33 of the Best B2B Content Marketing Examples to Help You Grow Traffic

I tend to learn best by studying what works.

How about you?

That was what inspired this (monster!) curated resource of the 33 best B2B content marketing examples on the web today. 

As you may already know, content marketing is one of the best ways to grow your inbound traffic. 

It helps you stay top of mind, and build relationships with potential buyers over time.

Content marketing as a Google search term remains at an all-time high as more businesses adopt it as part of their marketing mix. Just look at this growing volume of search traffic for the term “content marketing.”

Even in 2017, the trend continues to grow (“But I thought content marketing was, like, so 2013?…” — Nope!)

I should note that B2B content marketing is distinct and different from (consumer) content campaigns.

For example, B2C content tends to be more entertainment-focused. B2B can be a bit more practical, providing resources and education-focused content.

And speaking of examples, let’s get rolling with this list. I’m confident a few of these case studies are going to blow you away…

Content Marketing Example #1 – Cisco’s Graphic Novel

Example Description

Cisco is a company that produces telecommunications devices and other hardware. This is a major brand that many people have a passing knowledge of, even if they aren’t sure what Cisco offers.

When it came to promoting its upgraded cyber security services, Cisco could have gotten away with an infographic or a blog post about internet safety. Instead, the company decided to stand out by producing a graphic novel on the same topic.

The comic told the story of SuperSmart and her quest to deal with a security loophole. In all, the comic was 8 pages, which is no small feat considering each page has several panels.

 

Why It Works

This concept works because it’s so unique. No one associates cyber security with graphic novels. It’s the perfect hook.

People who read the comic could be so engaged in the hijinks of SuperSmart that they would barely realize Cisco was trying to sell them on a service.

Even portions of their audience who have a passing interest in graphic novels are still likely to read through because it’s so short.

Techniques like these can work well because they are so unique in their delivery. Back in 2015, Panasonic explored a similar concept when they developed a video and graphic novel for their Toughpad E1 device launch.

They ended up with 53 million impressions from traditional media sources, and 450,000 earned social media impressions.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Content means a lot of things. It’s not always just blog posts or images with text. Try thinking outside of the box with how you present content, whether that’s through a video, infographic, or even a graphic novel.

Content Marketing Example #2 – Caterpillar Machines Play JENGA In Their #BuiltForIt Campaign

Example Description

Who said selling construction equipment had to be boring?

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In the video embedded above, you can watch two Caterpillar (aka Cat) excavators play a game of Jenga with 600-pound wooden blocks.

Caterpillar is one of the leading global providers of construction equipment. The purpose of the video above is to demonstrate the company’s excavators and their ability to handle large loads with precision.

So far, the video has garnered more than four million views and counting on YouTube. Even though most of the viewers may not be in Caterpillar’s target market, I’d still call the video a success.

Why It Works

What makes this video so unique? Well, seriously, has anyone ever seen two giant pieces of construction equipment play a game of Jenga? Enough said.

The creators of the video could have chosen the machines to play chess or checkers. They even could have made a promo video showing these Cats’ ability to lift and move giant logs or something similar.

Instead, they chose Jenga.

This is a smart move. Anyone who has ever played Jenga knows it requires a steady hand and precise, controlled movements. Otherwise, you lose the game.

This video works because it shows these large machines are capable of that and more.

It’s also worth noting that the video includes an embedded CTA that pops out on the left side (screenshot below).

The only weak link in this campaign is the landing page people are taken to after clicking the CTA within the YouTube video.

It doesn’t seem to have a focused purpose (i.e., building their email list, driving qualified leads, etc.). It’s a mishmash of different links, images, and CTAs that don’t seem to have a cohesive goal.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Show some kind of unexpected or humorous use for your product or service.
  • Ideally, leverage ideas that people are already familiar with (in this case, Jenga).

Content Marketing Example #3 – Intel and the Creator’s Project

Example Description

Intel is one of the world’s largest technology manufacturers of semiconductor chips by revenue alone. This is another example of a major brand that everyone is aware of.

Like Cisco’s graphic novel above, Intel took a different approach to content marketing. The company created a series on their tech culture magazine IQ known as The Creator’s Project, or TCP.

TCP showcases the work of hundreds of artists who have developed technological innovations.

TCP also has a YouTube channel with more than 775,000 subscribers. Total views of all its videos to date stand at more than 235 million.

Why It Works

By relying on stunning videos, visuals, and ideas, TCP stands out. The website itself also covers stories relevant to art and creating. They focus on topics like architecture, museum exhibits, and 3D scanning.

It’s not a direct marketing campaign—the kind you would expect instant and measurable ROI from. Instead, it’s a longer-term branding and awareness play that indirectly builds demand.

This happens by TCP repeatedly linking to its artists and companies that produce this technology, with the unspoken agreement that yes, this technology runs off Intel’s chips.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Content marketing can be a lever to grow the size of your existing market—you just have to think outside the box, as Intel has done here.

Content Marketing Example #4 – Qualcomm Spark

Example Description

Qualcomm, much like Intel, is a company in the semiconductor field. Their specialization is mobile technologies (i.e. making microchips that are more efficient and don’t require as much battery power so your smartphone lasts longer).

Several years back, the company introduced Spark, an internal news website living on Qualcomm’s website. Spark covered how technology enables innovation (again, much like the Intel example above).

The goal behind Spark was to find a way to target consumers without spending more money on advertising. They focused on creating content that educated consumers on the power of what was inside their mobile devices.

Why It Works

Qualcomm now has a visually upgraded version of Spark on their blog called OnQ, but when Spark first rolled out in 2013, they saw notable success.

Their average monthly site visitors increased by 70 percent, and they saw a lift of 28 percent in monthly uniques.

Unlike Intel’s Creator Project example, Qualcomm’s Spark was less about curating and repackaging and more about the creative efforts of artists, designers, and others. There was also a focus on covering technology news.

It worked well because the blog lived on Qualcomm’s domain, unlike Intel’s TCP example above, which existed on a separate site.

For that reason, the linkage between the stories covered and the brand were that much stronger, and likely to produce more direct ROI.

Since then, it’s clear how Qualcomm has made significant investments into great news articles and high-quality video that educates and inspires.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Original content can still be highly compelling.
  • Don’t overdo it, but don’t be too subtle about branding your content via your website’s design, either.

Content Marketing Example #5 – NewsCred’s Content Marketing Infographic

Example Description

Last year, NewsCred put together an infographic for its content marketing #ThinkContentSummit. The name of the infographic was “How Marketers Create + Consume Content.”

Why It Works

As you can see, the infographic is one big GIF, or animation.

Infographics, especially if they’re large like this one, can get overwhelming. There’s a lot of information presented all at once, which makes it tough to digest.

But making this infographic animated breaks up the monotony. It’s also easier to visualize each of the points NewsCred makes because of the accompanying animations.

NewsCred is good at diversifying their content marketing in this way. In addition to infographics, they use video, webinars, and newsletters.

And it seems to be working for them.

Earlier this year they said 40 percent of their revenue was directly attributed to their content marketing. And a blog post they published last October on scaling content landed them a total 2,463 pageviews and influenced over $950k in revenue.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • GIFs aren’t just for interpersonal use. They have their place in infographics as well.
  • Breaking up long infographics with animated images makes infographics more appealing.

Content Marketing Example #6 – Boost the News’ Online Marketing Trends Expert Roundup

Example Description

Warsaw, Poland’s organization Boost the News handles public relations for companies.

For their content campaign, Boost the News contacted marketing experts for quotes on 2016 marketing trends. The quotes were all embedded into a SlideShare presentation, available here.

According to their SlideShare stats, the presentation has more than 24,600 views.

Why It Works

This content was crowdsourced from marketing experts.

In other words, Boost the News didn’t really “create” the content themselves. They curated, packaged and promoted it.

This example works well because it highlights the original thoughts from experienced and successful online marketing experts, making Boost the News appear knowledgeable and trustworthy.

If Boost the News hadn’t presented their insights this way, they would still be spread out and fragmented across the web.

The value is that this information is curated in one place.

This example also works well for promotional purposes. The experts they quoted have a vested interest in exposing the article to more people.

That said, this could have been even better with an accompanying long-form blog post in addition to the slides. That way when people share it on social media or link to it, they are taken to the Boost the News website.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Content promotion is easier when your audience has an incentive to promote it (i.e., self-promotion).

Content Marketing Example #7 – Brennan Dunn’s Interactive Email Course “Charge What You’re Worth”

Example Description

Brennan Dunn is the author and co-founder of Double Your Freelancing. His website caters to business owners who are primarily solopreneurs, agencies, consultants, and—generally—freelancers.

In 2014, Brennan rewrote and relaunched his free flagship email course, “Charge What You’re Worth.”

This course includes nine total lessons sent out over three weeks. Recipients get three lessons per week.

Why It Works

Although this isn’t content marketing in the traditional sense—e.g., you write a blog article, hit publish, and call it content marketing—it still falls under that umbrella because it uses interactive content to inspire users to take action.

With each lesson you’re given “homework”. This homework has a link to a form that asks you several questions relating to each lesson, which are then emailed back to you.

The interactive forms are the icing on the cake. They provide an additional (and unexpected) layer of active learning that potential customers can engage in, and according to Drip, using interactive content like this in your emails is one of the most effective ways to stand out.

They posted a case study about a year ago showing how Monopoly used interactive content with their Save Your Token campaign, and it garnered them attention from over 185 countries and over 1 billion impressions from social and traditional media.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

There’s an often overlooked opportunity to make your content more interactive. Including things like quizzes, surveys, and homework grows the relationship with readers. It also adds to the perceived value of the content.

Content Marketing Example #8 – Glassdoor’s eBook, 25 Tips from Top CEOs

Example Description

Fast-growing jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor lets you search millions of jobs for information on salary, CEO approval ratings, company benefits, and more.

Their brand focuses on creating transparency in the job market so job seekers can make informed decisions about where they apply, and find the career that’s right for them.

Glassdoor is a great content marketing example because they create content around what they want their brand to be synonymous with (presumably, transparency).

In their 25 Tips From Top CEOs eBook for example, they provide transparency into the strategies top-rated CEOs live by to inspire their employees.

Throughout the eBook, Glassdoor uses actual quotes from their own Highest Rated CEOs list. Job seekers can also browse through this list to get an idea of which CEOs are most communicative and open to feedback from employees.

Why It Works

This example by Glassdoor is especially indicative of their strategic content marketing, and it works well for a couple of reasons.

First, they share just enough content from the eBook on their blog to interest the reader before inviting them to opt-in to read the book in full.

Second, they diversified their content promotion by repurposing the post on Slideshare, where it has been viewed over 6,800 times.

This garnered attention from Business Insider, who re-posted the slides on their site, resulting in 87,000+ pageviews in 2016.

When they promoted the eBook internally via email, their click-to-download rate was 70 percent.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Make sure your content is synonymous with problems you want your company to be known for solving.
  • Instead of placing an opt-in opportunity for a free eBook somewhere on your site, consider including part of it in a blog post with an opt-in at the bottom to invite readers to view the entire eBook.
  • Repurpose your content for maximum exposure.

Content Marketing Example #9 – Invision Inside’s Design Series

Example Description

Invision is a company that makes an app of the same name for designers.

This app helps designers present and test their designs for usability purposes without requiring a developer to code the design into a functional website first.

Besides doing profiles on designers/design culture, Invision publishes posts that position them as thought leaders. The company also provides efficiency tricks and hacks, and shares inspirational posts.

So far, it seems to be working.

For instance, this profile of the shoe company Toms has netted over a thousand shares on social media.

A few years back, in 2015, Invision did a similar post profiling a designer at Netflix. This post achieved similar results, getting more than a thousand social shares.

Traffic-wise, Invision’s content strategy is crushing it.

The data, as seen on the website measurement tool Alexa.com, shows the site consistently rising in the ranks on a national and global scale over the past few years.

And did I mention what kind of volume that translates to as far as unique visitors?

Over 12 million unique visitors per month, according to the latest data from Similar Web.

Why It Works

First, the formatting style and styling of the content on Invision makes it fun to read.

There are standout, elongated quotes. Bolded subheadings represent the interviewer’s questions, which present the article as a conversation.

There are also plenty of images of the actual office space and of the Invision team themselves.

This adds a very human element to the site. Each “Inside Design” feature tells the human story of what design “looks like” at the profiled company.

There are several other reasons this site works so well. These are as follows:

  • Clearly, Invision uses the law of proof in the way they’ve chosen to write detailed design profiles about people and brands better known than Invision itself. This will undoubtedly lead to more inbound links and more people sharing the content.
  • Every piece of content is professionally written and easy to read thanks to the abovementioned formatting.
  • The variety of content also helps to hook readers. If one type of content might not appeal to a reader, another type probably will.

Also, Invision’s sales funnel is actually a smart sales funnel. Let me explain.

For instance, an offer at the top of their page and a call-to-action at the bottom right of their page will change depending on whether you’ve registered to use Invision’s app.

Before registering:

After registering:

Smart, right? Pun intended.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • A variety of content works well to capture different segments of a large audience.
  • When creating your content strategy, think about how people will convert into customers directly from your blog. Consider the smart sales funnel tactics described above.

Content Marketing Example #10 – Clambr Totally KILLS IT with Featured Experts Article

Example Description

Richard Marriot is the founder of Clambr.com, a website dedicated to teaching people how to rank well in Google search results and make money online.

Now let’s immediately jump into the results first for this one, shall we?

Back in 2013, Richard was able skyrocket his inbound organic traffic by over 350% in just 7 days with one piece of content. Here’s what that looked like:

Sounds too good to be true right? Well, it’s not.

So here’s what Richard did.

First, there’s a lot of detail to this story and if you want the full version you can checkout Brian Dean’s post on the topic where he dissects it in more intimate detail.

To make a long story short, Brian has this online marketing concept called the Skyscraper Technique. It states that the best, longest, highest quality content will attract the most links, shares, and traffic from Google (along with a bit of promotion to get the ball rolling).

Richard, who read about this technique, put together an article asking fellow experts in the industry to contribute their recommendations around tools for link building.

“Link building tools” was the primary search keyword he was aiming to get more inbound traffic for.

He curated the responses he received, formatted them into a blog article, and then hit publish.

But that wasn’t all.

Richard invested a lot of time into promoting the article by:

  1. Informing people who contributed to the article when it was published—and gently letting them know how to share it on social media.
  2. Emailing hundreds of prospects who might be interested in linking to it.
  3. Following up with any prospects who didn’t respond (through email and on social media).
  4. He even went one big step further, targeting broken backlink opportunities.

The result?

Over 3,600 visitors, over 2,000 social media shares (in just that first week), and dozens of inbound referral links.

And keep in mind, this is an article that continues to rank #1 for the term “link building tools”, so it continues to send lots of inbound traffic into Clambr.com to this day.

There was a lot of work involved in promoting this piece to achieve the results detailed above, but much of the content itself wasn’t created by the author himself.

And unlike some of the other examples in this list, it’s a public resource—not gated behind some opt-in wall.

Why It Works

The biggest factor in why this worked is that there was an immense amount of planning and execution that went into promoting this piece of content.

The contributors to the article had strong incentive to promote the article since by promoting the article they were promoting themselves, their ideas, and their websites.

The was extremely detailed and, on its face, a high quality reference resource.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Leverage the self-interest factor when coming up with your content strategy and follow-up promotional strategy. People want to promote themselves and their own products (duh!).
  • Invest heavily in promotion post-publication.
  • Target a single keyword you want to rank for when going all out like this.
  • Solve a problem (e.g. “What tools do the experts use and recommend?”).

Content Marketing Example #11 – Airbnb Thinks “Offline” with Its Beautiful Print Magazine Called Airbnbmag

Example Description

This content example was an interesting gem I stumbled upon while finishing my initial research for this list.

Okay, okay, so it’s not strictly a B2B example. But there’s an argument to be made here since Airbnb has turned many renters and homeowners into mini real estate moguls.

Airbnb is one of those “growth giant” companies. You know, those startups that have grown massively and quickly in recent years.

Airbnb has done so by connecting people who want to rent out their homes, much like the way hotels rent out rooms.

The advantage to travelers? It’s cheaper than staying in a motel or hotel—and it’s often more personal since you’re entering someone’s cottage, home, or apartment.

In late 2014, the company debuted its magazine, charmingly called Pineapple. Today, the magazine is known as Airbnbmag.

The concept is still the same. The publication is still a compilation of authentic stories from members of the Airbnb community. It’s just called a different name now.

And yes, it is still a physical magazine, complete with a glossy finish.

There isn’t much hard data on how much engagement or additional traffic the company has gotten from the magazine.

So far though, it seems to have attracted plenty of attention with the NY Times, Mashable, BusinessInsider, and plenty of others covering it.

Why It Works

The uniqueness of this effort speaks for itself. And just look at these photos! High-quality, gloss finish indeed.

Airbnbmag works so well because, as far as I can tell, it’s original. No one expected a web-based business like Airbnb to publish a print magazine.

It also works well because the content is coming from within their own community. This helps it seem more authentic and less corporate.

The magazine, in a way, also saves time. Imagine how long it would have taken for Airbnb to create all 120 pages of content? Imagine how many writers it would have taken if it hadn’t been sourced from their community?

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Not everything in content marketing has to be on the web. Offline content in the “real world” can still work.

Content Marketing Example #12 – Dissolve’s Generic Presidential Campaign

Example Description

Stock photo and footage company Dissolve hopped on the political bandwagon late last year with its Generic Presidential Campaign video.

This spoof, put together by Kendra Eash, poked fun at the real bid for President of the United States last November.

The video took home the Audience Honor in Business to Business 2017 Shorty Award.

At the end of the video, there’s a CTA leading to more clips from Dissolve, and the ability to license your own.

This type of parody video is nothing new for Dissolve, and proves how comedy works when done right.

Their previous This Is A Generic Brand Video from 2014 has over 2 million views on YouTube.

When they first published it, it caught the attention of AdWeek, AdAge, Fast Company, Mashable, Gizmodo, and more, earning them a 9x increase in site visits a 6x boost in signups and sales revenue.

Why It Works

This video is entertaining and creative.

I feel like there’s a name for this kind of tactic. You know, where one brand “latches” or “links” on to another popular event or brand with creative/commercial intent.

Maybe we’ll call it “latch marketing.”

Okay, so the name could use some work. Let me know if you have any better names (or ideas!) in the comments below.

Now, onto why this video parody works…

The key here is how the video latches onto something popular. In this case, it’s the United States presidential election. It can be risky to mix business and politics, but Dissolve did a good job here.

Since the whole premise was to be generic, no one could accuse the company of picking sides by making fun of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Keep your brand fresh and relevant by connecting it in cool, playful ways to pop culture or other big events. This is an especially good idea if your product has wide market appeal.

Content Marketing Example #13 – Siege Media’s 100 Best Infographics Interactive List

Example Description

Siege Media is a content marketing firm. The company created an interactive list called The 100 Best Infographics of 2017.

So how did the staff decide which infographics should make the cut? By reviewing the cohesiveness of hundreds of infographics and a number of other factors listed below, with icons for each.

This “best of” infographics list falls into the “content curation” aspect of content marketing, which we mentioned earlier in the Boost the News example.

Content curation is the process of finding and organizing high-quality content on a specific topic in your target market in order to improve SEO, establish credibility, and drive lead generation.

Content marketing software company Curata explains how marketers curate at least 25% of their content to boost site visits and drive social media conversations.

That certainly worked here for Siege Media, as this infographic post got them over 350 social shares.

Why It Works

This “best of” list is an interesting concept, highlighting which infographics draw the most attention, then connecting them to one another even though the subject matter isn’t related.

It provides a unique way of dividing infographics up by the elements that work well. This helps businesses looking to add infographics to their content strategy decide what “the best” looks like for each aspect of an infographic.

It’s effective at providing value, as well as positioning Siege Media as an authority on infographic content.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

It’s admirable to create great content from scratch, but curating content from influencers in your industry is another alternative for providing value and building trust as an authoritative source in your field.

Content Marketing Example #14 – Lander’s Infographic Helps Them Land More Customers

Example Description

This example provides a nicer, more polished contrast to the infographic example above.

LanderApp.com is a product of a company called Making Sense. The two make it easy to create and A/B test landing pages.

The company came out with a clean, polished infographic a few years back all about A/B testing. The infographic explained what A/B testing was, why it’s valuable, and how to do it (using a tool like LanderApp.com).

Since then, there have been several more infographics produced in the same vein. These focus on website SEO and landing page design.

Because publishers who use infographics grow traffic 12% faster, this is a smart move by Lander App for getting people interested in their services.

Why It Works

LanderApp.com utilizes a fresh, clean, and uncluttered design for its infographics. The quality of information isn’t overwhelming, and along the way, it answers questions users may have about LanderApp.com’s services.

For example, how to build an SEO-friendly website.

Information is communicated logically, and it’s easy to digest going from one section to the next.

Also, the visual designs make the infographics inviting and unintimidating. As a reader, I can quickly skim and scan, grabbing the nuggets of information most relevant and valuable to me.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Simplicity in design and logically organizing ideas makes your content significantly more inviting to readers.

Content Marketing Example #15 – MethodCRM Created This Amusing, Very Original Tutorial

Example Description

Method:CRM is a company that makes customer relationship management (CRM) software that specifically integrates with QuickBooks.

This example of content marketing is a demo video of How to Set up Your Portal.

Though it only has a little over 7,400 views on YouTube at the time of this writing, this style of content marketing is more subtle.

In this case, it’s baked into a place you normally wouldn’t expect: a demo video that’s probably used in cases of customer support and for servicing sales leads.

Why It Works

Usually, demo videos are plain vanilla. You’ll have an engineer or company founder give you a monotone explanation of what the product is, highlighting some basic features and benefits.

In this case, what normally wouldn’t be seen as a content marketing opportunity is transformed into one with a bit of creative thinking.

In the video, we hear the voice of an energetic and enthusiastic employee named Errol. As he begins with the demo, we hear an unexpected phone call in the background from a client with a problem.

We are now transported into a mini-story arch where we are watching Errol use the software in a “real” use scenario.

This video demo works because people like originality and humor. Especially when it creeps into boring, unexpected places (like a software demo video).

That said, I think Method:CRM could make it clearer who the video is for and target the viewer a bit better.

For example, if you are targeting customers who will buy software, have a clear CTA for them at the end of the video. If it’s for existing customers, tell them to email or call if they’re still having trouble.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Something as simple and boring as a demo video can actually be seen as an opportunity to engage viewers in a fun, entertaining way.
  • Don’t be boring. There are everyday opportunities to distinguish your company and make your brand memorable if you’re willing to look for them.

Content Marketing Example #16 – Deloitte’s Cheesy (But Not Boring) Video Market Predictions

Example Description

Every year, Deloitte, a consultants and audits company, tries to predict the future through a variety of reports and media.

A few years back, their Canadian arm did something a little different to summarize their annual Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) predictions.

As the short video below shows, the analysts were portrayed in a stereotypical scientific environment, with beakers and flasks bubbling over in the background. Both analysts were dressed in white lab coats.

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Meanwhile, director of technology research Duncan Stuart discusses the company’s predictions.

Why It Works

For Deloitte, the video is uncharacteristic to the more traditional way they deliver their predictions.

In addition, the “acting” by Duncan, though a bit robotic, does feel authentic. Although the concept overall may be cheesy, that’s part of why it works.

It’s clear the Deloitte analysts don’t really have a lab. Yet that’s where the video is set, as if the scientists were toiling away into obscurity working on these predictions.

It’s silly, but it does make the video interesting to watch, and that’s probably why it has nearly 1,900 views on YouTube to date.

The clip is also entertaining, yet the content is useful and specific. The predictions and the reasons behind each one seem logical and based on clear trends that were happening at the time (and still are in many cases).

Lastly, the video is short. This works in its favor, especially compared to some other, more drawn-out examples in this list.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Always consider how you can repackage your content into new, more engaging formats. This will work to garner more attention and be more memorable.

Content Marketing Example #17 – Conductor.com’s SEO and Content Go to Couple’s Therapy  

Example Description

I love this example. Not only is it funny, but putting a humorous spin on a normally bland marketing strategy (SEO) is a great idea.

Conductor.com is an enterprise marketing and SEO solution. Again, normally a pretty boring topic to talk about, let alone sell someone on, right?

The refreshing angle taken in the short video above discusses the issues that SEO and content have in their “relationship.”

The two marketing concepts are represented by a man and a woman to explain things as starkly as possible.

To date, the video has nearly 1,400 views on YouTube.

Why It Works

This hilarious, literally fun-to-watch video on a traditionally boring topic works in so many ways. As mentioned, it’s funny, pure and simple. It’s also short, professionally acted and edited, and has a polished storyline.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Make people laugh. They’ll not only be more open to your marketing message, but they’ll talk about it and share it with their friends.

Content Marketing Example #18 – GoToMeeting’s Video Case Study with Investor’s Business Daily

Example Description

This example comes from Citrix, the company that owns the online communication and work collaboration project GoToMeeting.

The video below shows a “case study” highlighting how a client—Investor’s Business Daily—uses Citrix’s GoToMeeting software within their business.

The video also demonstrates the benefits of the product and how it’s used to train customers via video conferencing and screensharing.

The video starts with a story from a male executive. The product appears early in the video, which concludes with a CTA to visit the GoToMeeting website.

According to iSpot.tv video statistics, the video currently has almost 9,000 social impressions and over 2,000 views.

Why It Works

The video begins with an executive telling the mission behind Investor’s Business Daily. I love this approach because it feels authentic and draws you in immediately.

The second reason this video works so well is because the product takes a backseat to the customer, Investor’s Business Daily.

The company is allowed to tell its story and then segue into the benefits of the product and how it helps them run their business.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

The biggest takeaways from this example are to be authentic and tell stories.

Content Marketing Example #19 – RingLead Drives Leads with an Extensive Content Library

Example Description

RingLead is a company that helps other businesses get more out of their CRM data and, in turn, grow more sales.

They do this in three ways, by “cleaning, protecting, and enhancing your current CRM data.”

Their example is pretty straightforward. They showcase a digital library of eBook resources, as pictured below.

When some of the eBook resources are selected, the visitor is taken to a landing page like the one above.

The prospect can then fill in five fields of information, including their work email, first name, last name, company name, and job title.

Why It Works

When someone arrives on the resources or eBooks (library) page, they see all of their available options. This positions RingLead first as a free helpful resource, and second as an authority in the industry.

The fact that I can see all the resource options available to me makes it even more likely that I’d convert.

In other words, I don’t feel like I must fill out the five-question form, simple as it is.

This is because I feel like the total potential for benefits is so great. Clearly, this company has something to teach!

I do think this RingLead example could be better if the company was more consistent with its lead gen funnel.

RingLead does not collect opt-ins for all of its resources, for example. Some eBooks require an opt-in, but other downloads don’t.

If you’re going to require a person to fill out a form to gain access to a free eBook, why not make the same requirements for other free downloads as well?

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Communicating the value of your content visually often comes down to how you present it. For example, creating a curated library of your best resources on one section of your website implies you have immense value to contribute to your audience.

Content Marketing Example #20 – Econsultancy Quizzes You on Your Marketing Skills

Example Description

Econsultancy is a company with a bit of a complicated premise. I’m just going to use the description on their homepage since their business doesn’t really fit into any type of “box.”

By arming a global community of marketers and ecommerce professionals with a wide range of research, data, analysis, training, consulting, events and online resources we enable organisations and individual professionals to succeed online.

Here’s the simple version: they publish research and teach, among other things, to help digital marketers succeed.

In the past, I’ve personally referred to their site for research data insights.

In this example, Econsultancy is offering prospects a free assessment of their skills.

This allows them to see where they need to improve and become a more effective digital marketer. They can also see how they stack up against their peers.

Why It Works

This is another great example of interactive content marketing.This is because the end user is motivated and required to interact with the form as part of the test.

At the end of the test, they get their result, which is personally tailored to them based on their inputs.

This is precisely why Econsultancy’s example works so well. People are interested in themselves (surprise!).

If you’ve read any of the other content examples above, you might notice a theme developing here.

There’s also a “Facebook like” vanity to the test.

You know how on Facebook, there is an extrinsic motivation to see what friends and acquaintances are liking? That’s present here as well.

I do think there could be a few improvements, though, including:

  • Gamify the test experience more. Currently, there’s a progress bar at the top showing how close you are to completing the test. Adding in some sort of estimated countdown to completion would be helpful and encourage more progress. “Experience” points could also be provided at the end of the test. This would encourage the user to sign up and feel a sense of low-friction investment into the site. An option to challenge friends to take the test as well would be good.
  • Offer high-scoring users some kind of embeddable badge for their websites or online profiles. This would accomplish two things: first, it would build backlinks coming into the test, and second, it would increase visibility and the likelihood to spread organically (and maybe even go viral).

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • People love quizzes for a reason. Interactive content marketing via tests and online quizzes are a low-friction way to engage users. We all are “vain” about wanting to test and compare ourselves to others to see how we stack up.
  • Quizzes can be evergreen, meaning they remain relevant, useful, and valuable for a long time to come.

Content Marketing Example #21 – Content Marketing Institute’s “The Story of Content” Video

Example Description

Content Marketing Institute is a great resource for marketers. The site offers consulting, training, events, articles, resources, podcasts, and more.

What better way to grow awareness for your brand through content marketing than to discuss content marketing?

That’s exactly what Content Marketing Institute did here.

This video is best described as a mini-documentary, clocking in at just under 45 minutes in length.

Why It Works

Simply put, this is content marketing in the form of a video documentary. Who does that?

Apparently Content Marketing Institute did, and based on the viewing numbers (nearly 170,000), it was a good decision.

Creating a video documentary appeals to a wide audience. Also, the barrier of consumption is extremely low, i.e., it’s free and in video form.

Content Marketing Institute could have just written an article on the topic and called it a day. This format makes the content more engaging.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Think “higher up” in your funnel. This documentary has broad appeal to people even vaguely interested in content marketing. That’s a primary reason why this tactic works so well.
  • Create evergreen content. Content marketing is likely something people will be searching for years into the future. A detailed, well put-together mini documentary like this should still be relevant for years to come.

Content Marketing Example #22 – Moz’s Whiteboard Friday Is #greatness #admirethisexample

Example Description

Every Friday now, for more than eight years, Moz cofounder Rand Fishkin will host what’s called Whiteboard Friday.

Whiteboard Friday is where Rand will put together a five or 10-minute video that teaches something new and useful to his audience.

In the background is (obviously) a whiteboard that Rand references throughout these videos.

The audio is transcribed, edited, formatted, and published along with the video, and a brief introduction to the topic on the Moz blog every Friday.

In addition, there is a full downloadable photo of Rand’s handwritten whiteboard notes available for review.

The results so far?

Moz is a $42+ million company according to an annual report from 2016. We’re sure that number has only increased since then.

As far as stats related directly to their whiteboard video publishing, they currently have 326,329 followers on their Facebook page where they post the videos.

Why It Works

Whiteboard Friday has become a weekly event the company has become known for.

In 2007, the concept was even more original. That was back when YouTube had just been bought by Google and the word “webinar” wasn’t mainstream yet.

The videos are also shot using a high-definition camera, and the lighting is great as well. The end result is always a professional, polished video that conveys useful, actionable ideas.

Beyond that, the video acts as a way for people to personally connect the Moz brand to a real person like Rand. These videos help humanize the brand and form a deeper relationship with its audience.

Here are some more reasons I think Whiteboard Friday works so well for Moz:

  • It’s human. Seeing a person on video instead of a faceless website is as compelling today as it was in 2007. People prefer to buy from people rather than an automated website. At the very least, there’s a significantly higher trust factor at play there.
  • It’s useful. Viewers can apply the video lessons directly in their own digital marketing efforts.
  • It’s visual. There are so many blog posts being written today, most of them are text-only, and still fewer are visually engaging. Not only does Whiteboard Friday utilize video, but its viewers feel like they’re students in a classroom. The teacher is waving his hands and explaining concepts but also reinforcing what he’s saying visually on the board.

That said, I believe Moz could make even more improvements by making the Moz software play more of a starring role in the videos.

For instance, Leadpages does a great job of this in many of their webinars and blog posts. They present a question or problem that members of their target audience are looking for a solution to.

Then in each video, they include a full tutorial on what the solution is and how to implement it (with and without their software tool).

Of course, the “without” implementation is usually more difficult. But the argument is compelling and it was a big reason why I ultimately signed up as a customer (and I am not an easy sell).

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Be cool, playful, and fun whenever possible.
  • Be visual!
  • Be human, too.
  • Be consistent. Eight+ years is a long time to do this kind of thing, and it’s impressive to say the least. The results of Whiteboard Friday have undoubtedly been compounding, much the same way I’ve seen traffic here at AutoGrow increase from having a consistent content publishing schedule.

Content Marketing Example #23 – LinkedIn’s Guide to Marketing on LinkedIn

Example Description

Everyone knows what LinkedIn is by now. You probably even use the platform for networking.

Lots of people who run B2B companies know that at least part of their marketing potential is on LinkedIn.

Yet few know how to use the service to target customers. They may not be aware of what kinds of marketing solutions LinkedIn can provide.

That was the motivation behind the creation of the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn — a downloadable PDF that provides case studies, tips, and even a list of digital marketing experts.

The guide was originally published as an eBook, but it was also repurposed into a webinar, posted on SlideShare, reformatted as an infographic, and published in print.

Within the first 30 days, it received 10,000 downloads.

LinkedIn later reported that more than one-third of the people who downloaded it were marketing-qualified. This means they had the budget to make a meaningful investment into LinkedIn Ads.

10,000 may not seem like a lot when you consider the fact that LinkedIn’s user base is well over 400 million accounts. Still, that 10K figure is from one version of the guide and an older blog post.

Today, that original post is likely to have way more downloads. LinkedIn has decided its marketing guide is successful enough to keep producing them, updating them annually.

Why It Works

Sure, the title of this guide may be lame, but it is accurate as per the content it promises to deliver.

Sometimes boring content converts better in terms of quality or quantity. It’s no wonder LinkedIn has stuck with the same guide name for years.

This guide features splashy graphics which catch the eye. There’s also a unique sign-up form.

You simply click the autofill button and (assuming you’re already logged into LinkedIn) it will automatically fill in your data in the form so you don’t have to type. It’s pretty neat.

Other reasons this guide works so well? It features short blurbs and interviews from influencers who use LinkedIn to market themselves and their brands to other businesses.

Not only that, but the guide does an excellent job of piquing a reader’s interest around what undiscovered marketing opportunities or tools LinkedIn has to offer.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Sell the skeptic in the audience. Don’t repeat the same old tired story.
  • Splashy PDF guides aren’t enough. Make me believe!

Content Marketing Example #24 – LivePerson Showcases Thought Leaders…to Position the Brand as Thought Leader (No Sarcasm, It’s a Great Idea!)

Example Description

LivePerson provides software to help other businesses chat with customers directly on their website. This provides a significant cost savings of up to 50% of phone-based communications.

In 2013, the company interviewed and curated predictions for 2014 from 10 of the digital marketing industry’s biggest thought leaders. They were consultants, industry executives, company owners, and more.

Here is an example of one of the pages inside, where a thought leader was featured.

Initial results reported by the company were an 11% open rate on the email, 17% click-through rate, 800 downloads, and 270 leads who filled out the report request form.

Not bad!

Why It Works

The content is very detailed, which is part of why it works so well. Even years later, the in-depth interviews with selected individuals are still mostly relevant.

Besides that, this report is professionally formatted and well-organized.

The biggest reason I think this example works so well, is because people generally want to know what experts think.

Also, the people interviewed for the report had a vested interest in sharing and promoting it. This got the content shared by more people, faster.

That said, I think baking in sharing links and icons would make LivePerson look even more like a thought leader. For example, the quotes in the bottom righthand corner of the page are often highly tweetable. Missed opportunity!

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • It doesn’t have to be content your company creates internally, but make sure you ask good questions and put a professional, thoughtful design around it.
  • Furthermore, featuring other experts is a win-win when it comes time to promoting content. Why? They have the same incentive to promote it as you!

Content Marketing Example #25 – Sungard Uses Humor, Shows You Holiday Survival Tips

Example Description

This Holiday Resiliency: Art of Holiday Conversation video from IT company Sungard is a humorous and relatable look at how an IT professional tries to avoid confrontation with his family over the holidays.

Sungard compares avoiding familial confrontation to avoiding conversations about operational resilience in the IT field. They tie in their whitepaper “Lack of Organizational Resilience Will Undermine Enterprise Competitiveness” nicely after the video, asking for an opt-in versus a sale.

This video was only one in a series of videos Sungard launched to drive business for IT insurance. Within three days of publishing the videos, Sungard reportedly had 3,000 leads.

Their email and click-through rates were up to three times higher than average. On top of that, 87% clicked-through to download the guide.

Obviously, the series has been a hit. Let’s get into more of the details of its success…

Why It Works

People like to be entertained, not sold to. If you’ve read any of the above examples, this shouldn’t be news to you.

People like to be educated, not sold to. There is where the CTA download of the free guide comes into handy.

So let’s break this down, because the sequence in which this series is done is super smart.

  1. Use humor, but only where it feels authentic and relatable to IT professionals.
  2. Someone in the market will be hooked by the content, so a free guide following the content isn’t a difficult leap to make. Whoever made this series obviously gets what it means to be an IT professional in everyday life.

This is similar to the general strategy for increasing conversions on a landing page or website: bring the content into alignment with the target audience and help them see themselves and their interests on the page.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • People like being entertained as much as they like feeling understood. They like feeling like the heroes of their own lives. This example has elements of both and connects with IT professionals.
  • The stories help unearth certain emotions that can trigger a deeper connection with a viewer (e.g. in this example, the IT professional is hounded by others for help, but is also the under-appreciated hero with a unique skillset).
  • Beyond connection and entertainment, people want to be educated rather than sold to.

Content Marketing Example #26 – Wyng Shares Their Own Campaign Use Cases

Example Description

Wyng, formerly Offerpop, is a social media and digital marketing campaign platform. In this example, they offer a free guide to their campaign use cases  as a PDF.

This free resource showcases Wyng’s platform and helps inspire and educate subscribers on different digital campaign ideas, highlighting the ones they’ve had success with.

Offering useful free resources has worked for Wyng in the past. Back when they were still calling themselves Offerpop, marketers could subscribe to their “Staycation” program to get access to eBooks, infographics, worksheets, and more to learn about digital marketing.

That campaign ended up giving them 1,650 registered prospects and 7,013 new sales leads.

Why It Works

The resources guide is exceptionally well designed. Since it’s visual, you don’t feel like you’re reading through a boring book.

Wyng also provides each campaign’s objective and the goals they achieved with each marketing campaign example. This increases the perceived value of the content and makes it more interesting.

Another reason this example works so well is because of how it’s formatted. The features mentioned in each example have clickable icons within the resource guide’s table of contents (screenshot below).

When clicking any of these icons, the reader is taken to a different section of the guide to learn more about how that feature works as part of Wyng’s product.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Provide not just great content, but invest in crafting a unique visual experience as well. This is more memorable and compelling to consumers.

Content Marketing Example #27 – Marketo’s Social Media Guide Drives Sales

Example Description

Marketo offers a variety of free, downloadable marketing guides on their site.

Their social media marketing guide stands out because it’s been live for some time, yet Marketo continues to update it.

The guide teaches prospective customers how to map out a social media strategy.

They’ve had success in the past with their other free resources, like their 2014 Sample Social Media Tactical Plan, which generated 40,791 downloads, 522 social media shares, 1,644 new sales opportunities, $582,471 in sales pipeline value, and $381,671 in revenue.

Not bad!

Why It Works

The quality of the design stands out. Clearly, Marketo invested a significant amount of time into getting that right.

The content is decent, yet actionable.

For instance, Marketo specifically recommends building customer personas. Doing so, they argue, can give your social media and content strategy a clear direction.

Nothing about the design of the landing page stands out. Although, it is noteworthy that on the landing page they require visitors to add more detailed information about their business and position.

The fact that Marketo has maintained and updated this guide over time is unique and impressive. Obviously, it has continued to work for them as a lead magnet.

Why else does this example work? The guide is fairly detailed and comprehensive.

Even if you downloaded the guide and only glanced over it, you’d walk away thinking, “well, the folks at Marketo probably know something about digital marketing…” As a result, you might keep their products in mind for the future.

As to why the offer of this guide works, it’s simple. And boring.

The landing page tells you what social media marketing problems the guide solves. It then says, “okay, here you go!”

It’s not a complicated offer and there’s no hype and emotional selling involved. It’s pretty cut and dried.

That said, the landing page could be better. Right now, it looks like it’s not really trying.

This may ultimately mean a better conversion rate, but it’s worth testing a completely redesigned page. I’d also be curious to see how much the conversion rate would grow if Marketo took out some of the extra form fields.

In addition, the positioning and complexity of the footer section is distracting. If they were to A/B test this page, they should test a version where the footer is removed.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Simple and boring can work.
  • That said, don’t assume simple and boring means “easy” to create. Marketo has clearly invested significant content and design resources into making this guide.

Content Marketing Example #28 – CB Insights’ Newsletter Is Funny and Full of Information

Example Description

CB Insights is a tech market intelligence company that does on-demand research and creates custom content.

Pretty standard—even boring—stuff, right? That’s why CB Insights shows some personality with its funny, yet informative newsletter. Check out some examples below.

In 2014, CB Insights had 51,000 subscribers. That number ballooned to 171,000 in the first half of 2016 with their email open rate hovering around 30% (for most industries it’s about 20% to 25%).

Why It Works

This newsletter is anything but boring. From emojis to F-bombs, CB Insights is appealing to its audience in a very colorful way.

As Hubspot wrote in its Best of B2B Marketing Content piece, the newsletter “illustrates the willingness of CB Insights to not take itself too seriously. Yes, it shares some of the finest insights on technology, venture capital (VC), and emerging businesses, but it does so with fun images that ultimately relate back to the subject.”

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Don’t be boring.
  • Be a bit colorful, especially if your content is traditionally considered dry.

Content Marketing Example #29 – Unitrends’ Interactive Story Creator and Game Content

Example Description

The company powering the simple “Build Your Own Data Apocalypse” quiz-like app is SnapApp.

SnapApp is a SaaS company. Their product appears to target content marketers on an enterprise level.

Their unique selling proposition? To help you turn your content into an interactive experience. They provide a suite of tools to help accomplish that.

The company that used their platform to create this quiz is Unitrends, a data backup solutions company.

In 2015, around Halloween, Unitrends launched its own interactive Data Apocalypse content campaign.

I love this example from Unitrends because it’s stupid. By this I mean it’s really smart. It’s ridiculous, yet creative, and it works!

The Data Apocalypse campaign is a quiz widget embedded on their landing page. “Players” can select answers to several humorous questions.

After choosing to input their contact details (or not), they are shown a story based on the choices they made.

Included at the end of the story is a link to Unitrends’ whitepaper.

Within 24 hours of launching their campaign, the company generated over 300 leads with a 25% click-through rate to their whitepaper. Also, 185 of those 300 were new leads (i.e. those not already a customer or in the sales pipeline).

The bottom-line result was $300,000 in new sales pipeline value and $32,000 in closed sales.

Why It Works

Like a bad horror movie where you can see the seams on the monster’s costume, this lead generation widget isn’t trying to be anything it isn’t.

In other words, the design isn’t great, but as I said, it works!

Also, there’s no request for contact details upfront. People are even allowed to skip over that part if they’d prefer.

Something else that stands out: there is a viral share mechanism with the social media buttons just below the story. It’s unclear how much this feature was even used by those who took the quiz, but I’m confident some percentage used it.

Also, unlike some of the other content on this list, Unitrends’ example focuses on being fun and lighthearted.

This example works because SnapApp tie in the idea of the zombie/cheesy end-of-days idea with the problem they help clients solve: the threat of data loss.

In addition, it’s rare to find content that is both amusing and interactive. Most companies just write blog posts—not that that doesn’t work; it does.

This example is on another level though, simply because it’s rarer.

It also humanizes the brand, and what many people consider a boring topic (data loss recovery).

Finally, since the experience does not require an opt-in, people not in Unitrends’ target market can still access the story. This is great for building company awareness.

This can only drive positive word-of-mouth.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

Associating your brand with pop culture makes it more fun and can grow awareness and drive leads.

Content Marketing Example #30 – Wistia Attracts New Customers with Educational Resources and Humor

Example Description

I have much respect for the team over at video hosting company Wistia. They publish polished blog content and never miss a creative opportunity to promote their brand.

I’ve been on their email list for some time now. I typed in “Wistia” in my Gmail search and right at the top was one example I’d like to share with you.

It was a Terms of Service update notice.

Pretty boring stuff, right?

For Wistia, it was a chance to do something unique…

An amusing Star Wars reference, if you didn’t immediately get it.

It’s a simple touch, but it makes all the difference.

So what’s that worth? Well, it’s hard to say.

But Wistia has a penchant for using creativity in their video content to drive traffic.

Their talking mouth HTML 5 video from 2014 had a 78% average engagement, with a 70% repeat rate—meaning more people viewed a second video after watching the HTML 5 video than they had with any of their other videos.  

The video was two to three times more successful than their 1,000 other videos, so clearly there’s something to be said for creativity and humor.

Why It Works

Who else is able to uncover opportunities like using a Terms of Service update as a form of marketing?

Not Google. That’s for sure.

Yet Wistia does. Their way stands out and actually gets me to click through to their website…and the Terms of Service is always the most boring page of a site!

Their end-of-year recaps are unique because there is so much footage of their team growing and having fun. Not to mention, it’s professionally edited and enjoyable to watch.

This all comes down to why this example works.

Marketing, in part, is the art of getting attention.

Combine that with the idea that EVERYTHING is marketing (credit to the book “Rework” for reminding me of that truth), and the Star Wars-themed Terms of Service update succeeds. It catches your eye and gets your attention.

The yearly recap video also works by humanizing the Wistia brand.

In addition, if you watch any of their previous recap videos, you can feel their growth year to year. This makes you feel like you’re along for the ride, in a way, because Wistia is sharing their journey with you.

This is memorable, and there’s a sort of bond that’s formed.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

EVERYTHING is marketing. Even the boring stuff can be a hidden opportunity.

Content Marketing Example #31 – First Round Capital Builds an Audience of Entrepreneurs

Example Description

One of my mentors from college, Bill Trenchard, is a partner of First Round Capital, a venture capital investment firm.

Bill is one of the smartest and shrewdest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. His track record speaks for itself.

I was glad to receive his guidance early on as a college student growing my first startup.

First Round Capital, Bill’s firm, has been a leader in content marketing within the venture capital industry.

The purpose of the content they put out—specifically the magazine—is to connect with the entrepreneur community.

What distinguishes First Round from other investor firms is that they highlight companies and people who are unaffiliated with First Round, in order to appeal to startups.

Many of their pieces are thousands of words long, filled with actionable advice and quotes from tech giants like Slack (pictured above).

Within a three-month span in 2015, their site averaged 250,000+ unique views monthly, and readers were staying on their page for more than 4 minutes.

Why It Works

As someone who has worked as an intern for venture capital firms in the past, I know that content marketing is a very new idea for sourcing possible deals.

Traditionally, venture capital firms rely more on proactive networking, introductions, and referrals.

First Round isn’t the only venture capital firm using content marketing today, but they stand out as an example because they do it so well. I couldn’t find an article on their online magazine that was shared less than a thousand times.

Other than being unique for the industry, this example works because the magazine is personalized.

Here’s what I mean by that. The content is written from one person’s perspective, whether that person is a partner at the firm or one of the companies the firm has invested in.

The insights come straight from people who are getting their hands dirty from growing startups every day. This makes for a more personal connection with the author, and, by extension, the First Round brand.

But other than just getting attention, you may wonder, why does the magazine work as a means of growing the firm’s deal flow?

It’s simple. Effective founders of startups like to learn from other founders and experienced entrepreneurs.

By putting out these insights, the target reader is often a startup founder themselves. That’s exactly the prospect the firm wants to potentially invest in.

First Round uses their own blog and content marketing strategy as a way to get attention, as well as teach budding entrepreneurs.

These entrepreneurs then learn and become aware of potential future investors. Also, the startups that First Round has invested in get more exposure when they are featured in one of the magazine articles.

It’s a triple win.

Of course, First Round’s publication could always be better.

I recommend including content upgrades with each post. Make these actionable and informative.

Potential partners can use information when looking for founders of up-and-coming startups.

If anyone has privacy concerns, offer a simple opt-out option that still has the benefits of the template, tool or checklist.

The content upgrades will help startup founders take immediate action after reading a new article. The firm will get more insight on who is engaging with their content and who may be worth contacting.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Personalized content from leading experts is quality content that connects with readers.
  • Just because most others in your industry don’t practice content marketing doesn’t mean it can’t work for you.

Content Marketing Example #32 – Unbounce’s Page Fights (Awesome Idea)

Example Description

Page Fights was a joint content marketing collaboration between Unbounce, ConversionXL, and Shopify.

Although the show is no longer live, I love the content and believe it’s evergreen. Any marketer can learn something from the expert conversion analysis of each landing page reviewed here.

Since this is a collaboration, they built the show as a microsite.

It’s unclear the total amount of new traffic/customers Page Fights brought to the respective companies behind them, but for Unbounce, just one of these videos got them over 200 new email subscribers and 25 new YouTube subscribers. Additionally, 171 people showed up to watch the video live.

Why It Works

There are several reasons I’m so fond of this example, even though there are no new updates.

First, as mentioned, it’s super informative.

Each of the marketers featured on Page Fights offers unique insights. Instead of spending hours visiting each marketer’s website, you have a collection of insights all in one place.

Also, again, the content is evergreen. Marketing trends come and go, but this video content will always be reliable.

The trend is presented in video format, which makes it easy to digest. Yes, the videos clock in at about an hour each, but they’re packed to the gills with useful stuff.

Plus, they’re on YouTube, so you could watch the clips anywhere.

This was such a cool idea on the parts of Unbounce, ConversionXL, and Shopify. When the concept ran its course, Page Fights stopped instead of continuing on beyond its usefulness.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • Sometimes collaboration comes from unexpected places.
  • If your content is compelling enough, your audience will gladly consume hour-long content.

Content Marketing Example #33 – 99U by Adobe and Behance

Example Description

99U, in collaboration with Adobe and Behance, is a series of books, talks, articles, and interviews about topics like productivity, collaboration, and career success.

They have a specific category called “Marketing Your Work” that is especially good, which 99u defines as “The act of demonstrating your talent, qualifications, achievements, and likelihood to succeed.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a single article on there with less than 100 shares. Every piece is inspiring and actionable for creative entrepreneurs looking to make their big ideas happen.

Why It Works

So why is this example so noteworthy? 99U favors itself as a type of creative community.

The advice and insights in its articles are professional, but in a more lighthearted way than similar blogs.

The advice contained on the 99U site and the “Marketing Your Work” section is actionable and simple to follow.

A variety of experts share their insights on 99U, making it a great hub to get a variety of opinions on one website. While the pop culture references and images may not appeal to everyone, 99U is a great resource for budding marketers and more established professionals alike.

Key Marketing Lesson(s)

  • A variety of insights keeps your sight diverse.
  • A dose of pop culture will appeal to most audiences, but don’t overdo it.

Conclusion

Ready to upgrade your content marketing? Use my 22 Point Perfect Blog Post Checklist PDF.

Many of these examples earned the title of “best” because they struck a balance between being unique, creative, and informative.

Content marketing has more to do with educating your audience on the problems your brand solves than selling people on why your company is great.

Stick with content that services your customers in a meaningful way, and you’ll start to see a return.

Here’s a quick recap of key patterns and lessons:

  • The frequency of publishing content influences traffic and overall engagement. Just make sure that the content is high-quality. Always value quality over quantity.
  • The most efficient way to produce great content consistently is to follow a proven formula or produce content that your audience likes (e.g. interviews with brands better-known than yours).
  • It’s important to focus not just on traffic, but on converting that traffic into customers, leads, and email newsletter subscribers.
  • Always measure and test a variety of content ideas, then do more of what works.
  • Creative content marketing can be an entertaining video that showcases a novel way to use your product or service (like the Caterpillar video in Example 2).
  • Consider selecting a few types of content categories to continuously publish within. Make sure the variety is enough to appeal to the market at large (see Invision’s example).

What are some other key takeaways you got from reading through this list? What are some creative ways you’re using content marketing in your business today?

Leave a comment and let me know.

Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused

–Matt

 

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