Danny Wong

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It’s a free-for-all out there.

These days, competition for audience attention is intense — and in some cases, cutthroat.

Some of the world’s most respected brands have decided, instead of noisily shouting their marketing message at the top of their lungs, to pursue more subtle campaigns that drawn in consumers.

Indeed, what you’re about to read is a non-exhaustive list of brands that are killing it at content marketing. Turn away if the thought of another cliche listicle makes you wonder why the internet ever allowed bloggers to gain power. Otherwise, read on to learn a thing or two from businesses — both big and small — that have taken brand messaging and content marketing to a whole new level.

#1 General Electric: GE Works

These guys make science look cool.

#2 LinkedIn: Long-Form Publishing

LinkedIn's Brilliant Open Publishing Platform
Regular-users-turned-contributors are now some of LinkedIn’s most vocal advocates.

#3 IBM: CityOne

IBM CityOne
Seeing is believing, but doing is understanding.

#4 Xerox: Real Business

Real Business by Xerox
A legacy image is always hard to shake. Xerox uses content to create clout and demonstrate leadership beyond photocopying.

#5 Red Bull: Bulletin Magazine

Red Bulletin Magazine
Print publishing, a slowly dying industry, is getting its groove back with The Red Bulletin, which boasts 5+ million subscribers.

#6 Adobe: CMO Today

Adobe CMO WSJ
Adobe took brand publishing to new heights when it first launched CMO.com. Now it harnesses the power of native advertising via a partnership with The Wall Street Journal to create and sponsor CMO Today.

#7 American Express: Open Forum

American Express Open Forum
To engage small businesses, American Express Open Forum publishes content with the goal of helping its readers achieve greater success.

#8 General Mills: Tablespoon

General Mills Tablespoon
Food brings people together, and knowing all the ingredients you’ll ever need are available at your local grocery store doesn’t hurt either.

#9 Dell: Do More

Dell Do More
Understanding what Dell does for other companies can help you imagine how it can enable you (and your business) to do more.

#10 Home Depot: DIY

Save time and money with simple, instructional videos that teach you how to better fix and manage your home and garden.

#11 Budweiser: Project 12

Budweiser Project 12
Learn about the beers. Meet the brewmasters. Enjoy a fun gif or three.

#12 Google: Pokemon

Google Maps Pokemon Game
Add a layer of your childhood on top of the world, and this is what you get.

#13 Williams Sonoma: Taste

Williams Sonoma Taste
Yet again, food FTW.

#14 Chipotle: Farmed and Dangerous

Chipotle raised the stakes with its $1 million production of Farmed and Dangerous, a must-watch mini-series that is easily ~80 minutes well spent.

#15 Watch Dogs: Real Life Street Hack

Hack an ATM, a parked car and the local electric grid and what’s the outcome? 400,000 views and counting on YouTube.

#16 Lowes: Fix In Six

Six second demonstrations of the power of regular home goods (sprinkled with a touch of creativity).

#17 McDonald’s: Your Questions

McDonald's Your Questions
Would you expect a response if you confronted a fast food chain about its rumored use of “pink slime” in its chicken products?

#18 Patagonia: The Footprint Chronicles

Patagonia The Footprint Chronicles
Radical transparency
is more than consumers ask for, and earning their trust can earn you a lifetime of their loyalty.

#19 LEGO: The Movie

The Lego Movie
Considered “native advertising on the grandest scale ever attempted,” The Lego Movie still surprised — and delighted — millions of audience members around the globe.

#20 Virgin Mobile: Native Advertising

Virgin Mobile x Buzzfeed
Dozens of cat articles and gif-filled listicles (and millions upon millions of pageviews) later, Virgin Mobile is a brand that young people finally care about.

#21 First Round Capital: Review

First Round Review
Venture capitalists sell themselves as not only a fat check, but as a resource to help you be a better entrepreneur.

#22 Hootsuite: Game of Social Thrones

A fun spin on pop culture around a topic that nearly everyone (and their mothers) is familiar with.

#23 HubSpot: Inbound Hub

HubSpot Inbound Hub
With a firm commitment to practice what they preach, the folks at HubSpot educate their audience about inbound marketing and demonstrate the value and potential of brand blogging.

#24 Moz: YouMoz

YouMoz blog
Your users are some of the smartest people you know.

#25 Contently: The Content Strategist

The Content Strategist
The future of digital publishing is murky, to say the least. But this brand can help make sense of it all.

#26 Buffer: All Things Social Media

Buffer Blog
With in-depth content and the occasional life hack, what’s not to love? At least, 700,000 monthly uniques dig it.

#27 Help Scout: Customer Loyalty

Help Scout
Your customers matter, and Help Scout believes that more than anyone else.

#28 Clarity.fm: Business Advice

Clarity.fm blog
Leverage the power of influencers and celebrity experts. You’ll be surprised by the results.

#29 Unbounce: Conversion Optimization

Unbounce Blog
Each visit is an opportunity to further funnel or convert. With actionable advice and how-tos, readers can’t help but come back for more.

#30 Dissolve: This is a Generic Brand Video

Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?

#31 DollarShaveClub: Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Putting a new spin on a dull product is genius. Addressing a somewhat personal topic with a simple solution is equally impressive.

#32 Tim Ferriss: Experiments in Lifestyle Design

Tim Ferriss Blog
Tim Ferriss’ brave and well-documented “experiments” make him the individual everyone wants to be, and a personality that everyone wants to follow.

#33 The Bulletproof Exec: Radio

BulletProof Podcasts
A new spin on radio, Dave Asprey (aka The Bulletproof Exec) produces podcasts that are easily digested on-the-go for his overwhelmed and super busy audience.

#34 Warby Parker: Annual Report

Warby Parker Annual Report
Good content is expected regularly. Great content is something readers — and the press — are willing to wait a full calendar year for.

#35 GoPro: Captured Moments

Living the adventure vicariously.

Which other brands might you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!


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  • http://marketeer.kapost.com/ Andrew J. Coate

    Great post Danny! I love these examples, and we agree with so many of the selections, which also made our list: http://kapost.com/kapost-50-content-marketing/

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Great list, Andrew. Thanks for sharing it!

      • http://marketeer.kapost.com/ Andrew J. Coate

        Saw you posted to our LinkedIn group as well. Thanks for participating!

  • http://unbounce.com Tia Kelly

    Thanks so much Danny for mentioning Unbounce :) Glad to hear you “can’t help but come back for more” of our posts. We’ve been seeing a lot lately about how brands are becoming more like publishers—online content makes it a lot easier than in the past. That also means we need to find new ways to stand out, so honoured you think our content does! Love all the visual examples you included.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Keep up the good work, Tia. You and the team are doing a fantastic job and I look forward to reading more of your content!

  • Joel Emmett

    I agree with Danny so much.

    Thus, I’ve been dismayed to see so many companies drop these efforts because they (assumably) seem “off-target” to the powers-that-be.

    For example, Disney recently dropped one of the more popular sites on the Internet, spoonful.com. Why? No idea. I read what their execs said, and it seemed like they had no idea either, other than it wasn’t pushing “their stuff.”

    Compare the real-life posts on Spoonful with the alternately goofy or treacly hawking they’re doing on blogs.disney.com. Ugh.

    What do you think, Danny? How can we explain the value of truly communicating with their customers (especially when they don’t seem to know how to actually *communicate* with anyone)?

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Perhaps the best way is to speak their language. Execs seem to favor metrics that drive their bottom line, so if you could figure out a way to demonstrate exactly *how* supporting a site like Spoonful.com can increase revenue, then you may win them over for good.

      Thanks for your comment, Joel!

      • Joel Emmett

        Thanks, Danny. I think that’s good advice.

        I’m unsure who failed to make the argument at Disney when Spoonful was (then) a top-1,000 most popular site in the world, but someone dropped the ball.

        I think part of the general problem is that many people/leaders don’t seem to realize that communication isn’t part of the relationship — any kind of personal relationship — it *is* the relationship.

        And I think *some* people/leaders don’t want or have real, communicative relationships, they just want (have?) transactions.

        Which nowadays, people/”customers” often resent, and increasingly so.

        I think these projects you’ve listed, Danny, are all about building real relationships between real people — based on real communication — which I think will build on-going, lasting relationships, which are immune to “SALE!”-based brand-switching and other problems marketers face.

        • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

          Well said! As marketers, we need to shift the perception of “content marketing” to be less a “buzzword” and more an actual, tangible thing that’s fundamental to brand communications.

          Perhaps then it’ll be taken seriously instead of seeming like an expensive “fad”.

  • Mary Jane Kinkade

    Awesome examples! I was glad to see some of my favorites on the list!

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Thank you, Mary Jane :)

  • http://stancebranding.com/ Justine Espersen

    This is such a great and varied collection of examples! Thanks for finding and sharing these :)

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Anytime :) I love that people are still finding this story!

  • http://www.twitter.com/Mr_Madness Amar Trivedi

    Excellent post, Danny. Great list. #36 Coke #37 Nike :) Also, hat tip to all sports event brands FIFA, Wimbledon, Olympics for top-rate global content.

    • https://shareaholic.com/ Danny Wong

      Great additions! Thanks, Amar.

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