Content marketing can be tough. Forget “content is king” (when is that saying going to retire?), how about “content takes time. And effort. And energy. And imagination. And resources. And more time!” You need to constantly come up with new ideas, at a steady clip, and at such a high-quality to gain conversions, sales, and all the good stuff that makes the content worth it.
But some online brands publish well-researched, valuable content like it’s nothing. They’re not the flashiest (okay, one might be), but they’re consistent, engaging, informative, and valuable to their target audience. Which is really all great content marketing has to do.
Here are four Internet brands they get content marketing right:
Clothes retailer Urban Outfitters shakes up blogging, the de facto tried-and-true method of content marketing, by greatly varying its blog topics.
There are profiles on emerging artists, followed by a subtle call-to-action at the bottom where you can buy the artist’s work from the Urban Outfitters site, and there are gift guides by influencers, with behind-the-scenes stories about the newest collections from Calvin Klein.
What we’re really keen on, though, is the music recommendations. They’re a good way to discover new tunes (the early summer driving playlist is all set now), and we would love to see more of this fun type of curation done elsewhere.
Key takeaway? Give your audience something of value.
Can you believe some people just walk around all day seeing for free?! Meanwhile, the rest of us must pay to gain better access to one of our five senses.
Thankfully, eyewear brands like Warby Parker take some of that sting out by offering affordable frames—and eye exams!—with style and flair to match. You can browse the glasses selection without leaving your home, too, thanks to a handy quiz that asks you what style you like, about your face shape, and other questions, then shows you the results.
Sure, you could just browse the online store like usual, but the quiz gets your audience more involved and customer interaction builds authenticity, trust, and a reputation that attracts traffic. A win-win. Now get those Wilkies, they go with everything.
This brand knows a little something about content marketing on the Internet. Of course, a flashy, massive corporation would know how to get content marketing right, but what you may not know is how personal its Microsoft Story Labs can get.
Sometimes big companies like this can appear monolithic and impersonal, so it’s nice to see the human side of a brand occasionally. We’re big fans of this profile on the founder of Xbox Live. Pulling the curtain back and getting to know who’s behind some of our favorite tech is definitely something we’d love to see more massive brands get into (Nintendo, you listening?). And this article about how Microsoft’s new adaptive video game controller will help disabled gamers play their favorite games is genuinely emotional and inspiring.
The moral of this story? If you have a great story that people will emotionally invest in, tell it!
The coding platform for developers the world over (recently acquired by the big brand above) is a bit light on the content marketing, at least at first glance. There’s a blog link at the bottom of the main page and not a whole lot else that pops out beyond the basic features rundown.
But head to the Events page, and that’s where you’ll see branded events such as GitHub Constellation, Satellite, and Universe, which offer talks, training sessions and coding workshops over a couple days. GitHub Universe stands out the most for its colorful, stylish presentation. The logo alone!
Can’t make those events? Don’t worry, you can watch GitHub Universe live from home this fall, or catch up on last year’s coding events. Live video, timed events, and live in-person events are a great, modern way to build a sense of community, a sense of urgency (wouldn’t want to miss out, right?) and to get your audience involved and talking.
Do these Internet brand content marketing examples inspire you? They’re educational, shareable, and even a little emotional, so they ought to! If you want more content marketing motivation, give us at S&G a ring and we’ll see what we can do.