Sometimes, company executives just need to see the success other businesses have enjoyed with content to get on board the content marketing train themselves. Here are seven content marketing case studies you can take to your C-suite to help you sell them on adding content marketing to your department’s budget.
If you’re a tech company, marketing to millennials and Gen Xers is a must. Lenovo’s “Goodweird” content campaign leveraged those generations’ love of all things indie to set its brand apart. Content that showcased diversity, quirkiness, and taking the road less traveled, Jamie Maddison points out, led to success among these coveted demographics.
Talk to any Gen Xer for a few minutes, and you’ll find out his favorite celebs. Influencers are a major factor in most young adults’ lives – and Lenovo’s content campaign rocked it. Combining the impact of influencers with their target audience’s love of music videos, Lenovo’s content team created a dance-off video featuring three major influencers. It’s no wonder that the video went viral, with 34.1 million views, ten percent more brand awareness, and 11 percent more traffic to its microsite, according to the company’s content analytics. All it takes is a little research and a lot of imagination.
The world’s dominant force in customer relationship management isn’t without its challenges, according to Ritu Jhajharia. Before Salesforce transformed its content strategy, it struggled to maintain a steady traffic flow and convert visitors into leads. Like many B2B companies, it needed to loosen its collar. Today’s B2B customers demand the same kinds of emotionally immersive experiences that B2C customers take for granted.
Salesforce’s new direction didn’t disappoint. With entertaining videos that helped its target customers solve their sales and marketing problems, the “world’s first stop-motion slideshare,” and by showcasing its customers’ success stories, the company garnered an 80 percent boost in its web traffic, 6,500 new email subscriptions, and 25 times more traffic than they had before their content upgrade.
You can’t talk about content marketing success stories without mentioning one of the industry’s longtime top guns, Coke. From its beginnings in the late 1800s to its uber-sensitive ads today, it has maintained a laser focus on its customers to produce superb content that rarely misses the mark, with one inglorious exception.
Back in the mid-1980s, their marketing team got the idea that America was ready for a New Coke. They weren’t – and the campaign went down as one of the worst of all time. Since then, they have kept a close eye on their customer demographics, creating content that entices customers to run out and grab a Coke, all while making the world a better place.
It takes courage to trust customers to create content. Most enterprises like to stay in the driver’s seat. But with 79 percent of today’s customers saying that user-generated content makes a huge impact on their buying decisions, that should never be the case among 21st-century corporations.
Starbucks is but one of many leading-edge companies that opened up content creation to its customers. The café chain numbers among the most successful among them, though. Case in point, their 2016 #RedCupArt campaign. For a crack at a year’s worth of coffee, customers bought a cup, drank it, and then created their own artwork on the iconic red cup.
With customer-generated content and other customer-focused content, the company has grown even larger, increasing its social followers by 26 percent during a single year. Not surprisingly, it was 2017, the year following the RedCupArt campaign. Today, it continues to engage its customers, empowering them to make the Starbucks experience their own.
Taking customer-centric content to a whole new level, the DoubleTree subsidiary of the giant Hilton chain dealt with the COVID-19 crisis like a lot of us did: chocolate chip cookies. But instead of binge-eating them, they shared their secret cookie recipe with their customers, doubtless building loyalty for life. They had me at chocolate.
Though they’ve removed the original video after garnering more than 250K views, the gesture demonstrated that the brand cared for its customers – even when they couldn’t earn a penny from them. Maintaining a connection during challenging times is an essential ingredient in driving business once the crisis ends.
One of the world’s foremost B2B software brands, SAP still had no cohesive content strategy until 2016. That’s when VP for influencer marketing Amisha Gandhi convinced a team of leading tech influencers to present lectures, host panels, and create thought leadership videos during the brand’s annual Sapphire conference. This kind of content, Gandhi rightly thought, would be so valuable to the company’s customers that it would increase engagement and interest in its products.
At first, it wasn’t easy. Nevertheless, so they say, she persisted. Once she landed a meeting with these industry leaders, she used the time to provide them with inside information about SAP that made her offer too good to refuse. These influencers’ impact on the conference was measurable. During the influencers’ debut year, their presence boosted social impressions by 16.5 percent. In their second year – 2017 – they drove social impressions by 25 percent.
Relationship-building is one of the foundational pillars of content marketing. Equifax – the credit score company – used a wealth of channels: social media and blog posts, informative and promotional emails, and webinars to provide touchpoints that developed trust, one piece of content at a time. Providing actionable information to potential and current customers, the company doubled its webinar attendees and established its reputation as a brand that provided value above and beyond its paid services.
Whatever strategies your company decides on, it’s essential to streamline content production to maximize ROI and create world-class content. With a complete content marketing platform, you can plan, schedule, collaborate, create, publish, automate, analyze, and promote your content on a single, central hub.