the company — though we’re guessing that the ability to find Cokes for a “Nathan” or “Sarah” is much easier than finding for “Mikayleigh” or “Shipley.”
12. Ben & Jerry’s ‘What’s New’
Yeah, Ben & Jerry’s “What’s New?” page talks about ice cream sometimes — but it’s much more than an blog about ice cream. From a company who has developed ice cream flavors like Save Our Swirled, Empower Mint, and One Sweet World, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the “What’s New” page covers everything from “What Should I Order at the Scoop Shop?” to “3 Cities that Are Creating True Public Safety by Investing in Mental Health Services.”
13. BlendTec’s “Will It Blend?” YouTube Series
Though the “Will It Blend?” YouTube series possibly has already seen its heyday and the company isn’t actively publishing videos as often as it once was, this YouTube series still can be looked upon as one of the most-effective examples of content marketing. Yes, it was ridiculous and yes, it was destructive, but the company has produced 71 YouTube videos with more than a million views, so it did something right.
14. Cheerios Recipes
Cheerios might be the most boring cereal on the planet, and some may say the classic Cheerios taste like a mix of cardboard and wheat (sorry, Cheerios lovers); however, the cereal has been a staple for generations. Possibly one reason why is because the company consistently finds new ways to market the product. The Cheerios Recipes page is an excellent example of this.
15. Red Bull’s Extreme Videos
If it ever were possible that a content marketing effort would ever work too well, perhaps Red Bull’s extreme sports videos are an example of that. It may be possible that Red Bull is known more as an extreme sports storyteller than as an energy drink manufacturer. Either way, the company has truly figured out how to get people to consume and share their videos.
16. WestJet’s Christmas Miracle
Even the biggest Grinches among us couldn’t help but feel something prick their hearts when WestJet published its “Christmas Miracle” video. A little bit of a gift-giving budget and some creative storytelling allowed WestJet’s YouTube video to garner nearly 50 million video views. As the Grinch himself knows, “Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”
17. Fiverr Guides
Simply put, Fiverr connects businesses with freelancers — but with its Guides feature, it also helps freelancers know how to market themselves to those businesses. It’s like a content marketing circle of life. These guides teach freelancers a multitude of skills from digital marketing, copywriting, programming, graphic design, and more.
18. Geico Living
If you only know Geico from its gecko-friendly ads, you probably have no idea that Geico also offers ideas on how to teach your kids how to read, easy ways to sneak in more steps each day, indoor activities for kids, and how to be a good roommate. Some might even say that learning from Geico Living is so easy even a caveman can do it.
19. Glassdoor’s Ebooks
Glassdoor provides employers and employees opportunities to find one another (ah, love) — but thanks to its additional content marketing efforts, the company also makes it more likely that, when these employers and employees do finally find each other, the employees will have gained necessary knowledge, having educated themselves with Glassdoor’s ebooks.
20. Crayola Create-It-Yourself Videos
You are never too old to play with crayons — but even if you thought you were, this clever content marketing example from Crayola that features create-it-yourself videos will bring out the child in you. The company has a full playlist including ideas for creating thigs like paper skeletons, seashell animals, and emoji magnets.