I’m a content marketer. I’ve been working as a content marketer, in one capacity or another, for eight years. When coworkers, friends, or family ask me, “What do you do? Like, actually do?” I say that I create content—I’m a content writer—and then I leverage that content in marketing campaigns.
Okay, sure, that makes sense.
But content marketing is constantly evolving. That makes our jobs difficult to describe, exciting to execute, and satisfying to see in action.
Content marketers have to be ninjas in their field, combatting stale content types, being vigilant about their audience, and sneaking in ways to repurpose content. And whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to refresh your existing strategy, one of the best ways to learn is by example.
So we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite content marketing examples you can model after to keep your audience interested. We’ll cover:
While I just talked some smack on the writing and blogging side of content marketing, it’s *my* favorite aspect of the job. And I have a few favorite creative ways to consume written content. So let’s talk about some awesome content marketing that goes beyond just blog posts.
If you haven’t heard of Walt Hickey’s Numlock News, I highly recommend subscribing to this email newsletter. Like many email newsletters, it focuses on news of the day, but through the lens of numbers.
I’m a big fan of Walt Hickey’s writing (or his copywriter). The team makes pretty mundane or confusing statistics intriguing and explains it in plain English for those of us who aren’t mathematicians.
This is the type of news I can get behind: by the numbers, short and sweet, and charming to boot.
Why it works
Numlock News offers a simple daily newsletter and pretty much nothing else. It’s on-time, on-brand, and personable. But the best part: it’s high quality.
To apply this to your own content marketing strategy, pay attention to the stories most people think are too complicated or boring to understand. As marketers, our job is to make the mundane seem magical. Walt Hickey certainly achieves this on a daily basis.
I recommend Grammarly to everyone I work with. Not only do they offer a great product, but Grammarly impressively manages to gamify the writing process. Each week, Grammarly sends users emails that recap their week of writing. From performance to improvements, they show you how you stack up against other users.
This keeps me on track, using Grammarly, and determined to improve my productivity.
Why it works
Again, data is powerful. Grammarly collects plenty of proprietary data on your writing habits that you would otherwise have no way of knowing. Leverage the unique information you collect through your offering and tell your audience something they might not know!
If you haven’t checked out the CDC’s plan for the zombie apocalypse, the time is nigh. Simply navigate to their zombie preparedness blog to understand what you’ll need when the big event happens. The CDC is out here saving lives. Need I say more?
Why it works
This started as a spoof marketing campaign that went viral. While the CDC has been top-of-mind for us recently, we generally view the organization as humorless scientists telling us to wash our hands.
The zombie campaign made the CDC more relatable by showing a different side of the center. And they even followed content writing best practices in their blog posts! Don’t be afraid to step into the weird zone. You might just catch a renewed interest from your audience.
If you’re a content marketer who hasn’t yet written a script for a podcast or conference…lucky you. It’s not my favorite activity, but when it’s done well, audio content marketing can be impactful.
I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to many podcasts these days. But my friends cannot stop talking about BetterHelp. Why? They advertise all over podcasts. And they should be, the company spent over $4MM on podcast advertising in January alone.
While this may be a nod to podcasters who can adlib their sponsors, it’s also a hat-tip to BetterHelp for choosing the right podcasts. Finding a perfect match between personality and offering is tricky! But we love to hear genuine recommendations from advertisers we trust.
If you’re looking to hear an open conversation about BetterHelp (and other online therapy offerings), Funny Angles covered it in January.
If you’d rather just read their standard pitch, well here it is—but be warned: it is auto transcribed and therefore slightly mind-bending.
Why it works
BetterHelp leans into mid-roll ads for podcasts, which gives speakers a moment to pause and talk about how different kinds of therapy. Podcasters are already baring their souls to their audiences (or at least give the impression that they are) so this transition can be humorous, profound, emotional, or what have you.
By letting your fans and sponsors take the reins and represent your product, it can lead to the best and most honest reviews you’ll have. And I think BetterHelp’s podcast advertising bet paid off during this pandemic when we’re all looking for little COVID-safe escapes.
I won’t lie. Any type of visual content marketing is the most challenging project for me. I’m not a visual learner (I watch TV with subtitles so I can read it), so I struggle to describe how I’d want content designed. Luckily, I work with some pretty awesome graphic designers who somehow manage to turn my brain vomit into something visually stunning.
Here are some of my favorite examples of great visual content marketing!
Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com may not be your traditional content marketing gig since it’s leans more into journalism, but I have to call out their political coverage. As a numbers-based publication–Walt Hickey is an alum–they have found engaging and interactive ways to showcase data.
During and leading up to election years, Nate Silver analyzes a multitude of polls and compiles the data into consumable graphs and written commentary.
Why it works
FiveThirtyEight’s graphics and data visualization are completely interactive. You can mouse over each to understand the numbers from every perspective, but still not get overwhelmed. Every content marketer aims for this level of simplification of abstract ideas.
Recreate the magic by looking at any information you’re presenting from different angles. For example, consider the people who are looking at your competitors. What’s their point of view? How can you relate and get your point across?
Very recently, I realized that not every single person in the world knows Tasty. Shocked doesn’t begin to describe it.
I am Tasty’s biggest fan. A relatable and step-by-step cooking channel, I consume their content voraciously. To be clear, I’m also a big fan of the Food Network and Tasty gave me a more millennial-focused way to watch people cook.
Why it works
Let’s start by mentioning that Tasty has over 20M subscribers on YouTube. That’s 20 million people addicted to watching dumplings get wrapped, spaghetti get twirled, and cinnamon buns get puffed. Who wouldn’t love that?
The best part about Tasty videos is they are meant to inform your own cooking. Think of it as an aesthetically-pleasing tutorial. Teach your audience something new, that only you know how to do, on your own product, and you’ll have power-users in no time.
The most wonderful time of the year is when Spotfiy drops your annual Wrapped hits, stats, and playlist. Spotify creates a website annually to summarize the artists, songs, playlists, and podcasts you’ve been listening to all year. And every year, it goes viral on social media.
Why it works
Everyone thinks they have great music taste. This gives you a chance to show off to your friends how much you’ve listened, who you’re listening to, and how you’re a tastemaker. The entire website is customized for each Spotify user, complete with links to download and share.
Like Grammarly, show your users what they’ve accomplished over time through proprietary insights. By emphasizing their uniqueness, you also lean into the uniqueness of your product.
Do you have any shining examples of great content marketing? We want to see them! We’re always looking for inspiration and creativity.
Mary is a content writer/strategist at Starry, Inc. and an enthusiast of all things Internet. When she’s not writing words for work, you can find her eating extra-cheesy pizza while planning her next trip.
See other posts by Mary Lister
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