8 inspiring pieces of content marketing from 2016
What a year 2016 has been.
With 82% of marketers now using content marketing it has clearly become an integral part of many organisations’ marketing programmes.
We thought we’d take a look back on the year and pull together some of the best examples of content marketing in action. Each brand we’ve chosen has done at least one aspect exceptionally well, whether that be their blog, emails and newsletters, or video content.
Check them out and see if you can take some inspiration for your own content strategy as we move into 2017.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand have had a successful year on social media. The videos they made were extremely popular while staying on-brand with fun and humorous content.
When the Carpool Karaoke clips by James Cordon became well known and heavily shared on the internet, Air New Zealand jumped on the trend and made their own video. They then followed it up with an intentionally bad photoshopped image to continue the theme.
More recently the airline had another win with their Christmas song featuring breakout Kiwi actor Julian Dennison and Irish musician Ronan Keating. The video pokes a bit of fun at the ‘Winter Wonderland’ song by giving the lyrics a local twist. After only 24 hours the video had attracted 3.6 million hits across their social platforms. Air New Zealand clearly understands its audience and knows how to connect with them!
This New Zealand department store has a great blog that covers a range of topics, from beauty and fashion to lifestyle and family.
Called ‘The Edit’, Farmers’ blog produces a new post every few days. Each one targets particular products available in store, so that readers can either go direct to the online store or pop in to see the item themselves. It’s a clever way of encouraging interest around products without being too ‘salesy’.
Some of the posts directly relate to items from Farmers, whereas others suggest products that fall within the same category. This example is a blog post that discusses ‘The Importance of Choosing the Right Pillow’. After providing some information about the topic, Farmers includes a list of the pillows they have available with photos and links to the product in their online store.
For an ecommerce store, it’s a great way to encourage a conversion right at the moment when a consumer is showing interest.
A reasonably new brand, Vinomofo has a very impressive landing page for new visitors. This is the first thing you see when you visit the homepage.
If you choose to resist temptations and scroll down instead of clicking, you’ll find a mix of reviews, product highlights, a live reel of customers’ purchases and dynamic images to convince you to join up.
As one single scrolling experience it’s very effective at ordering the content so you are more and more engaged. At every point you are enticed into becoming a member. At one stage the screen displays the question “Come on, what’s it going to take to convince you, an inspirational photo?” which is shortly followed by this image.
These images and phrases all begin to make sense once you go back and watch the video (or sign up!). Considering visitors are presented with very little information about the actual product, it’s very engaging and rather convincing!
This Australian pharmacy brand is an example of another great company blog that’s full of helpful information.
Priceline’s Health Hub is divided up into a number of sections for readers, including pharmacy services, recipes and nutrition and health A-Z. Some of the articles are specific to Priceline whereas others contain tips and guides around more generic topics such as exercise and nutrition. Unlike Farmers’ blog, these posts don’t necessarily relate to their products, they just provide helpful information.
As well as the Health Hub, the site also has a ‘Beauty School’ section with how-to posts and videos for make-up tutorials or skincare routines. These articles do contain links to products to direct traffic to the online store and drive conversions.
Priceline has cleverly targeted content to all demographics in its audience, which is no easy feat given their wide range of products. By providing health advice for families and the older generation while still keeping younger women interested with make-up tutorials, they have covered all angles.
Anyone subscribed to Uber’s emails will know how effective they are at getting your attention.
Clear, concise, and in line with their branding, Uber’s emails are pretty clickable. Usually the main message within their emails is a new offer or discount. Their email content is also personalised for your location, so that the offers are unique to you. For example, if there is a popular concert or sporting event in your city you might receive an email with a free ride offer.
Uber also promotes events that are completely unique to their brand, such as Ubericecream, UberPuppies or UberPitch. If you haven’t experienced one of these already, it usually involves the delivery of a rather unusual item for one day only. For UberPuppies, Uber drivers will deliver puppies to your home or office so you can enjoy fluffy goodness for 15 glorious minutes (for a fee). The aim is to encourage people to get new pets from shelters, and all puppies on the day are up for adoption.
A series of emails are sent out in the lead up to the event, letting customers know what they are and when they’re going to happen. Due to the rare nature of these offers and the limited time period, demand is usually off the charts.
If I wasn’t already an Uber customer, I would be hard pressed not to sign up after this!
Winner of the Masters of Marketing 2016 content marketing award, Hostelworld’s video hosted by 50 Cent is seriously impressive.
Video content was all the rage for 2016, and looks set to be just as popular in 2017 as well. This video targets the brand’s desired audience by using an influencer easily recognised by millennials. The whole clip is a take on MTV’s popular show ‘Cribs’, which takes a look inside the glamorous and outlandish homes of celebrities.
The clip is a great example of how you can use content to encourage your audience to perceive your product or service in a particular light. Hostelworld also supported the video with a range of blogs and landing pages that continued the theme, with phrases like ‘damn fresh dorm rooms’ and ‘book the bling’.
To promote the introduction of piloted driving in their vehicles, Audi produced a clever and witty campaign with a T-rex as the main star.
T-rex’s have been oddly popular this year, with a lot of funny content about how short their arms are and poking fun at them doing everyday tasks. A quick Google search reveals just how many memes and clips have been created this year alone.
Audi decided to jump on this trend and use the same humour to promote piloted driving.
It’s a great example of incorporating a trending topic into your content to get more engagement with your audience. Doesn’t hurt to include a bit of humour as well!
Netflix and House of Cards
We can’t compile a list of the best content marketing examples without giving a nod to Netflix’s House of Cards (even though technically it was released in December 2015).
To capitalise on the social media popularity of the 2016 US elections, a stand alone site was created to promote a fake campaign for fictional character Frank Underwood to become President. Everything about the site was made to look like a real presidential campaign, with a detailed landing page, contact forms, videos, and even a media kit.
It was an incredible content marketing effort to promote the latest season of the show, and received a huge amount of attention. You can check out the hashtag #FU2016 just to see how much traction the campaign received.