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14 powerful content marketing examples to inspire your next campaign

14 powerful content marketing examples to inspire your next campaign Blog Feature

Brian Casey

Content Trainer, Content Marketing Consultant, 7+ Years of Digital Marketing Strategy and Account Management Experience

December 10th, 2019 min read

Forty-seven percent of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Additionally, 70% of people prefer to learn about new products through content as opposed to traditional advertising. 

Looking at these numbers, it’s safe to say that creating sales opportunities is now a real result of producing useful and helpful content.

Content marketing strategy is a necessary component of overall online business strategy, but how well are your efforts creating the sales results you desire? 

Here at IMPACT, we’ve seen the influence that great content can have on our customers. Clients who focus on creating high-quality content marketing have seen an increase in the quality of leads, shortened sales cycles, and increased close rates across marketing channels.

But what does truly great content look like? 

Our goal with this article is to share the best content marketing examples and explain why they’re effective. In the end, you will walk away with ideas for creating content that attracts the attention of your potential buyers. 

Build trust with your content

Your goal in content creation should not be to close sales, it should be to build trust. 

Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. say trust in a brand has a substantial influence on their decision when making a big purchase.

In order to establish this, your content should be useful whether or not someone decides to buy your specific offering. 

Creating content that helps inform and educate turns has the power to turn you into a thought leader — and not just with potential buyers. 

Being the most trusted voice in your space means being trusted by your entire audience. A good portion of your site visitors will never be a good fit as a customer for your business, but when you create educational, how-to content with tutorials, people won’t see you as someone just trying to sell them something. They’ll see you as actually helpful and concerned with their concerns.

🔎 Related: 8 top video marketing examples from companies doing it right

When content consumers don’t feel like they’re being sold to, when the experience is not interactive, the walls will come down and allow your message to be received. 

People who trust you will want to work with you and will like you even if they don’t. Sales opportunities are a byproduct of producing helpful and thoughtful content.

Here are some examples of content that builds trust. We’ll highlight content that is beneficial for all readers, puts teaching at the forefront, and opens up the lines for communication.

1. Drift: The step-by-step guide to solving your landing page problems (blog article)

Drift offers tools to help businesses connect with their website visitors. The medium for their service is chatbots that aid in conversational marketing.

Drift doesn’t help you create landing pages, the subject of the blog, but their chatbots can help your conversion rate on them.

Drift content marketing example

Still, they don’t focus on that. Rather, what exists instead is a multi-step example of how to create a great landing page.

The information in this blog is valuable to anybody trying to increase their landing page conversion rates, whether or not they find one of Drift’s products to be a good fit for their business. 

The result is a more well-informed reader who views Drift as a value-added voice and trusted source.

2. IMPACT: The ultimate list of HubSpot pros & cons (ungated ebook)

Consumers are wary (and weary) of brands, salespeople, and advertising that only promotes the attractive elements of their products and services. 

One lesson that I teach early with content consulting clients: If you have a potential bias, own it

Admitting that you may be a biased source early in a blog post disarms the reader. Some companies only talk about themselves and their relation to the subject matter at the end of a piece. 

When readers get to the conclusion and it has the first indication the writer might be biased, red flags are raised. They’ll be skeptical about everything said earlier, even if it made perfect sense.

Here at IMPACT, we’re a HubSpot partner agency. But that doesn’t mean that HubSpot or IMPACT is the right fit for every business. This article explains the reasons you might or might not want to work with HubSpot.

IMPACT content marketing example

Note how IMPACT’s Ramona Sukhraj addresses the potential bias of being a HubSpot partner agency, but it’s not an inhibitor toward thinking you’ll get an honest evaluation. 

Content is more than words

It’s easy to think about content marketing and equate that to writing compelling copy to live on your website. It’s also true that Google prefers long-form content and thorough responses to search queries from users. 

However, we all know how busy many of our visitors are. To count on a new user to read 1,500 words, no matter how well written, can be unrealistic. That is unless you give them opportunities to engage along the way.

We will show examples of how you can use video, image and other visual components to enhance content marketing efforts.

3. Mazella: “Things to consider when designing a custom lifting device” (landing page video)

Content marketing is not just about writing blogs! 

Landing pages are essential in generating leads, but all of us have filled out forms online only to be thrown on a spammy mailing list. 

Mazella, an IMPACT success story, uses video on this landing page to build trust and remove some of the fear that comes with filling out a form. 

 

When we see a form we ask ourselves, “Is it worth it? Do I really want to give them my email address?” How can you create trust in a situation like this where trust has historically been lost?

🔎 Related: Ultimate Guide: What Is Content Marketing?

The video details exactly what you’ll be receiving, how you can use the content and why it’s beneficial. Putting yourself in front of a camera in this way humanizes your company, which further helps to grow trust.

4. Vidyard: 9 types of video every business must have to succeed (blog article)

This blog post is delightfully littered with videos, screenshots, designed content boxes and visual calls-to-action (CTAs). 

There isn’t a time when the reader is expected to buckle in for a copy-heavy rollercoaster ride, which is great. 

The variety of visual elements build engagement, keeps the interest of the reader  and offers a break between processing the copy. 

Vidyard content marketing example

Something as simple as highlighting a “Hot Tip” in a designed call-out box breaks up the dullness of white space with words. 

Understand that your content is only as valuable when it’s able to keep the attention of the reader. 

By offering many ways to receive your content, like Vidyard did here, you’re giving the reader more flexibility to learn as they do best and remember the content. When prospects see a well-articulated, valuable and non-promotional piece of content, again, they begin to trust you.

5. Verblio: The latest blogging trends: How to create a strong 2019 strategy (blog article)

Similar to the approach Vidyard took in the previous example, Verblio incorporated a nice mixture of visual elements in this blog article. 

And with good reason. The number of people who remember an article increases by 65% when using a relevant image.

Several graphs and charts back up the words on the page, while screenshots provide details to help show the reader how they can take action on their own. 

Another detail that makes this article great is the use of original imagery. 

Using screenshots and other custom images is often more memorable and authentic than stock images. 

You don’t have to commit to anything like a funny GIF, but using original images helps readers understand and process your content more easily.

The number of people who remember an article increases by 65% when using a relevant image.

“The Big 5” topics your customers want you to write about

Here at IMPACT, our most successful clients consistently produce content to answer the questions their customers have. The blog topics that generate traffic, lead and sales fall into five categories we call The Big 5:

  1. Cost/Price - “How much does _____ cost?”
  2. Problems - “What are the negative issues or problems with _____?”
  3. Comparisons - “How does it compare to that other _______ that we’re looking at?”
  4. Reviews - “What is everyone saying about ______?”
  5. Best in Class - “What is the best _____?”

I’ll dive into the idea behind each of these topics below and how writing each of these types of articles can influence sales for your organization.

6. Cleveroad: How much does it cost to make a website in 2019? [the fullest estimate] (cost article)

Would you ever commit to buying anything without knowing the price? How do you feel when you go to a website and you can’t find their pricing anywhere? Frustrated, right? 

Cost is one of the most commonly asked questions when considering a new product or service. 

Even so, many companies shy away from equipping their site visitors with this information. 

You might be worried about competitors knowing your price or turning customers away, but you shouldn’t be. 

When potential customers come to your site and want to know about your pricing, it’s a great thing. You’ve garnered their interest in your offering and they want to consider you. When they can’t find your pricing and leave out of frustration, however, it’s a huge missed opportunity. 

Writing a cost article might not come naturally, but it’s a vital piece of information that customers need to know before purchasing. 

In this example, Cleveroad, a mobile app and website development company, doesn’t need to give you every line of their pricing sheet to help you understand what you might expect to pay. 

This article leaves the reader more informed and positions Cleveroad as trusted because they didn’t withhold any information.

7. Gamelearn: 8 problems of online training and how to solve them (problems article)

What might make a prospect not want to work with you? 

These are likely the topics you hope don’t come up in sales conversations, and that most companies don’t directly address publicly. 

This avoidance can lead to wasting time and energy on bad-fit prospects and clients. 

The reality is that your specific offering isn’t going to be the ideal solution for every potential customer. 

Problems exist with your solution that could be a deal-breaker to some prospects. By addressing these problems openly, you’ll articulate who would be a good fit for your business.

Your buyers will know the pitfalls and won’t feel remorse when they choose to buy from you, and those who are truly bothered won’t even get on a call with you. 

In this example, Gamelearn, a game-based solution for online learning, not only addresses issues that exist with their solution but shows how you can solve the concerns. 

Readers considering an online training solution leave informed on the potential pitfalls and can choose to move forward with more information. 

The reality is that your specific offering isn’t going to be the ideal solution for every potential customer. 

8. Floor Decor Design Center: Porcelain wood look tile vs. luxury vinyl plank, an honest comparison (comparison article)

Our example here comes from Floor Decor Design Center, a regional flooring and design specialist in the Northeast.

With their business, like any business, you’re not only going up against competitors selling similar offerings, but also indirect competitors that offer alternatives. 

Buyers need to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each solution. 

Of equal importance is how one solution stacks up against other options they might be evaluating.

By comparing one or more solutions that can resolve the same issue, you’re allowing the consumer to understand and evaluate their options and better make the right decision. 

You can do this in two ways:

  1. Comparing two similar products, possibly different brands or types. This is an apples-to-apples comparison.
  2. Comparing two different solutions that solve the same problem. This is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Your goal with either should be to inform the reader which option might be best for them, regardless of whether or not you sell it like Floor Decor Design Center does. 

An additional element that I really like is how Floor Decor Design Center chose winners for each category. This head-to-head comparison format is something consumers are accustomed to and appreciate.

9. Yale Appliance*: Most reliable/least serviced appliance brands for 2019 (reviews/ratings)

*Editor's Note: Yale Appliance is an IMPACT client.

When buying a high purchase point item such as a refrigerator or washer/dryer set, you’re going to look for opinions and reviews. 

Most consumers turn to third-party review sites to get this type of information to help make informed decisions. 

With this article, Yale Appliance took the initiative to rate competing appliance brands that they sell based on reliability.

Yale Appliance content marketing example

Yale Appliance takes it an additional step by gathering information from their service department. 

They compared the number of appliances sold versus. The number of service calls to tell their customers exactly which is the most reliable brand. This level of depth to help their customers not have buyer’s remorse creates a deep level of trust.

10. SEMrush: 5 PPC best practices to maximize performance (best-in-class article)

When your customers are searching for potential solutions for their problems, they want the best.  So, best-in-class articles can take many shapes: Best product, best service, best practices, etc. 

They are going to search phrases such as “best inbound marketing agency” or “content marketing best practices.” 

When prospects are looking for this information, you have an opportunity to answer the question on your site.

SEMrush is using their expertise in search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) to benefit online visitors who are struggling with PPC performance, in this article. 

By sharing this information, readers will see SEMrush as a trusted, helpful resource on PPC. 

Not only can this information be used for any PPC campaign, but readers also begin to see SEMrush as a solution for their paid search needs.

11. InTek*: 2020 best-managed transportation companies (and how to choose) (best-in-class article)

*Editor's Note: InTek is an IMPACT client.

As I mentioned, every business has competitors or alternatives that can take potential business. 

Your prospects want to make the best decision for their company, which includes researching your competition. 

Wouldn’t you like to control the conversation about your competitors? Writing an article about your competitors allows you to do just that. 

Another IMPACT client, InTek, lists the top 10 managed transportation companies in 2020, a list in which they do not include themselves. 

Intek content marketing example

A small portion of the article lists the best companies you could work with, but it doesn’t promote any of them. 

The bulk of the article is about helping shipping companies find the best solution for them.

So although InTek isn’t promoting themselves on the top 10 list, they are:

  • Getting traffic for shipping companies in need of a solution. 
  • Establishing thought leadership and building trust.
  • Generating leads that otherwise wouldn’t have found them.
  • Encouraging their competitors to share the article by including them.

Capture attention with your blog introduction

Your blog introduction is a chance to gain the attention of your reader — or have them click the back button.

Writers need to quickly identify who the article is for, the value of the article and why the reader should listen to you.

12. Bamboo HR: 13 ways to stay positive at work (blog article)

One effective technique for grabbing attention with your intro is to paint a relatable picture, specifically your readers’ picture.

As it is, HR leaders who are reading this article by BambooHR will likely feel heard and known on an emotional level. 

Bamboo HR content marketing example

It speaks to a specific issue that most may not know exists (not always being in a positive mood in a role that demands one) and leaves the reader thinking “you get me.” 

When content can relate to the struggles and daily trials of their audience, the result is a user experience that feels better connected to a brand and this level of empathy creates an innate sense of trust. 

Painting a picture is one of five blog introduction tactics detailed in Chapter Two of the IMPACT blogging tips. A couple of other great strategies: starting with a question, leading with a statistic, or telling a personal story.

Good content prompts action

We stated earlier that your goal in content creation should not be trying to close sales opportunities. 

Although this shouldn’t be your goal, content needs to value that prompts the visitor to take action with your company, whether it be to subscribe, visit again, or request a consultation. 

For users who are engaged and interested, they should have visible and easy next steps to move forward. You should encourage these prospects to move forward with appropriate calls-to-action.

13. ClearCompany: Transform your employee productivity with proper goal-setting (blog article)

You’ll see in the example multiple opportunities for an interested prospect to move forward. 

Two in-line CTAs prompt a user to download bonus content, click in-line hyperlinks and a visual CTA leading to a demo. 

The page even has a chatbot that you can interact with to learn more. 

By including multiple conversion points, ClearCompany lets interested prospects know they can move forward in a number of ways. 

ClearCompany also speaks to multiple stages of the buyer’s journey.

Are you not quite ready for a demo? OK, then maybe one of the content offers on the page might be a better fit for you. 

14. Amplitude: Why designers need to care about data (blog article)

Amplitude, a behavioral analytics platform, uses several opportunities throughout their blog to help prospects take the next step. 

They highlight related content that offers the reader the chance to dive deeper into certain areas. Then, with the stickied header, the blog reader can input their email to quickly subscribe to the blog at any time. 

Additionally, Amplitude has a large, well-designed CTA at the bottom of the article for a related quiz. 

If you’ve captured the attention of the reader, you have a business responsibility to capitalize on that initial attention. 

Provide multiple opportunities for site visitors to explore other pages, download content, or subscribe. Use all of these as opportunities to increase your marketable database.

If you’ve captured the attention of the reader, you have a business responsibility to capitalize on that initial attention. 

I’ve read the content marketing examples, so what?

Using the examples provided, think about what elements resonate with you and your goals. 

Maybe you’ve been struggling to increase your landing page conversion. Taking a page out of Mazella’s book might be something worth trying. 

Continuing to see a high bounce rate on your blogs? Try an approach like BambooHR took with their introduction. 

Choose a few of the approaches and test them out with your content, and measure the performance. Keep in mind that your content, when properly presented, can transform prospects into informed buyers.

Still struggling to grow traffic, generate leads and help close sales with your content? IMPACT’s content consulting program can coach you to write content that addresses The Big 5 topics your prospects want to read about.

And remember, successful content marketing begins and ends with focusing on being helpful and building trust.

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