Content marketing · Consumer Marketing

Which consumer companies do content marketing well?

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

October 15th, 2014

There is a lot of talk about content marketing of late, but honestly have not seen that many consumer companies do it well. Aside from OKCupid (their OK Trends blog) and maybe Buffer what are examples of consumer focused companies that have done content marketing well? What do you think is key to pulling it off?

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

October 16th, 2014

Clearly, done poorly, or spamily, it doesn't matter what you are doing. Eg Email marketing can be super effective but I've unsubscribed to the Democratic Party mails because they drive me bananas. I think marketers need to vary techniques at different stages in purchase cycle. Content marketing isn't very good for converting a purchase. It's better for awareness or engagement. (NFL would be a brand who excels at content marketing for the latter). It also depends if course on what type if product or service you are selling. There's a lifestyle to be built around sharing economy companies - and that lends itself well to content marketing. Content marketing for a casual game would be a harder fit

Alan Peters VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks

October 16th, 2014

I would argue that content marketing is the opposite of Spray and Pray. Content marketing is a long game. A good content marketing ptogram provides value to your customers and builds lasting avenues of discovery.

Rajan Arora Director, Platform and Channel Solutions

October 16th, 2014

Alan, great point. Content marketing is about creating relationships with consumers early in their buyer's journey, well before the cash register. It's an incredibly challenging practice, but can pay large dividends in the long run.

Marcus Siegel Product Design

October 15th, 2014

I think the very best content marketers are the ones who are able to outsource content production to their own consumers. Take GoPro as an example. Instead of creating their own content, they can draw from thousands of daily consumer contributions to find the best piece to recirculate back to their audiences. Of course, when your product is actually used by consumers to create high-quality videos that represent your brand's values, it's almost too easy.

As far as companies creating their own content, I really like following the Priceonomics blog. Buffer is also great, as you mentioned.

Sidenote: Recently I've been working with Nike, Redbull and a few other brands to help recreate this "outsourced content marketing" model within their respective consumer audiences.

Sandy Fischler Experiential Marketing Director | Event Producer | Event Management | Entrepreneur

October 16th, 2014

Alan, it depends on how it's used. 90% of what I see people doing with content marketing is spray and pray. They vomit out enormous quantities of low-quality content that does absolutely nothing to create value or build relationships. If your prospect doesn't walk away with some actionable ideas that they can implement and improves what they are doing then all that content marketer did was waste the prospect's 4 minutes reading yet another iteration of "10 Tips to Increase Your Marketing Effectiveness". 

Content marketing that doesn't convert is a waste of everyone's time. It's a lot like social media marketing, everyone piles into it with a gold rush mentality but only a small number of people really understand it and do it well. Everyone else is just creating noise. 

Done well, content marketing is extremely effective and as Rajan said, it pays huge dividends in the long run. The trick is doing it well and the only way to do it well is to really, deeply understand your customer and their buying process. 

Churning out batches of content that's been SEO'd to death and pointing to click rates as a success metric is just sloppy marketing. The real question always has to be who is our customer, how to we intercept their buying process, and how do we deliver enough value that they're happily jumping into our sales funnel. If you aren't asking the hard questions up front then all you're doing is spray and pray. 

Ellie Williams Hacker in Heels, Investor, Tog + Porter President, Hopeful Retail Disrupter

October 21st, 2014

Content is always King. However, the days of building or writing something great and waiting for "them" to come are long over. Getting eyeballs, and more importantly the right eyeballs to your content takes planning and strategy.

At last year's Women 2.0 conference, Zady left attendees buzzing after their panel talk on content marketing. The company has invested a significant amount of resources to providing their customer with great content. They went about it by hiring professional journalists to write about topics of interest and also give compelling backstories to some of their products. You can check out their features section here.

No doubt some great stuff there, whether it's translated into customer acquisition or higher sales, I can't say.

I think content marketing is most effective when it's aligned with a company's overall marketing plan or efforts. For instance, if you know you're going to be featured in a niche publication, let's say a parenting magazine for example. Spend some time and energy creating content geared towards that audience. So when they go to your site, you immediately have something of value to offer them.

Valuable content always has user benefit. What tidbit of information or collection of resources are you giving readers? What's the clear takeaway? This is what keeps readers coming back and sharing their content with their friends.

Some of the best content marketing I've seen to date comes from the ladies over at Onboardly. They just kill it when it comes to seamlessly integrating it with a company's overall marketing/pr plan. Their blog is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for guidance on where to start with content marketing.

Lauren Holliday Marketing Manager at Launch Academy

October 15th, 2014

Neil Patel, http://quicksprout.com, blog.kissmetrics.com

SkilledUp.com is ramping up its content marketing. Yes, I am partial here because I do work with SkilledUp.com.

HubSpot for sure!!

Definitely Kapost.com too.

Contently also.

Jules Pieri Co-founder and CEO, The Grommet

October 17th, 2014

Totally biased, but it's something that I am proud of at The Grommet. (We are B2C2B.) That sounds like self-aggrandizing promotion but the reason I am particularly proud of our work in this area is that for the first four years of our very painful starving beginnings, we never let up on the quality, heart, or frequency of our daily video/photo/written stories. Honestly it was the only thing we did well.

But content (product launches) are our product and I don't believe in MVP when it comes to content. I was willing to frequently apologize for the way we skimmed by on everything else in the company (below MVP!), but I was never willing (and still am not) to apologize for the quality of a Grommet--both its product performance and our own story telling.

We never called this core work "content marketing" but most people would.

Mana Ionescu President, Lightspan Digital: Digital Marketing Problem-Solver and Speaker

October 21st, 2014

We work with a number of consumer brands with fantastic results from content marketing. But it requires taking the time to let it "cook." It takes about 10 months to see strong results. One of the brands we work with is Pre-Seed and 64% of their website traffic is due to content marketing work. In 6 months we saw over 1 million visits to the website and 64% of that was all content marketing. 46% of that is search traffic. So it's important to keep in mind that content marketing and search marketing are connected. 

Simon Watson UK Sales Director

November 13th, 2014

We place a huge emphasis on Content Marketing.  Our revenue stream is created by selling subscription boxes full of fishing tackle, but each month our team of experts write articles on how to use the products and also how to become better fishermen/women in general.  This information is available via our blog for free and is SEO'd to make easy to find in the SERPs. 

Our original and useful content is then shared across all of our social platforms and email lists.  

Content is king, sharing it for free drives traffic, traffic = sales.  

We like Content Marketing!

Simon 

If you want to check some of our content, google Pondip Tackle Box.  :)