There are many great examples of content marketing all around us. When planning your content marketing strategy, keep your eyes open and take notice of who is doing what well. Don’t necessarily confine your research to your industry, whether locally or overseas. Look around, and you can learn a lot about content marketing from exploring a diverse range of businesses that are doing it well, both locally and overseas.
Firebrand Talent: using expert content
Firebrand Talent is an Australian recruitment agency that I reckon is one of the best examples of a company that has built its brand using content as a key driver to attract people from its intended target market. In Firebrand’s case, its market is the digital, creative, marketing and communications space. When you look at Firebrand’s content output, you might think it’s a big company, when in fact it only has 15 employees and was established from scratch just 2.5 years ago. Much of its success can be put down to the company’s commitment to social media and content marketing.
Firebrand’s blog is a rich resource of not only career tips for potential employees, but also recruitment advice for employers and broader thought leadership material around the industry in which it operates. Firebrand has a number of people blogging for it, including its CEO, as well as guest contributors who are expert in their space. The company disseminates its blog content via multiple social networking channels, all of which have strong followings built up over time.
Australian Writers’ Centre: content for long-term results
Another good example of content marketing in action is the Australian Writers’ Centre, which has used content for many years in order to get noticed and build a strong community of fans, followers and brand supporters.
It’s no surprise a blog (called Writing Bar) is at the heart of the centre’s content efforts. Importantly, the centre doesn’t just rely on words to get its story out there — its video recording of interviews with authors and publishers and podcast series collectively add a multimedia dimension to the brand’s content output.
While the Australian Writers’ Centre is happy to promote its products on its website (writers’ courses and workshops), the bulk of its content celebrates the art of writing. It also produces insider tips and information on what publishers are looking for and how would-be authors can build their brand.
The centre’s founder Valerie Khoo says a woman who first subscribed to their newsletter some six or seven years ago had just recently enrolled in one of their courses. That’s a good indication as to why content is a long term play: Someone might not be ready to buy your product now but might still subscribe to your newsletter — when the time is right, you’ll be top of mind! A great lesson there.
Pod Legal: going above and beyond
Boutique law firm Pod Legal is very ‘un-lawyer’ like in its approach to marketing. Apart from the name and bright green logo (which immediately differentiates it from competitors), Pod Legal directors — Jamie and Karan White — are extremely forthcoming in terms of providing valuable tips and advice in the form of articles, e-books, tweets, Facebook updates and even cartoons. (Yes, cartoons are content, and in the case of Pod Legal, they call them PodToons).
The Whites generate numerous warm leads every week as a result of their content marketing and social media efforts. It works for them because they are overly helpful, generous and above all, visible.
HubSpot: solving customer pain points
Finally, we have HubSpot, the poster child of the content marketing world. HubSpot is a marketing software company with a customer base made up of small business owners and heads of marketing within larger companies. Granted, HubSpot is a large and fast growing company, but the same rules apply whether you’re big or not!
The company understands its audience very well and knows the biggest challenges they face are generating new business leads and navigating today’s ever-evolving new media landscape. Thus, much of their content is focused on addressing those needs, and it includes everything from simple blog posts through to webinars, comprehensive downloadable e-books and a regular video show called HubSpot TV.
As I said, they’re quite a large company, but what you can learn from them is in the quality of the content they provide, the variety of mediums they use to produce that content, and the openness with which they share their knowledge and information. HubSpot also has an acute understanding of customer pain points (relevant to the HubSpot business), and they solve those needs through the provision of timely, compelling content.
What about your business? Are you doing content marketing right?