The Best Content Marketing Examples

Michael Brenner on May 16, 2019 in Content Marketing

Year after year, I showcase the best brands that are crushing it with content in their niche. Previously, we published 99+ amazing examples of Content Marketing Hubs, where I divided them into different niches.

Here, I focus on simply giving examples, and leave you to do the sorting, analysis, and insight gathering. And now, 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! Brands from different industries and backgrounds are now entering the world of modern marketing, and we welcome them into the fold.

Maybe you are still skeptical that content marketing is right for your unique business/industry/size/audience. Maybe you are trying to learn from others by emulating what works for them. It’s hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t believe in the power of content marketing, but we’ve got the proof you need with lots of examples. Odds are your competitors are moving full steam ahead with content marketing. Do you want to be left behind?

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. You can also get our Content Marketing ROI formulas free, perfect for anyone who loves numbers.

The Difference between Content and Content Marketing

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.com, Adobe’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.

What Makes a Great Content Marketing Example

In assembling our list, we had to create some criteria around what we considered to be great. There needs to be a balance of design and utility. It has to get the job done—value of some kind—and ideally they are well designed.

The topic needs to be relevant and interesting to the audience. It should have a high readability score and cover the topic from an angle that delivers new insights and ideas. And of course, it should not be all about your brand. In fact, the less the brand name is used, the better. This is true thought leadership.

The examples on our list cover a wide variety of industries and formats. From ebooks to apps to video, content marketing includes a spectrum of opportunities. You’ll find the examples in alphabetical order instead of numbered because on this list, they all deserve equal props.

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.

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 no particular order, are the best content marketing examples I have found. Get inspired and aim to beat the leaders by next year!

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1. AARP listens to its members and develops content based on their needs in their monthly magazine that has over 22 million subscribers.

2. AbbVie StoryLab, a content hub focusing on the healthcare community

3. Adobe and CMO.com’s digital publication targets their buyers with content and insight.

4. ADP’s SPARK on igniting the power of people

5. American Express Open Forum is one of the oldest examples of modern content marketing!

6. Away Here, which signifies Away as a travel and lifestyle brand, not a bag company.

7. Bayer Magazine offers the latest in heath science.

8. Acorn’s Grow for business ideas

9. Bed Bath & Beyond’s One More Thing on lifestyle and things that change your life.

10. Ben & Jerry’s What’s New, which is about much more than ice cream

11. Birchbox Magazine, beauty and grooming ideas and inspiration for your daily life.

12. Blendtec “Will It Bend” video series is just pure fun

13. Bloomberg Diversity & Inclusion blog where stories of diversity show innovation.

13. Blue Apron’s Blog uses storytelling to attract fans.

14. British Airways Destinations, provides inspiration in their articles.

15. Bumble’s The Beehive on friendship and dating

16. Buffer Blog on everything social and online marketing

17. Buzzstream uses a variety of content formats to rise to thought leader status.

19. Capgemini partners with LinkedIn to create Content Loop (one of my favorite examples of ROI)

20. CA Technologies Rewrite on digital transformation

21. Caterpillar‘s BUILT FOR IT content hub is pretty amazing and even includes amusing posts for kids with machines playing Jenga.

22. CB Insider’s funny and informational newsletter

23. Chanel’s “Inside Chanel” shows the revolutionary moment of its creation.

24. Cheerios Recipes — a wide range of recipes made from cereal

25. Cisco Blogs and blogs and blogs

26. Adidas’ GamePlanA provides stories those who’re tackling work life “with an athlete’s heart.”

27. ClassPass’ great fitness content on The Warm Up

28. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials from their experts is designed to help people make quality decisions about their healthcare. It is another one of my favorite examples.

29. Clif Bar Our Stories, which exudes brand values

30. CMI has great content overall and even did a 45-min movie called “The Story of Content”.

31. Cox Media Group created an online “Success Kit” with valuable information to help other businesses succeed.

32. Crowe Insights develops content to target accountants and consultants with case studies, infographics, video and more.

33. DemandBase’s Account Based Marketing blog

34. Dell Technologies Perspectives uses a content-first approach and takes on thought leadership

35. Ellevest Insights, an investing platform with content focused on females

36. Eli Lilly: LillyPad ensures patients have access to safe and effective medicines, now and in the future.

37. Equinox Furthermore balances subtle but sharp aesthetic touches with content variation across the whole lifestyle spectrum, showing others in this class how it is done.

38. Etsy Blog for ideas and inspiration for creative living

39. Farmer’s Insurance’s Learn from Experience content hub

40. Fidelity MyMoney, offering money advice for every stage of life

41. First Republic Articles & Insights with topics and stories with high relevance for its audience

42. First Round Review makes the most of long-form content.

43. Fiverr Guides to learn how to build and grow your business

44. Four Seasons Magazine helps the brand connect to luxury travelers.

45. Fujitsu I-Global Intelligence for the CIO is the go-to digital content hub for information technology leaders.

46. GEICO More provides articles on driving care and safety, home improvement, investing tips, and GEICO commercials.

47. GE Reports has been a great example of brand storytelling for a long time.

48. GE Healthcare’s new Insights Platform

49. Glassdoor’s Blog including the awesome “25 Tips from Top CEOs” eBook

50. Goldman Sachs’ leadership hub “Our Thinking,” featuring podcasts, articles, and infographics

51. The Google Blog is mostly company news but has some interesting stories on “Working With People.”

52. GoPro News has some cool stories interspersed with news and product updates.

53. Harry’s Five O’clock, the last word in men’s grooming

54. Headspace “The Orange Dot,” advancing mindfulness and meditation

55. Hermes’ gorgeous videos are almost as good as their bags.

56. The Hootsuite blog, including this awesome “A Game of Social Thrones” video

57. HPE’s Newsroom (Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s content hub) sets the bar for corporate newsrooms.

58. HubSpot is one of the reigning kings of content marketing.

59. IBM’s blog has a ton of great content in different categories.

60. InVision’s blog turns design into a problem solver, not an aesthetic.

61. Intel IQ Blog has been a leader in the space for a long time.

62. Intuit’s Blog, which explores everything from their company news, social responsibility initiatives, culture of innovation, deep dives into emerging tech, small business resources, and more.

63. IKEA Ideas, featuring style and decorating tips

64. Inside Intercom has distinct visuals and creative content.

65. Intelligentsia Brew Guides to teach you all facets of brewing coffee.

66. Intrepid Traveler’s content hub “The Journal” is filled with stories of real travelers.

67. Hello J. Crew’s editorial content

68. John Deere’s 120-year-old publication “The Furrow,” which still leads with education and information over sales.

69. Johnson & Johnson’s home page reads more like a digital magazine with great health and wellness content.

70. Kinsta’s blog posts are a great example of masterfully done long-form content pieces.

71. KLM iFly, the content hub for travel inspiration

72. Land Rover Stories, the journeys of Photographers, Artists, and Explorers of their recent adventures and inspirations with Land Rover

73. The Unbounce blog has great tips on converting website traffic.

74. LEGO Family has amazing play ideas, building ideas, birthday party ideas and more (plus tons of awesome videos).

75. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog is awesome. Just check out their “The Secret Sauce”!

76. Live Person’s resources hub

77. L’Oreal’s Makeup.com is another one of my long time favorites.

78. Lowe’s Creative Ideas, inspires homeowners.

79. Lush Stories adds quirkiness to its content marketing plan, including inside videos.

80. Madewell Musings Blog about all the things you wear with denim

81. MailChimp’s blog speaks to their Small Biz audience

82. Marketo’s blog is a must-read for every marketer.

83. Marriott Traveler for those bitten by the travel bug

84. MassMutual’s Society of Grownups, the content hub that helps the world understand how to be a grown-up. Full of relatable, informational, and humorous content.

85. MasterCard‘s hub of “priceless” content

86. Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom Magazine

87. Morgan Stanley shares insider insights on markets, economics, global trends and more.

88. Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays are a must-see for digital marketers.

89. Mr Porter’s Journal, a weekly style guide

90. National Association of Realtors’ HouseLogic

91. Zomato’s great sense of humor is a winner for this restaurant finder. They have a knack for creating and sharing images on social media poking fun at popular culture.

92. Net-A-Porter is the ultimate curation of fashion content

93. Netflix‘s blog for Netflix originals, blog posts, ISP speed rankings, corporate assets, premiere dates, and more

94. Old Spice videos shift to humor, rarely mentioning the brand

95. Zendesk takes keyword phrase “Zendesk alternatives” to create spoof video taking the page to number one in results for the keyword. And, they have one of the best Customer Service blogs.

96. Oracle has insights on pretty much every tech-related topic.

97. The Pedigree blog is all about puppy care tips, guidance and information.

98. Peloton’s The Output, generating content for all the brand’s fans

99. Pfizer’s Get Old website for the changing attitudes about getting older

100. Plated’s Morsel, with its beautiful imagery and great tips

101. Progressive Commercial’s Business Onward, content for SMBs.

102. Zipcar’s Ziptopia, engaging drivers between rentals

103. Random House, spreading the love of reading

104. Red Bull TV enables a stronger brand message and enhances one of our industries favorite examples in the RedBulletin magazine.

105. REI’s Paul’s Boots video tells the stories of the people who carried Paul’s boots.

106. Rent the Runway’s The Shift blog is  modern womans source for style and substance.

107. Wistia’s “Terms of Service” is a fun idea while its blog about vlogging — or is it vlog about blogging — tells you everything about videos!

108. WP Engine uses content to educate customers about everything WordPress

109. Rosetta Stone’s language learning blog which shares stories from real customers, employee and language experts.

110. Rue La La: Rue Now brings you the bleeding edge in fashion and lifestyle

117. Sage Advice—a very clever name—offers information for SMEs on finances.

118. Salesforce brings you everything on sales & marketing.

119. Santander and its Prosper and Thrive content hub designed for millennials

120. Sephora and the Beauty Insider Community, which contains truckloads of user-generated content

121. Slack’s Several People Typing has some awesome tips on productivity and collaboration.

122. SoulCycle Community feeds your soul via the medium of cycling.

123. Square’s Town Square is a self-contained resource to help you start, run, and grow your business.

124. Starbucks has some stories that will inspire you almost as much as coffee!

125. Stitch Fix’s Stitch Fix/Style gives women ideas on outfits and features designer spotlights.

126. Sun Life has a very good blog called “Learn and Plan” on managing your finances, staying insured, and planning for retirement.

127. Tableau has an interesting take on data visualizations.

128. The Hartford’s two content hubs: Small Biz Ahead and Extra Mile.

129. The Home Depot’s Garden Club is a paradise for gardening lovers.

130. United Airlines The United Hub features destination-specific stories and service tips.

131. Visit Seattle captures the varied experiences travelers can have in the city.

132. Warby Parker build their brand by telling us what they’re reading, writing, making, or doing.

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Whew! That’s a looong list with lots of great examples. If you’d like to create something amazing with your content marketing but aren’t sure where to start, contact us today, and we’ll help you make the list next year!

Are you interested in activating the storytellers inside your business and building an amazing content-based experience for your customers today? Let’s talk about how I can assist you.

I use a combination of personal branding, consistent social audience building, and support in creating authentic and ongoing thought leadership content. I’ve done it for myself. I’ve done it for the companies I’ve worked for. I’ve helped activate hundreds, even thousands of thought leaders to tell better stories. I’ve done it for numerous clients. And I can do it for you. 

Contact me today!

Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 12 comments
  • Jeff Riddall

    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 https://ittybittyballers.ca where they’ve set up a fictitious business and GoDaddy-powered eComm site with all proceeds going to charity. Brilliant!

    • Michael Brenner

      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

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

    • Michael Brenner

      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

    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

      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

    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

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

  • Daniel Hochuli

    A great list. In presentations I always like to point to an Australian example – thenakedceo.com

    Backed by Certified Public Accountants (CPA), the website is a help center for students, offering everything from becoming an accountant to motivation to career advice. The frontman is Alex Malley, an actual CEO. What I love is the ‘Ask Alex’ section where students can ask the CEO any question. Alex then posts video responses (really unique) each month.

    I’m not sure of its numbers but the content has resulted in a best selling book and Alex becoming a major speaker to students at many universities and CPA has made huge gains against their rivals, CPA, with new students.

    Glad to see MOZ on this list too. In my opinion nobody has been better at building an audience through content marketing. I particularly like their Moz Points system for subscribers. It’s something that really could be a golden goose for content marketers in education verticals. The first university to copy Moz points will have the most loyal alumni.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks so much Daniel, I love that example and how the CEO is putting a human face on it and the focus of helping students of the accounting world. Will certainly add it to next year’s compilation.

  • Caleb Gonsalves

    It’s exciting to see this list grow! There’s been a groundswell over the last year of companies finally starting to make smart investments in building out a publishing infrastructure. It used to feel like a stretch to find good examples, and now it’s hard to choose the best!

    I’ve been incredibly impressed with the strides Marriott has made, especially when it comes to its attribution/ROI model. That’s still something so many brands struggle with.

    I was surprised to see Colgate left off the list. Their Oral Care Center is pretty robust and has received a number of accolades. Also, one of my more recent favorites is HP’s http://www.tektonikamag.com. It’s still in its infancy, but I expect great things in the future.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Caleb, I totally meant to include Colgate. It’s tough keeping them all straight.