Content marketing has become one of the most effective strategies for brands to publicize themselves. More than 75 percent of marketers see content marketing as a priority, with 77 percent of B2C marketers and 76 percent of B2B marketers planning to increase their content marketing strategy in 2016, according to a Contently survey.
Benefits like higher response and engagement rates, more timely and relevant interactions, and better word-of-mouth publicity are a few of the draws attracting marketers to content marketing. Here are three content marketing campaigns that paid off for some of today’s top brands, illustrating some effective strategies other brands can emulate.
Huffington Post Cooking Videos
The Huffington Post has found success by posting cooking videos on everything from poaching eggs and preparing pizza-themed recipes to making Chinese dumplings. When sharing these videos on Facebook, the clips are presented in a short format, making it easy to attract and maintain viewers’ attention. For example, a 1-minute and 18-second Facebook video on refugees cooking their native cuisine attracted more than 757,000 views.
But be sure to visit YouTube if you want to check out some longer videos that have also attracted a number of views. For instance, a 9-minute, 40-second video on how to cook the perfect steak by Chef Theo Randall has, to date, attracted more than 9,500 views and shows viewers, whether they’re experts in the kitchen or not, how to make a steak, along with portabella mushroom and homemade salsa verde. Other Huff Post Facebook posts link from pictures of food to how-to articles on the publisher’s website. By linking short, social media content to longer videos and articles, The Huffington Post is able to channel initial viewer interest from Facebook into deeper social engagement on the company’s site and YouTube channel.
Farmers Insurance Inner Circle
Blogging, another popular content marketing strategy, has been deployed successfully by Farmers Insurance through its Inner Circle web portal, which provides consumers with informative content on six main topics:
- Auto smarts
- Home tools
- Life preparedness
- Insurance gaps
- Exclusive Farmers Insurance perks
- Unbelievable but true insurance claims
The brief, engaging and easily-navigable content serves Farmers Insurance’s sales strategy by informing consumers on important insurance-related topics that may pique the interest of potential buyers, all the while guiding them along the company’s step-by-step sales funnel. To promote its content, Farmer’s Insurance syndicates its blogs to the company’s Facebook page, which also links to its Instagram feed and Pinterest board.
Farmers Insurance also posts original video content to its YouTube channel. By utilizing multiple social channels, Farmers Insurance attracts consumers interested in insurance policies using native content that engages and informs without needing to make a hard sell. Consumers to whom the content appeals will then naturally be drawn into a sales conversation.
Michelin Restaurant Ratings
For over a century, French tire maker Michelin has been publishing travel guides to assist drivers on road trips, featuring information on hotels, gas stations and mechanics. The Michelin brothers correctly foresaw this type of information would promote demand for cars by promoting French tourism. Eventually, a ratings system for restaurants emerged, where one star represents an esteemed restaurant, two stars means excellent cooking and three stands for exceptional cuisine.
Since 2005, Michelin’s venerable and highly selective restaurant guide has been reviewing some of the top eateries throughout the United States. Indeed, making the coveted Michelin guide can be difficult, as only 67 restaurants throughout the Big Apple received a Michelin star in 2014. Foodies traveling the world can now access Michelin’s guide on the company’s website and easily identify the best restaurants for their global excursion. This offering serves to drive traffic to Michelin’s website, while positioning the company as a premium brand representing quality taste.
Byline: Roy Rasmussen, co-author of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small-business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing and career planning.
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Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.