Want to learn content marketing? Take lessons from these 4 brands

Somewhere between 2014-15 brands started recognizing the value of quality content. It not only helped brands put forward their messages subtly but eventually turned out as a tool to generating engaged customers. In 2016 brands are feverishly working with the knowledge that content is a great tool to reach out to their audience and churning out quite a bit of it too. But few have found success that can be directly mapped to their content marketing strategy.

The key term in the above sentence is ‘strategy’. Brands that create content aligning with their strategic campaigns are the ones that eventually see success. Others well…content creation.

Here are some great examples from around the world on how good content has created measurable results for top brands:


Go Pro

When we think of content marketing, it is natural that we first think of text content. Considering some estimates that online video will account for 74% of internet traffic, GoPro is in a perfect position to take advantage of the medium. But Go Pro didn’t want to become a company allowing you to capture action video footage – it wanted to become THE company. To do this, GoPro partnered with high-end producers and action protégé to produce content that highlights the fun part of using the gadget.

It then asked its customers to share their own footage of having fun with GoPro. The brand continues to receive thousands of videos every month from its customers. This User Generated Content (UGC) were further edited by other users into non-sponsored GoPro compilations.

Results and Insights
GoPro’s revenue reached $1.6 in 2015. It has 10263539 followers on Facebook, 2.04M followers on Twitter and similar numbers on other social channels.

Your Takeaway
The best company is actually a customer-funded company. There is nothing like word of mouth that makes a brand/product go viral. GoPro is a classic example of using UGC and save hundreds if not thousands of marketing money.

Results and insights
Pepsi saw an 89% increase in its monthly page views after the platform launch which kept growing at a rate of 38% after launch. Pepsi’s social traffic grew 22x post-launch and each visit duration grew by 10% – that meant not only new visitors but also highly engaged ones.

Your takeaway
Pepsi never sold its main product from this platform. The idea of creating a curated content platform was to create a central place to directly connect with its target audience and help create a brand association between pop culture and Pepsi.

If you give your audience what they truly crave for, they are bound to like you and eventually buy from you too.



Visa Europe

Visa Europe started with a campaign goal – It wanted to position itself as a leader in the payment conversation space. The target audience was specifically senior professionals in the payments technology industry within continental Europe. That’s a tough audience to reach if you choose conventional forms of advertising. So instead, Visa chooses to create a content platform that exclusively caters to what its target audience would like.

It used a third party’s content management system to host curated, licensed content that was exclusively about payment trends in Europe. Stop right here and read that sentence again. The CMS  allowed sharing news from leading publications like The Daily Telegraph, VentureBeat and The Economist. But all the content actually worked to establish Visa as a thought leader in the space who is one step ahead of the game in the payment technology space.

Cleverly, they further engaged these readers with a call to action like social follow or newsletter sign up that ensured they become a repeat reader.

Results and insights
Within the first 3 months, the microsite received 34000 page views
Due to their targeted call to action mechanisms, the site received 36% repeat visitors
The site saw a 21% MOM growth rate of which an average user spent over a minute on the site

Your takeaway
Quality content is readily available on the web to be licensed and used. All Visa did was to pick and choose and create a platform where its target audience could consume this content. As a brand, you need to identify what your target audience likes to read and bring it together cohesively to create an ambience for your brand.



AMEX Open Forum


Often cited as the poster child for content marketing, the Open Forum campaign is effectively what all content marketing campaigns aspire to be. Since its start in 2007, it has single-handedly proven the business value of brands by providing useful content to its customers. So much so that it continues to remain the #1 source of leads for new AMEX cardholders. So what’s the secret sauce for their success? It isn’t too complex – it is ensuring that your customer comes first, doing the right thing for them and doing it well.

AMEX started by putting itself in the shoes of its customers. What are your customers reading most often? What is resonating with them? They used the answers to these questions to map their content strategy. They then created content stories around impactful small businesses like a cafe whose husband-wife owners are active civic leaders or a hip men’s apparel brand that has a bulldog as a mascot. By weaving a beautiful story around their lives and the lives they impact, they created an engaging audience who were drawn in with top notch imagery and videos.

The stories allowed the audience to relate themselves are AMEX customers as the brand did not sell itself but actually sought out to help them.

The forum moved on to creating a platform where the small business owners could share advice, post questions even rate each other’s helpfulness – all of which is now extended to social connectivity.

Results and insights
This campaign considered one of the best content marketing done by a brand.
While visits and even repeat visits increased manifold, each visitor spent almost 2x time on the site
It eventually became one of the top sources of leads for AMEX

Your takeaways
Business owners are consumers too. Your job is to step in their shoes and solve a problem for them. Make yourself useful and they’ll come back to you.



Coca-Cola Journeys


In late 2012, Coca-Cola launched a digital magazine called Coca-Cola Journey. The key differentiator in this case was that a lot of content was branded and only some third party content was used. It’s latest campaign is JxJ which is JourneyxJourney. Two Coca-Cola Journey storytellers and a full production team recently hit the road to find and tell Coca-Cola stories across America.

The JxJ crew used their behemoth 2017 Ford Escape (as a part of their brand tie-up with Ford) as a ‘Mobile Brand Publishing HQ’ and fans followed their content live when they were on the road. It was a lot of hard work to drive 4000+ miles while filming, editing, actively posting on all social channels, managing schedules and ensuring the team ate breakfast. Even as the journey ended, the Coca-Cola journey continued by asking them to submit their own road trip memories.

The site also uses infographics to showcase their quarterly results, some interesting nutrition facts and what its sourcing map means for the global sustainable agriculture industry.

Results and key insights
In the first year, the site published 1200 articles and attracted 13.1M visitors who averaged an impressive 4:40 time spent per article. The site currently features hundreds of photos from loyal fans sharing their ‘Moments of happiness’.

Your takeaways
Even if you are publishing your own content, it is important to include your customers as a part of your journey. The aim of the content is the same – it has to be useful for its readers and not just for you.

Top takeaways
Leverage outside expertise to build authority
Business owners are consumers too
Don’t sell – Set out to genuinely help and do good – the rest will follow
Once they are in, make sure they come back
Life is short. You better make it good if someone is spending a min on your site

The brands who created their success stories in this article engaged with experts in the field who could not only build their content strategy but align it with exemplary results.

Are you looking for someone just like that? It’s time to click here


3 things you can do now – 

  • Share this with your team so they can get a fresh perspective on content marketing campaigns.
  • Share this blog on LinkedIn and Facebook. The point of sharing good content is to be viewed as an expert in your field as well as getting your connections to pay attention to your posts. It should also establish you as a thought leader in your space.
  • Here are three more blogs you can read
  1. Want rocking social media posts? Try these 10 ideas
  2. A Master Chef who has the perfect recipe for Content Marketing
  3. Do this & Don’t Do that while executing your content marketing plan

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