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The end of last year saw Forbes comment that “brand marketers who develop focused content plans with clear objectives in 2013 will reap the rewards that content marketing can deliver for many years to come”.

Certainly 2013 has so far seen a variety of how-to guides explaining the key considerations for successful content marketing campaigns.

However, the reality of mounting a content marketing strategy is often different to the theory.

We’ve worked with a number of companies on their content marketing activities and can see the real value they bring to the business. Audiences have become harder to reach and less receptive to traditional advertising.

This is where content marketing plays such a pivotal role in providing benefit-driven, informative, educational or practical content to connect with consumers. Whether your content strategy includes owned or earned content, or content created by media partners, one of the golden rules is to ensure that enhanced activation tactics are used to maximise your reach and efforts. After all, great content is only valuable if people can easily access it.

So who are the content marketing winners and losers? I’ve put together a selection of some examples and my thoughts on whether they work for the respective brands involved. 

Colgate

Colgate provides an online Oral and Dental Health Resource centre with videos, interactive guides, and over 400 articles.

Why it works

The Colgate site is an informative guide to dental care along with helpful tips on keeping your teeth healthy. As a result, the site is educational whilst also offering a portal linking back to the purchase of its own products.

Where can it go next?

Expanding the reach of the content, perhaps on mobile through QR codes printed onto packaging, would provide consumers with access to information at the point of making a purchasing decision.

Any issues

Some of the content has originated from Colgate, but the site is not afraid to lean on relevant sources of information from other sites.

As long as Colgate continues to promote dental health through the use of tips in this informative manner, its content platform will cement Colgate’s reputation as a market leader and the go-to site for advice on oral health. 

Secret deodorant

Secret is a Procter and Gamble (P&G) deodorant brand, which launched a highly successful campaign focused around anti-bullying under the tagline ‘mean stinks’

Why it works

Secret is aimed at teenage girls and the campaign was based on research that one of the issues often facing this demographic is bullying. Mobile adverts for Secret incorporated related content from social media sites to support the brand’s anti-bullying message.

A dedicated mean stinks site was developed that curated positive messages from Twitter and Instagram supporting teen girls who are dealing with bullying.

The campaign also made innovative use of Facebook and created a ‘Good Graffiti’ app that allowed fans to pass along positive messages to friends. The page also included a referral page for counselling centres, a shop selling anti-bullying slogan t-shirts and links to Facebook commerce sales for Secret and other P&G products.

Where can it go next?

The campaign has already expanded to include publicity tie-ins in the form of Glee star Amber Riley.

Any issues

Brands can often fall foul when associating themselves with campaigns as consumers can be quite cynical. However, the anti-bullying message and the support that Secret is giving to this subject would be hard to criticise.

Extending the campaign to a celebrity ambassador can go wrong, particularly if that celebrity acts in a way that would conflict with their ambassadorial role, so Secret would be well advised to ensure that the content remains king.

Volkswagen Beetle

As part of a campaign to promote the VW Beetle, Volkswagen invested in a music series on Channel 4 called Abbey Road Studios: In Session with Volkswagen Beetle.  

Why it works

With the Beatles being one of the most famous bands to have recorded at Abbey Road Studios and the fact that the original Beetle graced the cover of the bands ‘Abbey Road’ album, the association is understandable.

Social media activity was also included as part of the integrated campaign. This included activity on Spotify where users were asked to add tracks to a VW Beetle iconic tracks playlist for the chance to win a ticket to a session with Paul Weller. It was supported through advertising on both Facebook and Spotify. Short-form video content was also hosted online.

Any issues

Rather than just sponsoring a music show, VW became the creators of the content and ensured they amplified their association through all the channels available to them. The only issue I can see would be the choice of artists they have on the show.

People have varied tastes and a certain act might not fit the demographic of a typical VW Beetle purchaser. Having insights into which music acts are trending for the given target audience could have helped in the selection process.

Where can it go next?

If Volkswagen wanted to extend the campaign online, they could create a music site featuring interviews and videos of artists from the suggestions participants to the Spotify competition made. Adverts featuring the VW Beetle could also have a peel-back mechanism similar to that employed by Secret, which could lead to the music site. 

It’s also worth pointing out that I omitted the inclusion of the Red Bull Stratos jump because it has already been extensively covered in the media as it is considered to be one of the best examples of content marketing.

From looking at the examples above, there are clearly lessons to be learnt such as finding a common theme that appeals to your target audience in terms of their interests. And the golden rule? Make sure that when you have created great content, it is easily shareable.

Have you seen any great examples of content marketing? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Assaf Henkin

Published 8 May, 2013 by Assaf Henkin

Assaf Henkin is Executive Vice President Products and Co-Founder at Kontera and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

1 more post from this author

Comments (5)

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Nick Stamoulis

The key to great content marketing is to always be looking for a way to take it one step further. Congratulations--you have a blog post? So now what do you do with it? How can you get more value from one idea and spread it across multiple platforms?

about 3 years ago

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Ryan Rollan

Thank you for this post, it is very informative and we readers got a lot of information on where content marketing plays such a pivotal role in providing benefit-driven, informative, educational or practical content to connect with consumers. keep it up!

about 3 years ago

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Jennifer J

I think distribution is the key element of content marketing. If you aren't promoting your content in a content style format like from Outbrain, Adblade or Google then no one will see or click it.

about 3 years ago

Dominic Byrne

Dominic Byrne, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at DigiToro

Cheers Assaf.

I was looking for some great content marketing examples a few months ago when I was putting together a presentation on content marketing. (You posted too late for me.....LOL)

A really good example that I found and used was something I discovered in a best practice document by a company called Edge.

I was interested because it was an 'association for accountants' that had such a good content strategy, it got my attention because I work for a company that sells tyres, they are both equally as boring.

I like it because its comprehensive, multiplatform, authority, multimedia, relavant and engaging content.

Anyway's this is what they have achieved:

"CPA Australia has set the pace for associations in Australia by launching two new digital campaigns in 2012 that demonstrate its ongoing commitment to engaging with its diverse audience base. It has also increased its investment in video content production.

First, there was launch of its online portal, which brings to life its highly successful monthly magazine. Second, there was the launch of a video-rich program, designed to engage university students—a very clever brand-building and engagement exercise.

Representing 139,000 members across 114 countries, CPA Australia launched the ITB microsite to become a leading source of information on accounting, business and finance issues, offering insights, expert analysis, commentary and opinion. It contains articles from the magazine as well as other web-only content, additional commentary, articles, regular polls, an audio and video media gallery (with transcripts) and extra photography. While the microsite is available and promoted to all CPA Australia members, the general public can also register at no charge to access the content, much of which is a shorter version of the actual feature article, encouraging non-members to subscribe to the magazine.

The web series campaign is a clever on/offline content strategy to connect with accounting students in an attempt to build profile and acquire future members. In it, two very different storytellers—CPA Australia’s CEO Alex Malley and video diarist Adam Rosenberg— hit the streets to demystify the world of business, providing students with a rare glimpse inside the boardrooms of Australia’s most interesting and successful companies.

A presence on Twitter and Facebook is designed for students to share and upload their stories. The campaign has a unique reality Tv-meets-social media style, encouraging visitors to register and post questions to Malley, who answers them via vodcasts. Rosenberg also has his own diary postings which are promoted on- campus at universities through activities, appearances and stunts, and which include an email sign-up to help promote further engagement.

CPA Australia continues to allow non-members to subscribe to all its print and digital communications, which allows for greater reach and penetration into new markets. All members (and registered non-members) can also receive a free weekly e-newsletter that covers news, changes in legislation, technical developments, professional development and local events. The e-newsletter is customised according to the recipient’s location and subscription category.

Alongside vodcasts, CPA Australia has its own dedicated YouTube channel with 296 videos, which has been viewed 178,234 times. Another area of engagement developed by cPA Australia is The Bottom Line, which is a series of video interviews hosted by Malley, which are featured in the digital portal’s Media Gallery section. CPA Australia continues to segment its audience and tailor products accordingly. These include a magazine for finance, accounting and business students (available digitally). Public practitioners also have access to their own annually produced magazine, InPractice (again, available digitally)."

Cheers,

Dominic Byrne

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

jaim penuela gomez, tec at nn

me disculpa no sepa ingles, solo quiero hacer una pregunta, por que están difícil
encontrarle trabajo a un joven bien preparado.
japego@hotmail.com

over 1 year ago

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