What are the best content marketing examples in the Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) industries?
How do they differentiate themselves from the competition?
Spurred by this question, I decided to research on the best practices in content marketing. What I discovered truly inspired me, and I hope it’ll do the same for you.
In this article, you will learn how 16 top brands and companies in both the B2C and B2B spaces tap on content marketing to grow their business.
These case studies in content marketing hail from a wide variety of industries—from shavers, swimming pools, automotives, food, mattresses, travel, insurance and financial advisory, to industrial equipment, credit cards, information technology, tractors, trucks, and even legal firms.
Tapping on well-executed content marketing strategies across multiple content marketing platforms and types, they have used content marketing to grow their brand awareness, generate leads, and increased sales.
These 16 exemplars of content marketing will get your heart pumping and your adrenaline flowing.
Ready to blow your content marketer’s mind? Let’s go!
Airbnb—Timely Travel Tips and Tricks
Airbnb has always been one of my favourite examples when it comes to content and social media marketing. They do virtually everything right—from featuring their home owners and destinations, providing useful tips to travelers, to allaying the fears of potential guests by incorporating a reviews system for hosts.
In a partnership with Medium, the brand has created an online magazine producing content that answers specific queries by travelers. It includes quirky itinerary ideas, insider guides, travel hacks, as well as stories featuring their hosts.
Courtesy of Airbnb Mag
Cars.com—Reviews and Ratings
One of the largest car retailers in the US, Cars.com represent about 20,000 dealers listing approximately 4.5 million vehicles across its different websites and mobile applications.
As a content marketing stalwart, its main website provides a wealth of useful information for motorists and car enthusiasts alike. This includes reviews of the latest car models, good bargains, as well as car trivia that motor-heads will enjoy.
Courtesy of Cars.com
Casper Mattress—Savants of Sleep Solutions
If insomnia is keeping you awake at night, you need to head over to Casper Mattress’ blog. Here you’ll find an entire range of ‘sleep hacks’ designed to help you snooze (without the booze).
Courtesy of Casper Blog
While Casper’s blog is a treasure trove of bedtime tales, its main website also strives to provide useful information to would be customers. As an online retailer of mattresses, it is important for Casper to minimise risks and unhappy customers by providing as much information on its bouncy and fluffy sleep products as possible.
This includes a review system which allows prospective customers to read what other customers are saying about each of their mattresses—even one-star reviews!
Courtesy of Casper website
Clean My Space—High Performing Hygiene Hacks
Marie Kondo may be all the rage (at least for now).
Have a look at some of the tips offered on the company’s blog.
Courtesy of Clean My Space
And if you’re wondering what sort of videos Melissa does, click view on the video below!
Dollar Shave Club—Delighting Dudes Daily
Something unusual happened in July 2016. FMCG giant Unilever shocked the world by stumping up US$1 billion for a five-year-old startup named Dollar Shave Club.
Conceived by improv comedian Michael Dubin back in 2011, the idea for Dollar Shave Club came from a request from a family friend to help sell 250,000 razors that he suddenly acquired from Asia. Dubin’s idea was to start a service that would make it convenient to order razor blades that would be shipped to your door every month for just a dollar each.
The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s unique about Dollar Shave Club is its focus on compelling content. The proverbial David against the shaving Goliath Gilette, Dollar Shave Club regularly publishes “how to look good” hacks for men—its target audience.
Courtesy of Dollar Shave Club
Oh, and in case you haven’t already watched it, here’s the first viral video which Dollar Shave founder Dubin created way back in 2011.
Portraying himself as a protagonist in the Hero’s Journey of his own brand, it’s unabashed hilarity resonated with audiences the world over and launched the brand to Internet stardom.
Marriott Hotel—Storifying Travel
The world’s largest hotel company, Marriott is a huge purveyor of storytelling and content marketing.
According to Inc, its website Marriott Traveler attracted over 3 million unique visitors in 2018 (an increase of 78 percent over the previous year); visits to individual hotel landing pages via Traveler rose by 80 percent from 2017 to 2018 (as of 30 September); and revenue from hotel bookings tripled compared to the year before.
While answering traveler queries is a big part of Marriott’s content marketing effort, the company has also invested in creative storytelling efforts on its YouTube channel. It also splashed millions on award winning short films like Two Bellman (see below) and the French Kiss.
Beyond the above, the company’s travel documentary series StoryBooked also earned it lots of fans.
On the social media front, Marriott identifies trending social stories and engages with them around the world. They do so through their M Live social media content command center—a glass-encased space where hotel guests’ geo-tagged posts are monitored and responded to in real time.
Courtesy of Marriott News Center
Maggi Malaysia—Recipes Galore
What comes to mind when you think of Maggi? Perhaps a packet of instant noodles? Or a yummy salty seasoning?
Well, believe it or not, Maggi in Malaysia isn’t just an ingredients supplier—they’re also a supplier of the yummiest Asian recipes you can think of.
Beyond allowing users to search for the right Malaysian recipe, Maggi also features kitchen tips by celebrity chefs as well as other influencers.
Here’s an example of a recipe for Herbal Chicken Soup. Try it out and let me know how it tastes!
River Pools and Spas – You Ask, They Answer
Still one of the best content marketing examples I’ve come across, River Pools and Spas is North America’s largest swimming pool building company. Started by Marcus Sheridan (aka the Sales Lion), the company focuses on answering practically all the questions that their customers have.
Today, the company has thousands of articles, videos, templates, guides, and other learning resources on their website.
Have a look at their learning page.
Here’s one of their most popular content pieces on the cost of inground pools, made into a video hosted on YouTube. While it may not be as compelling as Dollar Shave Club or Marriott’s effort, it does address a very important question commonly on potential customer’s minds.
Sun Life—Tools to Grow Your Wealth
As a company providing financial planning services, Sun Life in Canada is up against a lot of competition. To stand out from the big boys in the trade, it focuses on providing useful tools and resources on its website as shown below.
One of the most useful tools it has is the Retirement savings calculator, which allows users to estimate how much they’d need for their golden years.
B2B Content Marketing Examples
OK, so it is almost a given that any consumer based company worth their salt should invest in creating regularly valuable content.
What about industrial, professional and business services firms? Can they wield the power of content to improve their brand awareness, generate leads and grow sales?
The answer is a definite yes! Here are some examples of companies rocking it in the B2B content marketing space.
American Express (AMEX)—Small Business Advice
Formerly known as American Express Open Forum, AMEX’s Business Trends and Insights (love their tagline “Don’t do business without it”) provides useful resources for growing and large companies in managing different aspects of their business.
The topics covered include finance, human resource, marketing, leadership, strategy, fund-raising and other aspects of management.
Courtesy of Amex Business Trends and Insights
By providing these useful resources for companies and businesses, AMEX builds brand trust and helps to position itself as the preferred credit card and financial solution for merchants.
Caterpillar—Making Machines Marvelous
Does construction companies put you to sleep? Not if you’re Caterpillar.
Have a look at the types of videos which they produce on their YouTube Channel. They’re a content marketers dream come true.
Beyond producing witty videos that demonstrate its excavators, tractors and cranes’ unique features, the company also tells stories of its customers, staff and heritage using videos.
One of its most widely lauded efforts is the first video launched for its Built for It campaign. It features the company’s massive construction equipment “playing” with 600-pound blocks of wood in a giant game of Jenga, earning it over 6 million views (to date).
Beyond producing dramatic videos of their muscular machines, Caterpillar also helps to facilitates maintenance and servicing issues for their users through the Caterpillar Forum. By introducing a leaderboard, they’ve incorporated elements of gamification in this self-help platform.
General Electric—Generating Thought Leadership
The year was 2008. The global economy was falling apart, and General Electric’s (GE) stock was free falling.
To address this, GE’s senior vice president of marketing (and later CMO) Beth Comstock proposed to her management to solve its reputation management problem through telling stories. They launched a blog GE Reports, documenting the behind-the-scenes, human and community stories behind GE’s inventions around the world.
Courtesy of GE Reports
Thanks to Comstock and her team’s efforts, GE was able to more than quadruple its stock—from US$7.06 in March 2009 to US$31.44 (in 2016).
IBM Big Data Hub—Serving Data Geeks
A major supporter of content marketing, IBM regularly provides lots of useful marketing insights and competitive intelligence information.
To better serve the need for big data and analytics scientists, it hosts a Big Data & Analytics Hub which contains articles and tips on Cloud computing, data visualisation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet Of Things (iOT), and other related technology topics.
Courtesy of IBM
Through the Big Data and Analytics Hub, IBM gives readers data-centric information optimized for sharing across a wide range of content types—blogs, videos, podcasts, reports, infographics, and animations. What I like about its content marketing efforts is that it goes beyond the company’s product offerings and covers technology that is made elsewhere.
Intel—Making Tech Relevant to Laymen
As one of the leading purveyors of microchips, drones, A.I., iOT, and other cutting-edge technologies, Intel is a highly technology-driven company. While it prides itself on being at the forefront of silicon innovation, semiconductors, and microprocessor chips, Intel makes it a point to relate its technology to our everyday lives.
Have a look at Intel’s YouTube Channel.
By focusing on stories that showcase its technology, Intel uses remarkable video content that avoids tech-speak. Doing so helps them to endear themselves to a broad audience.
Have a watch of their video featuring Intel technology in the Smithsonian American Art Museum below.
Jackson Lewis Blogs—Labour Law Whisperers
Can law firms make use of content to generate leads? Yes they can!
Focused on labour and employment law, Jackson Lewis has over 900 attorneys and 58 offices in both the US and Puerto Rico. The company’s legal practice covers areas such as government relations, labour relations, healthcare, workplace safety, sports, and other aspects of employment law.
Instead of housing all their content under a single website, the company has created numerous blogs focused on individual topics as shown below.
Courtesy of Jackson Lewis
Each of these individual blogs are Search Engine Optimized (SEO), and they are regularly updated too!
Have a look at one of the examples below focused on disability leave laws.
Volvo—Terrific (or Terrifying) Truck Tests
Finally, we have Volvo Trucks.
One of the largest truck brands in the world, the company focuses on using video content to spin the wheels on its content marketing efforts.
Their YouTube Channel is more than just a product showcase—it literally brings the thrills and spills of big trucks to the screen nearest to you with their “Live Tests”.
Here’s the most famous of video of them all, subtitled “The Most Epic of Splits” and featuring martial arts actor Jean Claude Van Damme.
Content marketing is a multi-faceted discipline, involving an equal mix of art and science.
As you can see from the case studies shown above, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Hopefully, these examples will give you much food for thought as you venture on your own content marketing journey.