Content marketing is a way for brands to tell their story in an engaging way that their audience can appreciate (without feeling like they're being sold to). This way customers get great, thoughtful, high-quality information to formulate an opinion, and brands are the thought leaders. It’s a win-win!
We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite examples, what we loved about them and how you can copy them to create engaging content of your own. Check them out below and let us know which is your favorite and how you’re going to use content marketing for your brand.
How it worked:
- To capitalize on momentum from an unpaid "60 Minutes" feature, Chobani’s founder and company account shared it on their social outlets.
- They also had pieces ready to promote about their refugee employees and paid paternal leave to the journalists who followed up with them after the "60 Minutes" feature aired.
- Chobani worked with Time and Trilllist on "editorial collaborations" about the company and its people.
- The company added content to its website, such as employees talking about what food means to them.
"A beautiful earned story is as important as a TV ad is, as important as a community event. They’re all storytelling, and we have a great story to tell, and they’re all authentic in their own way.” -Chief Marketing and Brand Officer Peter McGuinness
- Have content ready after a media event to capitalize on increased awareness.
How it worked:
- Chipotle Mexican Grill is promoting an unbranded series meant to slyly teach kids about making good food choices. The series, “RAD Lands,” is aimed at 7- to 10-year old children. It launched earlier this year on iTunes and will be available to schools through a multi-year partnership with Discovery Education.
- Discovery Education, meanwhile, is working on a curriculum for “RAD Lands in School,” including lesson plans meant to teach students about the environment, health, science and eating fresh food.
- This fall, the program debuted what Chipotle calls a virtual field trip made available to the millions of educators that receive Discovery Education materials.
- Chipotle also said it would donate $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with schools on providing nutritious meals to students.
- In February, it expanded a reading rewards program that gives youngsters free kid’s meals when they reach reading goals.
- Chipotle has done some work with schools before, such as hosting teacher appreciation events.
“We saw that there was a dearth of really good content out there focused on kids and young eaters” to help educate them on food and where it comes from, said Mark Shambura, Chipotle’s director of marketing. “It’s a little bit of an entertainment Trojan horse to kind of get them to engage in the content across the 22 minutes.”
- If you see an area where education is lacking, fill that void! Partner with a chef or teacher to get good content out there and consumed.
- Put your money where your mouth is: Chipotle’s generous donation to Chef Ann follows their mission. Make a donation to a group with a similar mission after creating your content.
Whole Foods Market
How it worked:
- Whole Foods uses its blog, The Whole Story, to provide tips on how to eat healthy without shamelessly promoting its products.
- They also provide videos, instructions for recipes, pictures, ideas, health tips, how to get started and pretty much anything you can think of to help the audience make life easier, faster and less complicated.
- Healthy Eating Menu shares how to cook healthy, and most of it applies to both new users and veterans, who can utilize the content as a resource or fact-checker.
- The blog also targets parents by making content specifically for parents. Examples of such posts include “After School Snacks” and “Back to School Easy Breakfast,” along with “Kid-Friendly” and “Back to School” categories, among others.
- They also host giveaways and contests (sometimes through partnerships), which get a lot of engagement — anywhere from 800 to 8,400 comments appear on posts like these.
- Get specific! What are some targeted areas that you can provide expert information on? Set that topic up on your blog or website to engage with your audience.
- Have a contest. Get people excited with a giveaway or other competition. They’ll be much more eager to engage.
How it worked:
- The UK Supermarket launched a magazine 25 years ago.
- Sainsbury’s retired tagline, launched in partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, was, “Try something new today.” (The campaign drove additional spend by encouraging shoppers to experiment by making small tweaks to well-known dishes.)
- Sainsbury’s unveiled “Food Dancing,” which came from Wieden+Kennedy London. The campaign focuses on the joy of cooking and aims to “inject fresh energy into people’s kitchens” by highlighting “that personal moment when you’re in the rhythm of cooking and dancing along to your favorite tune with no inhibitions.”
- Sainsbury’s has also developed plenty of digital content to educate and inspire. There are scrapbooks full of healthy comfort foods and soundtracks for time spent in the kitchen.
Sean King, CEO of the content marketing agency Seven, which produces Sainsbury’s award-winning magazine, believes that integrating content marketing into larger campaigns will affect the way brands think about tying their creativity to business objectives. “That means different challenges, different KPIs. As an agency, we’re becoming much more tuned into product sales than just content creation,” he said.
- Need to create content? Look to an agency or media brand that can help you create co-branded content and help you promote it to the right audience.
- Work with celebrities or a spokesperson to build hype around your content and message.
- Make it fun! Crowdsource a video and make a montage of people’s interpretation of your theme.
New Hope Network
How it worked:
- Brands and suppliers united to produce content focused on educating trade and consumers about the world of dietary supplements—from ingredients to science—representing a meeting of the minds of key industry figures to build trust in products.
- Working with New Hope Network, the group developed video content, eGuides, infographics, webinars and in-person education.
- A profile account was created for each sponsor which promoted their individual missions and purpose within the campaign.
Country Life, a sponsor of the Inside the Bottle program, says: “We are a founding member of Inside the Bottle because, by bringing together our collective voices, we hope that our community begins to understand the magnitude of the positive changes we as branded companies, suppliers and retailers have made.”
- Members of a product category saw that there was a gap between public and industry knowledge in the supplement world, so they came together to produce content that would educate consumers on the value and health benefits of supplements. Find a way to work with your competitors to advance your industry and everyone wins!