Five Great Examples of Brands Using Content Marketing

Bike riding above ramp.

From email marketing and digital ads to website personalization and organic social media, there are so many tools you can keep in your digital marketing tool box. One tool that many companies forget to put in their tool box is content marketing. Content marketing is the creation and sharing of digital materials with the goal of generating engagement and interest in a product or service. According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads. Here are five great examples of brands using content marketing. 

1- Hubspot

Hubspot, home to inbound marketing, sales, and service software, is a great example of a company using content marketing. Their Marketing Blog is full of high-quality, relevant and educational information for their target market, digital marketers. From how-to guides to research reviews, digital marketers can find answers to nearly any question within the Hubspot Marketing Blog. Because of the relevant information in their blog, digital marketers trust Hubspot. They are seen as a knowledgeable source and are more likely to purchase their marketing software. 

Hubspot Home Page

 

2- Red Bull

Red Bull, a popular energy drink company, is another great example of a company using content marketing, but, unlike Hubspot, the content they are creating is not a written blog. Instead, Red Bull is creating high-quality, adrenaline-inducing video series. Whether you want to watch Kai Lenny surf huge waves, see daredevil mountain bikers fly down steep mountain sides or anything in between, Red Bull is creating adventurous content that is perfect for their energy-seeking customers.

When someone watches a Red Bull video of someone building and riding an insanely fast motorcycle or skiing untouched slopes in British Columbia, they are likely to feel the excitement and adrenaline associated with the Red Bull brand. This makes them more likely to pick up a can next time they are in the gas station or store. Red Bull’s content also has a unique viral factor. This means it is content that people like to share with their friends and pass on to other adrenaline junkies. Because of this, Red Bull’s content spreads like wildfire, creating more and more customers as it grows. 

Red Bull Website

 

3- Lululemon

Similar to Red Bull, Lululemon has an energized, athletic following who is interested in being active. Lululemon changed the content marketing game by creating a community of super fans and encouraging them to create the content. Lululemon Community Ambassadors host events and classes around the world which draw customers and interested onlookers into the brand for a very personal, high-touch experience. Their community also has a large library of stories, tools, and training plans built to inspire customers. When customers participate in live classes and view online content, they are drawn into the brand on a personal level. This increases the possibility that they purchase another pair of leggings or try out a new product in the shop. 

Lululemon website

4- Moz.com

Similar to Hubspot, Moz.com targets digital marketers as a marketing software company. Specifically focusing on SEO, Moz.com has created a blog that includes anything a digital marketer might need to know about search engine optimization and similar topics. After creating their high-quality blog content they send out daily emails to subscribers. This makes their content a constant part of their subscribers’ lives. As blog readers and email subscribers are reminded of Moz.com’s SEO expertise they are more likely to purchase their software. 

Moz Website

5- onX Maps

Similar to Lululemon, another company doing a great job building community and creating content at the same time is the GPS map app company onX Maps. They have two apps, Hunt and Offroad. Both are built for outdoorsmen and women who need ownership, property and road information along with typical map data. These aps assist them in their hunting and vehicle riding adventures. Both the hunting and riding communities have famous influencers and content creators that are heavily followed by onX’s target customers.

OnX has found a way to leverage these influencers to create content for their brand. OnX influencers create Instagram stories explaining their favorite app features to unbelievable images that show off their adventures. They create jealousy-inducing content onX customers love to see. When customers see famous influencers using the onX apps and having fun while doing it, they are more likely to purchase a subscription. 

onX Instagram

Affiliate Programs: What to Do and What to Avoid

Woman taking selfie.

Part traction channel, part revenue stream, part lead gen tool, affiliate programs can be extremely effective for everyone involved. When done correctly, that is. By definition, affiliate programs are arrangements in which a company pays a commission to affiliates for delivering conversions. Sales and leads are the primary conversions used, but some companies will pay for web traffic.

Amazon, of course, is one of the leaders in the affiliate space. Coined Amazon Associates, the e-commerce behemoth pays percentages and flat fees on sales generated from a company’s website or social media account. Say you review baby products on your blog. You can apply (and hopefully get accepted!) to the program, attach a tracking code to links to the product page you are reviewing and you’re set. In this example generating a sale of a car seat would net you 4.5% of the sale price. A bonus? Commissions don’t just apply to the product you are linking to. Any purchase from a customer you drive there counts!

Keeping with the baby theme, recommend your readers signup for the Amazon Baby Registry and you get $3 as soon as someone adds one item to the list.

 

Affiliate Marketing Revenue

Do Your Research

Just like anything on the web, some services are better than others. And when it comes to affiliate programs there are a lot of shady operations. Does it seem too good to be true? Well, it’s probably not. Look out for clumsily put together websites, a lack of terms and conditions and an unorganized fee and payout explanation. You should never pay to join. Anything that says “Get Rich Quick” should be avoided. And make sure the products you would be recommending are legit. The last thing you want is to get scammed out of commission AND your readers or followers scammed as well.

Bottom Line: Do your research, read reviews and talk to associates.

 

Staying True to Your Brand

It’s important to keep in mind that while you’re driving revenue and making a living that you are still a trusted source of information for your readers. So you certainly don’t want to be mentioning products you don’t recommend just because they have a high price tag. Further to that point, the best affiliates are transparent, noting on their site or in the article they are making a commission over referral purchases. The New York Times does a great job at that when they publish their books bestseller lists.

 

New York Times Bestseller List

 

Why Should I Engage in Affiliate Marketing as a Big Brand

Because it’s noisy out there and you can use all the help you can get! Similar to business development it’s a relationship that is a win for you and a win for the partner. You can almost consider an affiliate network your own paid street team. You just don’t have to pay them until there is money in your pocket.

In terms of who, let’s extend the street team analogy. Who better to market your product than your loyal customers? They are already educated on your brand or service and the promise of occasional discounts in addition to a commission could be a powerful motivator. You’ll, of course, need to vet them and make sure they have a platform worth your effort, but the impact of a team of influencers could be huge.

One place to start would be with your analytics. Who has purchased the most from your store or who opens the most amount of your emails? Is there someone who is always liking, sharing and commenting on social media? Isolating these super users and then vetting them prior to reaching out can save a lot of time.

Looking for some simple tips on setting up your affiliate marketing program? Check out this tutorial!

 

Want to learn more about affiliate marketing and the other 18 traction channels? Check out our YouTube channel and our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise.