Content marketing is more of an art than a science. Every day, creative content marketers find new ways to engage their audience through content. As technology advances and new channels manifest, content marketing trends evolve and present more opportunities for you to drive marketing goals. Small businesses who don’t have the resources can enlist the help of a content agency to keep up with content marketing trends and make the most of them.
Meanwhile, here are 15 top brands to follow for content marketing inspiration.
Social media management software wasn’t mainstream when Buffer was founded. Prospective customers required education, and the founders of Buffer themselves sat down to write 2000+ word-long blog posts consistently, answering customers’ potential concerns in an in-depth manner, spending their time and resources to create truly useful content assets. Every post was accompanied by case examples and tips to provide readers with solutions to overcome the struggles they were facing. If you don’t have the time to create resources of this sort, you could hire a blog writing service to help.
Now Buffer has a SaaS(Software as a Service) community that’s 400,000 strong and a social media following of over 1,000,000.
2. Califia Farms
With organic beverages that have attractive packaging, Califia Farms has enough visual content to post on social media without having to plan it. The packaging is so eye-catching that it once won the brand an award from Beverage World Magazine. However, it’s how this attractive packaging is placed in Instagram pictures that makes the brand’s content marketing so successful. Califia farms’ followers evidently love creatives featuring their drinks as the subject or an accessory of Instagram posts. The brand also makes fun videos of healthy recipes and entertaining animations for their audience.
On Instagram alone, Califia Farms has around 153,700 followers.
A restaurant locator in 24 countries, Zomato has the challenge of appealing to foodies across the global. The brand approaches this problem with humor, creating culture-specific comic posts with relevant references. The posts are simple, creative and entertaining, proving that minimalistic humor does work even for large brands. Zomato uses their witty, humorous and simple posts for brand announcements and to commemorate global celebrations, festivals, and causes. They also use the very same style to convey developments and daily promotions to their followers.
Minimalism has worked for Zomato, as the brand has around 1,400,000 followers on Twitter and hundreds of thousands of mobile app downloads.
4. John Deere
Any formal or informal course on content marketing generally refers to John Deere‘s The Furrow as one of the first recorded examples of content marketing. The Furrow is a publication that came into existence in 1895, aiming to address concerns and challenges that the equipment manufacturing company’s clients were facing. If this tactic sounds familiar, you’re probably right. Even today B2B and B2C companies create content marketing resources dedicated to addressing the gaps or challenges that prevent customers from making a purchase. The Furrow is still in print over a 100 years after inception.
John Deere continues to be in business, generating revenues of 300 million every year.
Some brands attract most of their referrals and exposure on Pinterest, the primary visual social media platform. Sharpie, a manufacturer of stationery, is one of them. The reason why sharpie is hugely successful on Pinterest is that the social media platform is dominated by the brand’s target users – creative, middle-aged women and men. Notice how the choice of content marketing channel alone can contribute considerably to the success of your content marketing strategy. Sharpie repeatedly promotes the same products, in new and different ways, inspiring their creative audience to unleash their creativity.
While Sharpie may have only 26,000 odd followers on Pinterest, each of their pieces is pinned at least 2,000 odd times.
6. The Horse
The Horse’s secret to content marketing success is consistency, a quality that most popular social media pages seem to exhibit. However, by consistently posting on-brand, classy and captivating images, The Horse has built a sizable following on social media. Each of their posts is a simple, clean photograph featuring a product as a subject or a model sporting the product. The Horse also has short animation videos that feature the product against classy backgrounds with equally sophisticated product descriptions. This proves that a good product, presented in a classy manner will sell.
The Horse has over 100,000 followers on Facebook alone, and close to 200,000 followers on Instagram.
A Swedish decor brand, Desenio has made a notable splash on social media. Using their subtle but recognizable colors, Desenio targets improving brand recall for their social media page visitors and customers. Using the same distinct palette repeatedly is a super-effective way to increase familiarity of your brand amongst your social media followers. On Instagram, you can see how Desenio has used the same shade of pale grey, green, yellow and blue consistently in all of their posts to display their artwork in a tasteful and impactful manner. These simple photographs go a long way in establishing a brand in consumers’ minds.
Desenio has over 120,000 followers on Facebook and a solid presence on TrustPilot, a community that’s probably an important place to engage prospective customers.
8. Lisa Curry
Olympian Lisa Curry has over the years built the brand of being a healthy lifestyle influencer who gives diet and weight loss advice. She uses inspiration to move her social media audience. Her Pinterest and Facebook pages are full of inspiring quotes laid on attractive and well-designed backgrounds. However, this isn’t the only type of visual that Lisa relies on. She also often creates videos to motivate fitness enthusiasts by divulging her wisdom and addressing dangerous fitness myths that plague many youngsters chasing fitness goals. Her content marketing strategy is also characterized by her candid honesty and personality.
Lisa Curry has over 30,000 followers on her Facebook page.
With the tagline “Join in. Geek out.,” ThinkGeek is clearly a champion of content-based marketing. A business built to serve geeks in finding the merchandise of their dreams, ThinkGeek is bound to automatically attract an active and loyal social media following. But it’s their Daily Alert email newsletters and comic references on social media posts that really keep customers engaged and keen to keep returning. Along with product promotion, ThinkGeek’s social media pages are also dedicated to loyally celebrating all-important geek milestones and historical events, truly captivating the geek community.
ThinkGeek has over 230,000 followers on Instagram, 1,500,000 followers on Facebook and 1,400,000 followers on Twitter.
A popular website for travel inspiration, tips, and planning, Jetsetter is a brand that naturally attracts travel and adventure enthusiasts and anyone with the tattoo Wanderlust. A brand that completely relies on the quality of the content they produce and how effectively they promote it, Jetsetter is a classic example of the effectiveness of content marketing. The brand’s content marketing strategy involves writing about what travelers today seek – offbeat experiences, undiscovered travel destinations, and reviews to enable a satisfying travel experience. Jetsetter creates content to fit each of these categories.
The brand has close to 300,000 followers on Facebook and around 50,000 followers on Twitter but is clearly most popular on Twitter where its profile attracts over 2,500,000 monthly views.
If you’re a content marketer, there’s little chance that you haven’t heard about Blendtec’s ridiculous but popular content marketing campaign focused on blending random objects. This campaign alone earned the brand a 700% increase in sales over a short period of three years, and all it took was one mindblowing content concept. Viewers watched the brand blend an iPhone 6 Plus with the tagline “Will it blend?”, sharing the video series enough to make it go viral on social media. This proves that a single idea when properly executed can put a brand on the map and directly impact its bottom line.
Blendtec has close to 200,000 followers on Facebook, around 35,000 followers on Twitter and 800,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Canva offers users so much more than just a design tool with its design community and blog. Ideally, any tool that enables marketing or sales should provide the necessary support to make the most of the tool. Canva’s Design School has in-depth tutorials that users can apply to elevate their graphic design efforts. Canva’s design platform itself is incredibly easy to use, but the design blog and tutorials add even more value by making users’ work more efficiently. When designing your blog, it’s as important to address your readers needs as it is to serve yours. Instead of focusing only on SEO, invest some time in understanding and catering to readers’ preferences.
Canva has over 100,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram, and over 4 million app users.
With live streams, blog posts and interviews, Hootsuite has a diverse content bucket fueling their content marketing strategy. Being a social media management tool, Hootsuite focuses on topics such as content validation and the difference between reach and impressions. Hootsuite’s users, who are primarily marketing/social media managers tend to follow these areas and topics. In addition to blogging and social media, Hootsuite also invests in strategic partnerships with social media influencers. They are permanent sponsors of Madalyn Sklar’s popular Twitter chat, #TwitterSmarter, which engages many other influencers in the social media space.
Hootsuite has close to 8,000,000 followers on Twitter and over 800,000 followers on Facebook.
14. No Your City
NoYourCity is a website and social media property that curates photographs that feature innercity experiences and sights that locals enjoy. This proves that brands can be built on content curation alone, without having any original content at all. The website and social media accounts share photographs of city skylines, architecture, monuments, landscapes, people, experiences and more. What’s striking about these photographs is how most of them follow the right techniques required to take stunning photographs on phone cameras. The curated photographs display skill in focusing on subjects, playing with negative space and finding unique perspectives.
NoYourCity is primarily on Instagram and has over 26,000 followers.
Built on the sentiment of making a life instead of making a living, WeWork’s social media presence is inspiring and impactful. The coworking space that works with startups and freelancers typically posts photographs depicting a well-balanced work culture which encourages professional pursuits as much as it encourages personal indulgences. Advocating work culture enhancement, WeWork posts inspirational quotes, content generated by their members and photographs of their coworking spaces. They also often create and market free events focused on professional and personal development.
WeWork has millions of followers on Facebook and over 300,000 followers on Instagram.
Creating fresh ideas for content marketing consistently can be exhausting. If you are stuck or can’t figure out how to enhance your content marketing efforts, look at what the 15 brands on this list are doing for their content marketing.
Feature image via Pixabay.com