Content marketing, as it was in 2018, is going to be big in 2019.
If you’ve been paying attention to digital marketing trends, or have read some of my other posts, then you know that “content is king.” While Bill Gates wasn’t the first to use this phrase, he popularized it in a 1996 essay that he posted on the Microsoft website.
“Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products-a marketplace of content.”
So, what do these “ideas,” and “experiences” take the form of when it comes to content? (hint: it’s more than just blogs).
To help you get some ideas for some new content for your business, here are 14 brilliant examples of content marketing
What they are: Regularly updated articles written internally within an organization that are intended to inform, entertain, or offer assistance with problems that your consumers may have
Example: The great thing about blogs is that they are incredibly versatile. No matter what industry you are in, a blog can help to serve your marketing strategies. Construction companies, dentists, law firms, tech companies, banks, and apparel companies can all use blogs to help address pain points their consumers have.
One company that does blogs exceptionally well is REI. The outdoor apparel and gear retailer has truly embraced blogs through their thorough and media-company-esque Expert Advice section of their website. Because they offer advice for outdoor beginners, it helps to position their company as welcoming towards all experience levels when it comes to skiing, hiking, camping, etc.
What they are: depending on the size of your company, videos should be updated semi-regularly and can appear on a Youtube channel, your blog, or another section of your website. They are also easily shareable on social media. Videos should be used to offer solutions to problems as well as entertain and engage.
Example: California-based bike company Pure Cycles was able to increase its brand awareness as well as position themselves as an authority figure in the fixie bike sector with their Pure Cycles TV, which aims to provide tips and tricks for caring for your fixed gear bike and has 76k subscribers. Not bad for a bike start-up.
Here is one of their first videos of their series, which got 180,000 views.
What they are: Infographics are visual images, like a chart or diagram, used to represent information or data. When you have a lot of information to convey in a short amount of time, infographics make it easier for the audience to digest. Once again, the goal with infographics is to inform.
Example: Here is an infographic that we worked on for a client about top siding color trends. This is a great example when using an infographic would be more appropriate than a full-out blog, where all these different colors and trends would start to blend together when reading.
What they are: White Papers are an authoritative report giving information or proposals on a specific idea or issue. White papers are a great way to help your business appear as an authoritative figure, as they will usually tackle a complex issue, or a frequent problem their clients have, and address it in a manner that is based in logic and facts. White papers can be as long as 10,000 words and as short as 1,500.
Example: Large companies are seen as the primary users of white papers. Microsoft’s “Big Data Solutions Brief” white paper highlights their unique position on big data and is an excellent illustration of how a short white paper can still be extremely informational.
However, keep in mind that companies of all shapes and sizes can still gain traction by publishing their own downloadable whitepapers. Here is a rundown of some white paper formats you can use.
What they are: To make your books easily accessible, eBooks are an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Example: eBooks are going to be a bit of a time commitment. Read about the process of building one out with this helpful Hubspot article. For a great example of a successful eBook, look no further than marketing guru Seth Godin’s 2000 (yes, it’s old, but still relevant) Unleashing the Ideavirus.
What they are: When time is of the essence, checklists are a great way to get useful content out to your audience in a short time. They are exactly what they sound like: a list of things to do, steps to take, items to bring, etc. So, no matter what you’re business is, there are most likely opportunities to create checklists to aid your consumers in some sort of situation.
Example: Love the Outdoors Camping Tips and Outdoor Guides posted this extensive camping checklist and event made it so you could check the boxes off online. For bonus points, make your list printable so that people can take it on the go or physically mark off steps or items.
What they are: Interviews are a fantastic way to lend credibility to your site by having an expert in your industry sit down for a quick Q&A session. These can take the form of a blog or video, and you can either use internal experts like your employees or external ones. They can speak on a topical subject or just a common issue that your consumers have and offer their perspective and insight.
Example: We worked with Deneen Pottery and pottery expert Steve Basile to create this video interview. The video’s premise centers on what makes handmade pottery so unique and what makes them so collectible.
What they are: No, these aren’t pop quizzes for your website users, but rather fun, Buzzfeed style quizzes. For the most part, they’ll be used purely for entertainment purposes and for social shares. The key is to be creative. For example, if you’re in dentistry, a possible quiz could be “which tooth are you?” and then apply certain personality traits to each kind of tooth and ask questions based on those.
Example: Don’t worry about being too weird or quirky with your quizzes, as Buzzfeed has opened the door to absurdity with their quizzes. I just randomly typed in “which type of shoe am I” and sure enough, this Buzzfeed quiz came up:
What they are: a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.
Example: If you’ll allow me to be a little self-promotional, our very own Tim Brown has a great podcast (It’s a Code World) that is an excellent illustration of how you can take the podcast platform and run with it to cover all sorts of newsworthy topics that are associated with your industry.
What they are: Odds are, you’re subscribed to one or two or maybe even ten newsletters from your favorite companies and brands. But, how many do you actually read? The key to a good newsletter is to make sure that you are providing fresh content each and every time you hit send. A newsletter should be more than just a sales pitch (in fact, I’d say 75% should be actual content). Link your blogs, videos and other forms of content in your newsletter to
Example: An important thing to remember when it comes to your newsletters is to make sure they are compatible with mobile, as most people look at promotional emails through their phone. Lumi, a packaging company, understands that. Check out their sleek, mobile-friendly newsletter below.
Social Media Posts
What they are: Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Reddit, posting videos, pictures, galleries, how-to-guides, or anything else is a must in this day-and-age for any business. Make sure that you not only are frequently posting on these platforms, but that you are engaging your audience by responding to feedback, questions, and other concerns.
Example: There are a lot of companies that get social media right, so it’s hard to choose just one to highlight. One that comes to mind is Nike, who across all their social platforms are able to keep a consistent message as they show off their products on their sponsored athletes.
Gifs and Memes
What they are: Gifs and memes are are essentially the language of the internet these days. I don’t have enough time to get into exactly how they came about, but you can read about the history of gifs if you’re interested. Basically, these two content forms are all about that sweet, sweet, virality.
Example: Few brands do this better than Moon Pies, whose Twitter page is a walking, talking meme in of itself. The humor borders on surreal and just plain odd, but boy oh boy do they get those likes and retweets.
What they are: The basis of a solid user-generated content campaign is hashtags, hashtags, and more hashtags. Now, there are other ways to introduce UGC into your content, such as by having customers write a lengthy testimonial, but social media is where this type of content thrives.
Example: USG is also a great opportunity to lend your brand some goodwill. Aerie, sub-brand of American Eagle, decided to fight back against air-brushed and photoshopped models that are prevalent in their industry. They started their #AerieREAL campaign which involved encouraging users to post unedited swimsuit photos with their hashtag. They also vowed to donate $1 for every Instagram post with that hashtag.
Contact Hook Agency if You Want to Propel Your Content Marketing
If you need help with your content marketing strategies or are interested in our SEO or Web Design services, then contact us today! We’d love to have you in for some coffee or a beer at our North Loop office.