Like any other skill, the art of content marketing can be studied and improved with training and education. One of the most effective ways to advance a skill is by learning from others. In school, students learn by listening to their teacher; in sports, athletes learn by watching film of other athletes. Content marketing is no different. Those that have achieved success have studied their audience, gained a deep understanding of their needs and in turn developed strategies for how to reach them through engaging content. There are thousands of companies in a number of industries actively engaging in content marketing. Let’s take a look at some superstars doing content marketing right.
JetBlue, one of the largest major U.S. airlines, effectively utilizes images and videos to promote its flights and generate new customers. One look at the airline’s Instagram page will reveal a gallery of breathtaking photos showcasing the many luxurious destinations available to customers. From New York to Salt Lake City to Orlando, premier vacation spots are highlighted frequently by JetBlue on social posts that would make anyone want to immediately hop on a plane.
The airline is also a heavy user of YouTube, the largest video-sharing platform in the world. Having established comedy as part of its brand voice, JetBlue’s YouTube page features recurring videos of the “Alright Brothers,” a play on the Wright brothers who are credited with inventing, building and flying the world’s first airplane. More recently, there has also been a campaign promoting the JetBlue Plus Card with videos of a man trying to escape the friend zone with his female travel companion. Publishing funny videos as part of its brand allows JetBlue to develop recognition with customers that will inevitably come into play when someone is looking to book a flight.
An instantly recognizable brand to many people, TED Conferences is an American media organization that frequently publishes videos and podcasts featuring leaders from a variety of different industries discussing what it believes to be “ideas worth spreading.” These full-length TED Talks are all posted on the company’s YouTube page, which currently boasts 15.9 million subscribers. They are also trimmed into shorter clips, creating even more content that can then be reused time and time again on various other channels.
These wildly popular TED Talks have allowed the organization to position themselves as a thought leader in what seems like every conceivable subject. As the podcast market has boomed in recent years, TED has also made use of this channel with its TED Talks Daily podcast, featuring short conversations on a wide range of topics that can easily be listened to on a daily commute to work or school. TED’s publishing frequency is its biggest strength, as it’s nearly impossible to go a day without a new conversation on one of its channels.
As a cosmetics retailer, Lush knows imagery is its most effective form of content marketing to showcase the company’s organically made products. Lush’s Instagram page is flooded with vibrant, colorful posts that are eye-catching and difficult to ignore. These bold images allow Lush to stand out in the crowded field of beauty products. Photos aren’t only coming from the company itself. Lush also frequently takes user-generated content from different customers using various cleansers, moisturizers, masks and other products, and reposts to encourage engagement, while building a relationship with their target audience.
Despite the potential risk of alienating a percentage of the population that disagrees, Lush isn’t afraid to use its platform to speak on social issues as well. Just in the last few months, the cosmetic giant has published Instagram posts promoting awareness for the climate crisis, recycling, the Women’s March and the abolition of the death penalty. While many companies steer clear of such topics, Lush’s willingness to be bold and push back in the face of adversity allows it to develop an even stronger connection with members of its target audience that feel the same way.
Fayetteville-based Engine eCommerce is a platform for vertically integrated, digitally native brands. It was created by industry veterans to “make growing your business online a scalable and straightforward process.” With a deep understanding of content marketing practices, Engine eCommerce uses all of its channels together to work toward the same goal. From the company website and blog to e-marketing and social media posts, everything that is published is done so with a strategic purpose.
With posts on all types of ecommerce as well as email marketing, entrepreneurship and influencer marketing, Engine eCommerce’s blog reinforces its place as a thought leader in the ecommerce field, building and maintaining credibility with its target audience. Engine’s thought leadership is also improved with the use of a newsletter that is promoted directly on its website where interested users can easily subscribe. A multifaceted content marketing strategy can only work if all of its parts are moving in the same direction, and Engine eCommerce has that down pat.
Almost all fashion companies adept at using Instagram to drive their products, and Evereve is no exception. With a niche target audience of moms 35 years of age and older, Evereve uses its Instagram posts and Instastories to speak directly to those women. Evereve’s posts feature women in this same age group modeling different outfits tailored to their busy lifestyles of work, soccer, date nights with spouses and girlfriend happy hours. This clearly defined audience allows Evereve to be very deliberate and targeted in its content marketing approach. With a message in its bio to “share your style with #evereve,” the company also encourages engagement and community within its target audience. The promotion and use of hashtags allows Evereve to build a deeper connection with its customers in the same way that many other fashion brands do with a younger audience.
While their techniques may be different, each of these companies are utilizing content marketing in a way that works for their brand. They have studied their target audience and developed a unique strategy based on those results. They know what works (and what doesn’t work). Much like a student learning from their teacher, we encourage you to take a deeper look at these businesses and their content marketing efforts. Study your target audience, and you just may find something to put into practice for your own brand.