Ever feel like you’re stuck, just waiting for something to happen, something to give you the momentum you need to find success in your marketing career? Well, instead of waiting for inspiration or motivation to come to you, one of the easiest ways to find it is to look at past examples to get that push you’re looking for to spark an idea, thought, or feeling. Here are content marketing success stories worth reading right now from other brands that we think are important.
1. Buzzfeed’s Tasty Videos
If you haven’t seen Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, you are missing out on some amazing recipes. But also some great examples of a brand that is flawlessly executing content marketing.
As a refresher in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, content marketing refers to marketing a brand does that releases content that is not directly connected to the brand name or what the brand stands for. In this case, Buzzfeed launched these 60-second videos of food being made on their “Tasty” channel. Obviously, this has nothing to do with Buzzfeed as a news service. But it made a huge impact on the success of its brand.
First of all, they launched these videos in July of 2015. This launched before the short video trends currently on TikTok and Instagram. By taking a risk and doing something different from its original style, Buzzfeed stood out among its competitors. Ultimately, they were doing something no one else had done before. And now, they get to take the credit for starting a trend that is still being replicated today. Short video formats, especially cooking tutorials like the ones they did, are extremely popular.
2. Jake from State Farm
Launched in 2011, this iconic character has been a familiar face in people’s homes and screens. The original advertisement featured a man helping another man with an insurance claim. This happened over the phone, in the middle of the night with a wife waking up and believing her husband was cheating. She finds out that he is simply talking to “Jake from State Farm.” This advertisement was and still is successful for many reasons.
First of all, Jake is a familiar, relatable character. He is very mundane and dull, but in an exaggerated way that makes him funny and likable. Additionally, every Jake from State Farm advertisement made after the original has always featured a similar style and story arc as the original one. Jake is always in a strange setting where he does not belong, yet is there waiting, ready to help. Consumers and humans like familiarity. We want creativity, but we crave familiarity. Therefore, State Farm’s blend of both elements makes this one of the best content marketing advertisement campaigns.
3. Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone” Campaign
Another story worth reading right now includes Apple. This campaign features compilations of videos and pictures taken by real customers on real iPhone and Apple products. It was a very relaxed, authentic campaign with very little editing. This minimal-editing approach worked well for Apple for two reasons. First, it fits well with their brand. Apple has always stuck with a simplistic and minimalistic style, so why should their commercials be any different? They managed to capture and include incredible visuals of people and places in real life against a simple white background without filters or graphics or anything extra. This allowed for a seamless blend of their brand with their campaign.
Second, they saw what the people wanted and what the trends were, and they delivered just that. In recent years, authentic videos and photos from peoples’ real lives have become more popular. People are tired of curated photos of models and celebrities. Apple was smart enough to realize this and avoid it altogether.
4. Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign
This campaign was a groundbreaking approach to one of the most criticized aspects of the beauty industry: the effect on female self-esteem. Some examples of the videos produced out of this campaign featured women seeing drawings of them based on photos versus drawings based on their own descriptions to witness the gap and dysmorphia we often have in regards to how we look. Another video showed just how much the photos we see of women are affected by makeup, surgery, and PhotoShop, with a quote at the end saying “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.”
To say the least, this campaign was powerful because of its message and how badly people, especially women, needed to hear it. Dove used their content marketing to help other people and show their values in a way that was sensitive, emotional, and novel.
5. Airbnb Bélo Commercial
The Bélo is one of the best pieces of content to come out of Airbnb’s marketing and graphic design team by far. The Bélo is a symbol created by Airbnb that is designed to symbolize belonging. Their campaign was centered around their “why.” AKA, why they do what they do in terms of creating a sense of belonging for all people in every place.
This campaign was a good example of the power of strong design. Even if you were not partial to the actual messaging of the ad, no one who has seen this campaign can deny the power of its design. Additionally, how eye-catching the movement and detail of graphics it is.
These five stories worth reading right now are just a few pieces of what a brand can accomplish if it has strong content marketing. Hopefully, after reading snippets of what these marketing teams produce, you spark your creativity and find pieces of inspiration in their work.