Get Inspired: Big Brands That Use Content Marketing
Updated October 9, 2018.
“Engagement—that’s the buzzword. If you want to build your brand, enhance your positioning strategy, and remain top-of-mind for potential customers, you need to actively engage people.
So how do you get people to engage with your brand when they aren’t shopping? What would make them seek out your website each time they go online, and pay attention when they see your company’s name? The answer is content marketing.
According to Meaningful Brands, 84% of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions, and creates experiences and events. Traditional marketing ads are dying out and becoming less effective. Content marketing tends to showcase unique approaches to communicating with customers while creating value for them. Instead of just selling a product, companies are offering supplementary advantages that can help a customer build an experience before and after purchasing a product, and that experience can come in many different forms.
Content marketing can be adapted to any budget and can be utilized by businesses of all sizes. While many have recently begun to realize the value of content marketing, this approach has been around for over a century.
John Deere was one of the first companies to test the waters, developing a farming magazine in 1895 that is still in circulation today, reaching over 1.5 million readers with each publication. Since that foray into the content marketing world, big brands have really taken the lead and paved the way with their creative approaches and compelling ideas.
Now, even with marketing budgets reaching astronomical levels, some of the biggest brands in the world have found the most success without their sales pitches. A television commercial may be catchy, but it’s really the videos, blog posts, publications, panel discussions, etc. that are drawing potential customers in, building their trust, and keeping their attention until they have a need for the product.
Next, we’ll discuss some large brands who have been doing just that.
Coca-Cola has truly been a trailblazer with their innovative content marketing strategies. For them, everything starts with their mission: To refresh the world, to inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and to create value and make a difference. Their mission statement is about their product, but it also defines their brand. With this in mind, Coca-Cola’s approach has been dedicated to storytelling and reaching people on an emotional level. In their content marketing, there is rarely a focus on their products. Instead, it’s all about building the brand that they describe in their mission statement.
They build communities for causes, educate consumers on important issues, and even offer recipes, workplace advice, and opinions on their corporate website, which actually functions more like a blog. Their 5by20 strategy, an initiative designed to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020, made clear their commitment to creating value for customers, and so far their strategy has seen overwhelming success. As detailed in their 2017 Sustainability Report, 5by20 enabled more than 660,000 women entrepreneurs in 2017 for a total of more than 2.4 million since 2010.
From blog turned beauty brand, Glossier has found success in their content marketing by combining content with commerce. Founded by Emily Weiss and her blog IntotheGloss.com, the beauty brand has exploded within the last three years, gaining an incredibly large following. With the help of loyal brand ambassadors and genuine fans of their products, Glossier reaps the benefits of a positive fan base and free advertisement. From Twitter, to Instagram, to YouTube, they have a substantial following, and their followers rave about their products on their own channels.
After their headquarter move to New York City, Glossier added hundreds of employees and decided to feature them in a trendy way that held true to their brand. You guessed it: makeup tutorials. The brand created the “Get Ready With Me” series, which features employees, celebrities, and fans as they go through their morning routine. This example of content marketing helped Glossier not only feature different types of women around the world, but also helped them humanize their brand and their products.
Red Bull took the idea of content marketing and ran with it nearly all the way to the moon (literally). The energy drink company has a very well defined brand personality that has allowed them to build connections that stray far beyond the soft drink industry. The high intensity, fast-action brand develops a continuous stream of content around anything and everything related to these qualities.
They’ve tapped into nearly every type of content marketing with their daredevil athlete focus, from a Red Bull magazine to unbelievable videos, incredible photographs to fascinating articles. They even have their own media company, Red Bull Media House, that produces an array of original short and long-form programming as well as feature films from around the world. Their feature-length documentary, Blood Road, was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction. Red Bull has utilized content marketing so effectively to build their brand and engage consumers that, as Mack Collier put it, “the product itself is secondary to the activities that the customer engages in, and cherishes.” They have truly demonstrated the power of understanding the link between your customer and your brand and exploiting it.
What’s Their Secret?
There’s a reason big brands have been shifting marketing funds from traditional media to content marketing. Sometimes, a product isn’t nearly as valuable as the brand on its label. The strength of a brand can make or break a company, and content marketing is the key to strengthening a brand. Success with content is about knowing your customers and your brand and using that knowledge creatively. Customers now expect more from companies than just a sales pitch. If you want to compete, you have to create value for your customers. You have to build their trust. You have to engage them.
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Lucy Wolfe contributed to this post.