Content marketing is not a choice anymore but a necessity for companies to survive in the global markets today. However, most companies do not understand this form of marketing and hence their campaigns – not surprisingly – fail miserably. Yes, this type of online marketing does not cost a lot, but there is no use spending any time and effort in content marketing when it is doing absolutely nothing for your company. However, when done right, it can increase the reach of your brand exponentially in a very short span of time – at almost no cost!
Most companies stick to traditional content marketing techniques and most of their content is textual. There is nothing unique or innovative that allows their content to stand out from the rest. Here are some companies that have managed to reach virality with their campaigns that were highly innovative and creative.
#3. IBM – Futuristic marketing
IBM is already one of the best content publishing companies and its blog is one most visited blogs on the Internet. The IT services giant is able to produce high quality textual content for its blog by allowing employees to contribute and manage the blog. However, the company is in this list because of its excellent content marketing campaign that was so engaging and innovative that it was able to reach people in over 130 countries around the world. IBM went and created a game for its campaign – something that very few other companies have tried, and made it into a global success.
The game was titled “CityOne” and this Sim City style game asked players to solve problems in the banking, energy water and retail sectors. This game was created to help players understand the real-world implications of business decisions and their effects on the future of the planet.
What we can learn
IBM managed to use online gaming technology – rarely used by content marketers – to promote its brand and to get user engagement. People are always looking for new and innovative marketing campaigns and this one hit the spot. This just shows that if you want to stand out, you need to be brave. Use new marketing channels and techniques and people will appreciate it.
#2. Red Bull – Adventure is out there
Red Bull’s content marketing strategy is so successful that most people know them for their excellent adventure-packed videos and images than for the energy drink that the company manufactures. Why is it in the list you ask – because the company promotes a lifestyle and not its energy drink. Go to their website and you will see a “Just Epic” tab where one can find HD videos and images about extreme sports like parkour, surfing, sky-diving, etc. without a single mention of the energy drink. The company logo can only be seen on the clothing or sporting gear of these athletes – subtle yet effective marketing of the energy drink!
Their most effective content marketing strategy – the Red Bulletin magazines that the company publishes for sports lovers. The company is a publishing brand as much as it is an energy drink manufacturer.
What we can learn
Most companies may not have large marketing budgets like that of Red Bull but we can all learn some important lessons from their campaigns. Red Bull is one of the few companies that have been able to tell stories effectively. Red Bull gets behind an event – such as the 24 mile jump by Felix Baumgartner – and then weaves a story behind the event by creating websites, social media pages and blog posts about the people, history and technology associated with the event. The Red Bull Stratos was one of the most successful content marketing events and their live broadcast of the jump got millions of views worldwide.
#1. Oreo – Pop Culture Marketing
You think Oreo is so popular only because it is a delicious bite-sized snack that you can dunk in your glass of milk? Nope. Oreo is a hugely popular brand on the Internet because of their content marketing strategy. Unlike other food brands that cultivate family values, Oreo has managed to become cool and hip. This is because the company – or rather its marketing team – is able to create campaigns around the most talked about events. Also, they don’t come out with long articles or ebooks – one high-impact and whimsical image is enough to get them thousands of likes, shares, comments, etc. on various social networking platforms.
One of the most talked about Oreo campaigns was its cheeky Super Bowl ad “You can still dunk in the dark”, which took a jab at the unfortunate power outage at the game almost in real-time. Another popular Oreo campaign that sealed its image as one of the coolest bands is the gay pride ad, where the brand posted an image of an Oreo cookie with rainbow colored filling.
What we can learn
Oreo is a brand that is not afraid to be controversial. Take their gay pride campaign that came out at a time when there was a huge debate about homosexual rights in America and around the world. It is also able to spot the most talked about topics and convert it into smart visual content that immediately strikes a cord with anyone who sees it. Perhaps the most important lesson is that Oreo exclusively uses images that are extremely creative and packs a punch.