Humans are pretty basic creatures; from an early age we learn by mimicking. And this doesn’t change too much even when we become adults: typically we first absorb high level principles—such as say, the importance of having a documented content marketing strategy. But if we are then introduced to concrete content marketing ideas, it makes things much easier to grasp conceptually, and to mimic (and build upon) what we’ve seen, enabling us to wield our knowledge with dexterity. Whether you’re at a small, medium, or enterprise level organization, content marketing is no exception to this rule, so Curata has assembled a selection of marketing experts to tell us what their favorite content marketing ideas are.
Covering a wide span of industries—both B2B and B2C, there are websites, individual blog posts, posters, magazines, photo essays, a tool to find anyone’s corporate email address, a book, holiday guides, a tool to measure the strength of your brand, and an eBook. Read on to find out what these experts consider to be excellent content marketing ideas.
DOUG KESSLER Creative Director, Co-Founder, Velocity Partners @dougkessler One of my favorite B2B content marketing examples is CMO.com by Adobe. It’s a great example of serving your audience first and worrying about turning it into revenue later. By doing that, they’ve created a valuable media property that would take millions to buy. Tim Moran, the editor-in-chief, has done an amazing job with the site (I interviewed him in a post called How Branded Content Is Done)—it just keeps getting better.
DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT Marketing & Sales Strategist, Keynote Speaker, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Newsjacking@dmscott I love how Quark Expeditions uses content: they understand how important it is in today’s environment to educate and inform, instead of interrupting and selling. Here’s a video of mine that talks more about it.
JOE PULIZZI Founder & CEO, Content Marketing Institute, Author of Content Inc., Speaker & Entrepreneur @JoePulizzi John Deere’s The Furrow magazine. Created in 1895 to help farmers be more productive, The Furrow is the largest media property in the agricultural industry, with 1.5 million subscribers in 40 countries and 14 different languages.
RAND FISHKIN Founder and former CEO of Moz, Author, and Co-Founder of Inbound.org @randfish
10X Content refers to content that is ten times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.Some combination of the following criteria is necessary to qualify as 10X: provide a uniquely positive user experience; deliver content that is some substantive combination of high-quality, trustworthy, useful, interesting, and remarkable; be considerably different in scope and detail from other works on similar topics; load quickly and be usable on any device or browser; create an emotional response of awe, surprise, joy, anticipation, and/or admiration; achieve an impressive quantity of amplification; solve a problem or answer a question by providing comprehensive, accurate, exceptional information or resources.
Here’s my favorite most recent content marketing examples that qualify as 10X:
MICHAEL BRENNER CEO, Marketing Insider Group, Author of The Content Formula@BrennerMichael Here is one of my favorite recent content marketing examples. In full disclosure I’m on the board but wasn’t paid for the consulting I did:
Why I love it:
This is a non-profit with very little marketing budget and almost no resources. But by tapping into the power of the impact they are having on the world, and the emotional stories of their target audience, they achieved massive content marketing success, including a 10X increase in new “customers” with no investment of budget and a tiny portion of their staff’s time.
Hands down, my favorite piece of quality content is The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. Kudos to LinkedIn’s Jason Miller (with help from Lee Odden and his Top Rank team).Miller believes as a marketer you should create big rock content around the conversation you want to own. He built The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide brand (within a brand) beyond its original LinkedIn focus. Other guide iterations concentrate on other marketing conversations including thought leadership and content marketing.
Miller spins McDonald’s “value meal” into the “quality content full meal.” The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide delivers on its promise. It’s easy-to-read, consistently branded, and taps into high profile influencers. He carves each piece of big rock content into serving after serving of high value, contextually relevant information. (Hat tip: Rebecca Lieb for the Thanksgiving content analogy.)
Why The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide To LinkedIn is quality content:
Continues to be relevant. First created in 2014, this big rock content was updated in 2015 and 2016. Why create new content when you can update and improve existing content? (Ask your team this question. This is why I believe content marketing planning starts with an audit!)
Is the cornerstone for additional portions of content. The guide provides multiple servings of useful content (100+ pieces according to Miller). Further, Miller expanded the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guides to related marketing topics. Talk about long term planning! (Key point: This isn’t set your content strategy and leave it alone.)
Qualifies prospects. The guide not only owns the LinkedIn conversation, but also gets potential prospects into the sales pipeline. The main piece of big rock content is gated. Even better, the same landing page and URL remain constant. Prospects are further pushed down the funnel with the download.
BARRY FELDMAN Owner, Feldman Creative, Content Marketing Consultant, Speaker, Author @FeldmanCreative The Road to Recognition is a soon-to-be released book by myself and Seth Price. It’s an exciting example of so many things you can accomplish with content marketing.
You see, it began as an infographic that went viral and evolved into guest posts, SlideShares, interviews, and speaking opportunities. Its popularity suggested we’re onto something big. Its topic—personal branding—begged for more, something epic. And that something is the book.
The book is mega-collaborative affair too, featuring many guests. As the story of the book unfolds you’re going to see every conceivable kind of social media and content come from it. So this is the story of market research, repurposing, collaboration, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and much more all rolled into one.
ARNIE KUENN CEO at Vertical Measures, International Speaker, Author of Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform Your Business@ArnieK I really like the direction Home Depot is going with their content (disclosure: The Home Depot is an SEO client of ours). The Home Depot was fortunate enough to get a large budget to build out their content over the last few years, and I am happy to see they have not wasted it away. They continue to improve all of their product pages, but I especially like their various resource sections on the site. For example, the holiday season is upon us and they have produced some very helpful content like their Holiday Guides. Within their holiday guides they have many specific guides, like how to choose the best artificial Christmas tree for your home. I like solid, practical content, and this fits the bill.
SHERRY LAMOREAUX Senior Editor, Act-On Software @SherryLamoreaux One of my favorite content marketing examples is the famous oyster ad that reputedly was David Ogilvy’s first after launching his own little agency. You know the one… the 1950 Guinness Guide to Oysters. Reading it, I am informed and amused, and I am pleased that Guinness thinks enough of me (and my kind) to write such an ad so well. Well, Guinness, perhaps I’ll try one of your stouts the next time I’m in an oyster bar. I want to like you back. And in retrospect, I see how many “rules” Ogilvy broke. He had to be going on intuition. What a brilliant guy.
I love Brian Clark’s commentary on the oyster ad too (published on Say Daily on February 27, 2014). I especially like his authenticity discussion, because it touches on continuity: Online conversion optimization studies repeatedly show that people expect continuity in the information trails they travel. And for some reason, continuity fascinates me.
ROBIN GOOD Keynote Speaker, Startup Adviser, Publisher – MasterNewMedia @RobinGood One great example of content marketing is OnBrandGrader.com. Why? This 100% free tool scores the effectiveness of any website across Consistency, Message, Usability, and Accessibility, while providing a valuable report with specific advice and tips. It is a content marketing tool devised by Bynder, a company specializing in branding and corporate identity.
The art of curating a company’s best advice and wisdom into an automated tool which provides immediate insight and advice to potential customers is, in my opinion, the best way to get lots of visibility, while increasing authority and credibility in any market niche.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be an article at all costs. Content can be repurposed in a million different ways. Thus, directories, catalogs, and instant feedback tools are some of the most effective ways to provide high value and immediate usefulness while being original and providing something altogether unique.
Whether you’re a seasoned content marketing professional or only new to the field, we hope this collection of content marketing ideas helps you improve your content! If you’re interested in furthering your content marketing career, download Curata and LinkedIn’s new joint eBook: The Ultimate Guide to a Content Marketing Career. Packed full of original research, data, and analysis, it outlines the state of the content marketing sector today, the qualifications and capabilities required by the sector, and best practices for great content marketing.
Mitchell Hall is Curata’s Content Marketing Director. Online since 1991, he has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 1997, and editing and managing websites since 2006. Mitchell has a BA in Political Science, Philosophy, and English. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. Follow Mitchell on Twitter for links to unique and insightful stories: @mitchellhall
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Data sourced from Curata CMP, our content marketing platform. Find out how to use Curata’s powerful analytics and calendar functionality to upgrade your marketing here.
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