3 Winning Content Marketing Examples 2016-12-02T00:45:54+00:00

In today’s competitive online landscape, an effective content marketing strategy can hold the key to success. This practical and cost-effective marketing technique yields multiple benefits:
  • Promotes link generation to enhance search engine rankings
  • Boosts brand awareness and reputation
  • Increases incoming traffic
  • Strengthens audience engagement
  • It’s also relatively affordable compared with many marketing/advertising efforts, which means small companies get a fair shot at competing with large ones.
    To see the results of content marketing in action, we analyzed the innovative strategies of three very different companies: Uber, ipsy, and Fitbit. Each brand enjoys major success within a competitive landscape, in part due to creative, well-executed content marketing strategies. For every case study, we looked closely at three techniques:

    • Traffic/search strategy (including links, press, and traffic)
    • Social media strategy (primarily Facebook)
    • Blog or vlog featuring original content

    If you’re devising your own content marketing strategy, now’s your chance to see the real-life impact for these other brands. It just may be the solution you’ve been looking for to enhance your marketing returns.

    Uber: How Smart Marketing Fuels Success

    It started as a simple idea: In 2008, two guys struggling to hail a cab had the idea for a smartphone app people could use to summon a ride. In 2009, they founded Uber. Today, the San Francisco–based company connects riders and drivers in nearly 400 cities across the world. It’s worth over $62 billion.

    When it comes to online traffic, search is a major source of Uber’s success – and in the majority of cases, the word “Uber” appears in searches. The volume of branded search terms dominating their organic traffic points to their clear success in driving brand awareness through other channels like social media and influencer marketing. Links are a top source of traffic too. Uber has effectively earned a high level of familiarity and appeal among consumers, even attaining an uncommon achievement: Its brand name has become a verb. (“I Ubered over here,” you might tell a friend.) 

    Hashtag campaigns are a great way for companies to market themselves to new users and spark conversations on social. Uber has found success in several campaigns. The company has promoted numerous hashtags, including #UberSAFE (drunk-driving awareness) and #UberHEALTH (flu-prevention awareness). Additionally, the company promotes its niche services – including UberRUSH (a delivery service) and UberEATS (a meal-delivery service) – always prefixed with the word “Uber.”

    Sharing compelling content on social is an excellent way to build relationships with customers. Uber has nearly 4 million Facebook fans and 471,000 Twitter followers, at the time of publishing. On these platforms, the company shares a mix of content – with videos being arguably one of its most effective tools. Its animated short video highlighting a cross-promotion with the Disney movie “Zootopia” won nearly 10,000 shares on Facebook.

    Several of the company’s hashtag campaigns generate a great deal of buzz on social. In the #UberKITTENS campaign, for a single day in select cities, Uber delivers kittens to people’s offices for 15 minutes for a small “snuggle fee” to promote pet adoption and support animal shelters. #UberPUPPIES offers the same service, only with puppy delivery rather than kitten. The #UberICECREAM promotion provides on-demand ice cream delivery in certain cities on select days.

    These hashtagged promotions and other shareable forms of content have proven extremely valuable in terms of buzz on social, as users (and even businesses) share photos of Uber customers playing with kittens and puppies. They’re also successful for winning media coverage: Headlines like “Uber Will Deliver Puppies on Valentine’s Day” prove that even journalists can’t resist the pull of compelling (and cute) content.

    In the Uber Newsroom, the company blogs about new products, announces its expansion into new cities, highlights its branded campaigns, spotlights various people and businesses, and much more. Although the blog is updated frequently, posts are concise – less than 400 words on average. Readers can easily share posts on various channels.
    It’s clear that some of the blog’s success lies in Uber’s focus on topics that are both engaging and heartwarming. The first and second most-shared posts are about UberKITTENS, and feature multiple adorable photos. The blog’s third-most popular post celebrated the company’s billionth ride, announcing both gifts for the rider and driver as well as a charitable donation.

    Ipsy: The Beauty of a Smart Marketing Strategy

    Michelle Phan became a star on YouTube with her beauty video tutorials so co-founding ipsy in 2011 was a natural next move. The beauty-focused online community centers on a monthly Glam Bag containing personalized makeup and beauty products that the more than 1.5 million subscribers receive each month. The cost is $10 per month (or $110 per year).

    Various sources account for ipsy’s Web traffic. When it comes to links, nearly a third of the top sites that link to ipsy are articles written about Michelle Phan. It’s clear that celebrity influence can translate into major success for a brand. Additionally, many Glam Bag subscribers link to ipsy in their profiles because the referral program allows them to earn “points” when friends sign up through their referral link. Along with links, social media plays a surprisingly large role in driving ipsy’s online traffic more so than for many other companies.

    Social media represents a major strength in ipsy’s marketing strategy. On ipsy’s Facebook page (which boasts over 4.1 million fans), the company averages nearly two posts a day. The sneak peek posts are carefully timed to spark the audience’s interest in the contents of the Glam Bag as they await its delivery.

    Each month’s Glam Bag features a theme, and ipsy does an excellent job of generating excitement about the products through creative seasonal marketing campaigns using hashtags, such as #IpsyPink for Valentine’s Day and #SummerLovin in July. Many of the campaigns garner numerous likes and shares on Facebook and even spark blog posts by fans.

    Online makeup tutorial videos are extremely popular among many women today. Ipsy capitalized on this with the ipsy Open Study (ipsyOS) vlog, which features high-quality video content produced by a circle of online beauty influencers. The company provides its stylists with studio space, production equipment, and other resources.

    This smart strategy enables ipsy to efficiently churn out videos demonstrating and selling their products and broadcast them via YouTube and social media. The most popular ipsyOS influencers can rack up social followings in the thousands (or even more than a million). Many videos get tens of thousands of views. Though videos often feature beauty hacks and tutorials and product sneak peeks, the most-viewed video actually features employees at ipsy headquarters doing a raucous version of the Harlem Shake – which demonstrates a high level of audience engagement.

    Fitbit: Hitting Its Marketing Strategy Stride

    Fitbit, founded in 2007, offers an array of wearable sensors that track number of steps taken, distance walked, calories burned, and other information to help people meet their fitness goals. Despite fierce competition from brands such as Jawbone, Nike, and Garmin, Fitbit has effectively set itself apart.

    Online traffic comes from various sources, including search and links. One win for Fitbit: Of the top 30 sites that link to the company, more than a third are articles from health blogs and a quarter are from tech gadget blogs. The lesson? Generating buzz among industry blogs can help drive traffic immensely. Fitbit also relies on targeted press releases announcing the rollout of new products to secure media coverage.

    Fitbit mainly relies on social media to share links to articles on its blog, as well as to link to articles in the media that mention its fitness trackers. On Facebook, where Fitbit has over 1.3 million fans, nearly three-quarters of posts direct readers to Fitbit or media articles. The strategy is similar on Twitter, where the company has 257,000 followers. Fitbit also turns to social media when rolling out new products – in fact, its most-liked Facebook post was one announcing the new Alta wristband.  

    Another key strategy is its celebrity partnerships. “Fitbit Ambassadors,” including dancer/singer/actress Julianne Hough, pro volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, and celeb trainer Harley Pasternak, promote the products on social media and in blog posts. These types of celebrity relationships can be a highly effective way for marketers to increase brand awareness and product popularity. 
    Fitbit produces an extremely active blog that serves as the main crux of its content campaign. More than half of posts are articles, over 40% are listicles, and less than 5% are videos. Posts focus on various topics, including product-specific news, success stories, fitness advice, and general health/nutrition content.
    Recent posts have ranged from a recipe for chicken to an article about working out while sick. Providing this mix of content and topics is a smart strategy when it comes to giving readers choices and appealing to a wide range of audience members. The company averages nearly one post per day, which is a smart strategy: Posting new content with such high frequency boosts search visibility and increases traffic.

    Devise Your Own Content Marketing Strategy

    Regardless of your line of work, your company can learn a lot from the content marketing strategies of brands like Uber, ipsy, and Fitbit. When properly executed, the right techniques offer dramatic benefits – a boost in search engines’ indexing, growth in Web traffic, a more involved audience, and an enhanced reputation.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy; what you need is the best strategy for your brand. If you’re ready to devise your own content strategy, visit Alexa for digital marketing tools that will empower success: a complete Marketing Stack to boost site traffic and search engine rankings, a variety of keyword research tools to help you choose the most relevant words, and an SEO audit tool to help people more easily find your site. Even a relatively small investment in a content strategy can yield surprisingly big results. 

    Methodology

    We used our Alexa tools to analyze the traffic, search, social, and links for each of these sites. We then scraped each company’s Facebook, YouTube, and other social media accounts to analyze its practices. Next we explored each company’s blog to categorize the types of content found in its articles. We also determined word count and pictures utilized. To determine the number of shares for blog articles, we utilized BuzzSumo to come up with the top shared articles. All data collection was done for February 2016.

    Sources

    Fair Use

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