The Best Content Marketing Examples

 In Content Marketing

Last year we published 99 Amazing Content Marketing Examples.

There were actually 106 examples there but “99+” felt better. This year, the list has almost doubled. So I’m giving up on counting them (You can count them below.)

But if you are you looking for the best content marketing examples you’ve come to the right place!

Maybe you are still skeptical that content marketing is right for your unique business/industry/size/audience. Maybe you still think content marketing is just a buzzword. Maybe you are trying to learn from others by emulating what works for them.

And maybe your boss needs some convincing. Nothing gets executive buy-in like some solid fear-based examples of the competition being ahead of your company on the latest and greatest digital marketing trends.

The difference between content and content marketing is a destination you own!

Content marketing is not a piece of content. it is not marketing with content like brochures. It is not a native ad. It is not a “viral video.”

Content marketing means acting like a publisher, consistently creating content that our customers actually like to read and share. Content marketing is how build an audience and attract subscribers who opt-in to allow you into their already over-crowded email inbox.

This is very different from advertising. Advertising means occasionally interrupting the content your audience actually wants, in order to sell them a product or introduce your brand. Many of us opt-out of unwanted advertising. Advertising is not something we typically want to read and share. Advertising is how publishers monetize their traffic.

So look to great content marketing examples like L’Oreal’s Makeup.comAdobe’s CMO.com and our favorite industry-wide content marketing example like American Express OPEN Forum. That site is the largest source of leads for their small business card division.

Imagine you are the content marketing director for your company and you led the creation and management of a program that drove more leads and sales than any other marketing activity. With results you can rack and measure in business terms.

It starts with an understanding that marketing is not about selling, but about the conversation we have with our customers. It continues with investing in content marketing, because the difference between just content and content marketing is the destination.

How To Become A Great Content Marketing Example for Others?

Let me break it down:

  • Define your content marketing mission and put someone in charge
  • Publish content your audiences want
  • Publish on a regular basis
  • Publish content from a combination of named authors
  • Cover a unique variety of topics that you have the authority to be an expert in
  • Consider whether your content marketing will be more or less branded and  “on domain” (the same as your company url) or off domain (a website you have to buy).
  • Optimize your efforts on building subscribers
  • Measure Content Marketing ROI based on your ability to reach, engage and convert new audiences for as little investment as possible

The best content marketing examples also combine utility with design. Headspace and Innocent in particular have created beautiful aesthetics which do not compromise on the information delivered.

It might seem like a lot of work to produce content hubs like these, but this is not necessarily the case. If you are a content marketer – if you are producing articles, videos, blog posts and other content on a regular basis – you are already most of the way there.

And check this out for more on what makes these content marketing examples great.

Now, take a look at the list, get inspired, and know that you can become one of the best content marketing examples.

The Best Content Marketing Examples

The entries on our list come from a range of different categories. We have major financial institutions brushing up against mindfulness and well-being apps, and globe-trotting airlines rubbing shoulders with search engine marketing blogs.

The message that this gives is clear. No matter what field you are in, no matter what sort of content your users are interested in, developing a content marketing program to tie it all together is the only way to go.

Think about what your users want to see, then think about how they want to see it. How are you going to deliver it to them? Which way is going to be the most effective?

I’m not picking winners here. For the purposes of this list, everyone is a winner. Instead, arranged in alphabetical order, are the best content marketing examples I have found. Get inspired and  join my list next year!

  1. Acorn’s Grow
  2. Adidas Group’s Blog offers “Personal insights into our business in sports.”
  3. Adidas’ GamePlanA provides stories for “creators, tackling work life with an athlete’s heart”
  4. Adobe
  5. Air B’n’B: The revolutionary accommodation solution provider have been lighting the way when it comes to content.
  6. Aloha
  7. American Express OPEN Forum: “Insights, Inspirations and Connections To Grow Your Business” -1 of the earliest and most-cited example of content marketing
  8. Anthropologie: As stylish as you’d expect from these guys
  9. AstraZeneca
  10. AT&T’s BusinessCircle 
  11. Autodesk
  12. Bank of America BetterMoneyHabits
  13. Barney’s
  14. Bayer
  15. Ben & Jerry’s: The ice cream giant has been a master of brand identity for years now, and their web content shows the same commitment.
  16. Betterment’s Resource Center “Information to help you lead a smarter financial life”
  17. Birchbox Magazine and Men’s Guide
  18. Blackboard Blog 
  19. Bloomberg Enterprise Blog
  20. Blue Apron
  21. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has this amazing YouBar that customizes your content experience
  22. Bobbi Brown’s Everything Bobbi
  23. British Airways: Connecting cities around the world with their travel hub services; doing the same for web users with their content hub.
  24. BufferApp Blog
  25. CA
  26. Canva: An unusual entry on our list, Canva is a digital design app. However, its website hosts a content hub with the sort of smart organization and stunning design we would all do well to emulate.
  27. CapGemini’s Content Loop (one of the best examples of how to convert visitors to leads)
  28. Casper’s Pillow Talk but they also created . . .
  29. Casper’s VanWinkles: “Exploring sleep with our eyes wide open” (one of my favorite content marketing examples)
  30. CDW
  31. Chase.com/News – Great example of a company incorporating content marketing right into their homepage
  32. Citi
  33. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials is one of the best examples on this list
  34. ConAgra’s Forkful.com
  35. Coke’s Coca-Cola Journey “Refreshing the world. One story at a time.”
  36. Cisco Connected Futures Magazine I love the look and design of this site
  37. Cleveland Clinic
  38. Deluxe Small Business Revolution
  39. Denny’s
  40. Departures from American Express for their Platinum card members, run by Time Inc.
  41. Disney Blogs – the power of storytelling
  42. Domo’s BusinessIntelligence.com shows the power of owning the category domain
  43. Dollar Shave Club’s MEL 
  44. Electronic Art’s EA News Blog
  45. Equinox: Equinox’s Furthermore balances subtle but sharp aesthetic touches with content variation across the whole lifestyle spectrum, showing others in this class how it is done.
  46. Etsy
  47. Farmer’s Insurance Inner Circle “The latest tips and insights on auto safety, home upkeep and planning for life’s special moments.”
  48. Fidelity MyMoney “Get in better financial shape today.”
  49. First Republic
  50. First Round
  51. Four Seasons
  52. Fresh Direct: The branding here is exquisite; as fresh and clean as you’d hope for from these guys. But, beneath the surface is genuine insight.
  53. GEICO
  54. General Mills Tablespoon “Food that’s fun” – offers a great visual exploration of recipes and food
  55. GE Reports
  56. GE Txchnologist
  57. Google’s Think With Google
  58. Glossier
  59. GoPro
  60. Grant Thornton
  61. Harry’s
  62. The Hartford SmallBizAhead
  63. Headspace: The team behind the fantastically popular meditation and well-being app deliver great content and insight via their CM hub, all with the same trademark branding we have come to expect.
  64. Home Depot DIY Blog
  65. Honestly
  66. HPE Matter
  67. HPE Community Blog
  68. HPE TechBeacon Great examples of a company building on-domain and off
  69. Hubspot Blog “Your Daily Dose of Inbound” segmented by Marketing, Sales and Agency personas
  70. Huckberry
  71. IBM: The computing giants are showing that they are not going to get left behind in the content marketplace.
  72. Innocent: Innocent by name, wily in the content game by nature. Innocent have been a runaway branding success story for several years. Their top notch content hub shows us how.
  73. Invision
  74. Intel IQ: Another computing giant, leveraging their vast stock of expertise and authority. Intel’s content hub is exactly as it should be; a fascinating resource of insight.
  75. Jack Daniel’s The Single Barrel Standard: Whiskey wisdom and Cocktail news? Sign me up!
  76. J.Crew
  77. Jet Blue
  78. Johnson & Johnson
  79. JP Morgan
  80. Kimpton Hotels
  81. Lego: With Lego, the emphasis has always been on fun, and this is very much evident within their content marketing strategies.
  82. Lenovo’s ThinkProgress, with content by Intel
  83. Lilly
  84. Lincoln Now
  85. LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog
  86. Rosetta Stone’s LinguaVore: “A blog about learning language.”
  87. Lululemon
  88. L’Oreal’s Makeup.com great example of a consumer brand “owning” the category
  89. LVMH
  90. MAC: No one is going to accuse MAC cosmetics of selecting style over substance. The market leader’s content hub provides a wide range of different articles and content formats to its visitors.
  91. Marketo Blog
  92. Marketo CMO Nation
  93. Marks & Spencers
  94. Marriott‘ Traveler: Love what these folks are doing across their portfolio
  95. Marriott’s Meetings Imagined
  96. Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly
  97. Mayo Clinic’s Sharing offers personal stories of real people overcoming disease
  98. Memorial Sloan Kettering: The Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer treatment and research center website features a content hub with a tone appropriate to the gravity of its subject matter. Providing support and assistance to patients and family members, the New York non-profit gets it right.
  99. Method’s Soap Dish
  100. Michael Kors: The luxury fashion marque keeps it diverse with different pieces of content for every user. Dipping in to look at photos and losing yourself in more in-depth pieces is possible here, as all needs are catered for.
  101. Microsoft’s Stories – another great example of a company bringing “Stories” to their homepage
  102. Mint Life Blog
  103. Momofuko
  104. Morgan Stanley
  105. Morning Star Farms
  106. Moz: As SEO and web content specialists, you’d expect their content hub to be exemplary. Committed fans of the Moz team will know this to be true.
  107. Nasty Gal’s Nasty Galaxy
  108. National Association of Realtor’s House Logic
  109. Net-A-Porter’s The Edit and Mr Porter
  110. Nationwide
  111. New Belgium Brewery Community Blog – because beer
  112. One Medical Blog: “You have one life. Make it count.”
  113. OpenView Venture Partners Blog “Insights for B2B software companies.”
  114. OpenView Venture Partners’ Labs – another early example of content marketing for a small business
  115. Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog
  116. P&G Everyday is another site that has been around almost from the beginning of modern content marketing
  117. Patagonia: Durable outdoor wear needs a robust content strategy to go with it, and this is provided by the Patagonia team.
  118. Petsmart’s Parent Resource Center
  119. Prudential The Challenge Lab “Learn about the human behaviors that get in the way of planning your financial future.”
  120. Pfizer
  121. Progressive: Insurers Progressive have taken a few steps away from the somewhat irreverent branding, instead focusing on a range of incisive content topics aimed at giving customers the information they need.
  122. Random House: Publishers Random House are no stranger to the power of the written word, and their hub utilizes this strength to the full with a diverse array of content.
  123. Red Bull
  124. Reebok: Reebok understands what is meant by a solid content strategy and have been providing great pieces of content to an avid base of users for years. This year, they showed no sign of letting up.
  125. REI
  126. Ricoh Work Intelligently
  127. Rue La La
  128. Samsung’s Tech Life
  129. Salesforce Blog
  130. Santander: As one of the biggest banks in the world, Santander has a great deal of authority. They use this authority with aplomb within their content hub.
  131. SAP Digitalist Magazine: This was the site I started while at SAP and so proud to see how the team there has evolved it.
  132. SAP Hybris‘ The Future of Commerce
  133. SAS Blog
  134. Sharethrough’s NativeAdvertising.com “All things Native”
  135. Shutterstock Blog
  136. Society of Grownups
  137. Soul Cycle
  138. Sprint’s Future of Business 
  139. Starbucks: The ethos of Starbucks has always been a creative, hip, collaborative one, and this is exemplified with their 1912Pike blog. This is where the firm’s creative endeavors come together, spearheading the brand into 2017.
  140. Sun Life
  141. Sweet Green
  142. Target’s A “Bull’s Eye View
  143. Taco Bell: Taco Bell’s The Feed is a consistent great source of inspiration for a successful, playful content strategy.
  144. TD Ameritrade Tickertape “Pearls and insights for investors.”
  145. Tory Burch’s Tory Daily I like how this site humanizes the Tory brand
  146. Tracksmith
  147. Uber’s Newsroom
  148. US Government White House Blog 
  149. United Airlines
  150. Urban Outfitters: The ‘style blog’ genre has gained huge popularity in recent years, and has helped to propel numerous small businesses to the big time. Urban Outfitters is not one of them – their content game has been strong for some time – but they continue to serve as an inspiration.
  151. USAA
  152. Virgin America’s Flyer Feed
  153. Visual Matters – Sponsored by SAP
  154. Warby Parker
  155. West Elm’s Front + Main
  156. Wistia Video Library “Succeed With Video Marketing”
  157. WestElm
  158. WestJet Magazine
  159. Whole Foods
  160. Williams-Sonoma Taste: (still) a beautifully designed site
  161. WorldVision Blog  “Building a better world for children.”
  162. Your Primer
  163. Zillow Porchlight: “Always on. Guiding you home.” This site is so popular, they are selling ads
  164. Zuora: Zuora’s great-looking Academy focuses on delivering genuine insight, support and development to the software producer’s customers.

Do you have any more great examples of content marketing? Please add them here in the comments. Go ahead! It’s OK to promote your own program.

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, former Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.
Recent Posts
Showing 8 comments
  • Jeff Riddall
    Reply

    I’ve been super impressed by GoDaddy’s recent content marketing campaign up here in Canada with Toronto Raptor’s player Jonas Valanciunas. They’ve been running great and funny TV ads pointing consumers to http://ittybittyballers.ca where they’ve set up a fictitious business and GoDaddy-powered eComm site with all proceeds going to charity. Brilliant!

    • Michael Brenner
      Reply

      Thanks Jeff, very cool campaign. But I’m not sure this would qualify as content marketing. I think it could if they continue publishing regularly. There are many “cool campaigns” that fail to continue the momentum to be classified as content marketing.

      By definition, content marketing is NOT a campaign but a commitment to consistent publishing. Publishers publish consistently on the topics they commit to. Content marketing means brands creating publisher-like experiences. I think with this example, time will tell.

  • Aidan
    Reply

    Great post Michael. A couple of insurance brands down here in Australia are doing a wonderful job in content marketing – Bupa with http://theblueroom.bupa.com.au/ and HBF with https://www.directadvicefordads.com.au/

    • Michael Brenner
      Reply

      Thanks Aidan. Your continent has a ton of great examples we don’t hear much about here in the states. I’ll check these out for sure.

  • Roger Parker
    Reply

    This is a powerful, evergreen post. Bookmark-worthy for every content marketer.

    The examples, themselves, are inspiring. Each has lessons to teach. Each example leads to others.

    Through the links in the examples, I’ve discovered dozens of additional blogs that I’d never, otherwise, encounter. For example, http://www.brightbazaar.com. (I love the “How to Decorate a NYC Brownstone Apartment, even though I live in New Hampshire.)

    But, as compelling as the examples are, I think your 8-point “How to Become a Great Content Marketing Example for Others?” is even better.

    I’ve rarely seen the essence of content marketing distilled so concisely.
    Roger

    • Michael Brenner
      Reply

      Thanks Roger, I appreciate the comments and yes, this post is meant to be a resource for marketers struggling to show executives that content marketing is now fully mainstream. There is an example for every type of business, every industry, every size, all over the world.

      We’ll work on distilling the lessons from these examples in the coming months!

  • Anja Corbijn
    Reply

    Great article, thsnks for all the examples! At Kempen & Co we launched http://www.shiftto.org a long-term investment newsroom. Independent from our own brand, this initiative is doing very well. We aim for conversation leadership.

    • Michael Brenner
      Reply

      Thanks Anja, I love the site. Great job. You and your team should be proud!

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