Is there anything better than a real-life content marketing success story?
I didn’t think so! While content marketing statistics and research reports uniformly indicate that custom content is one of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to increase web traffic, lead generation, and revenue, the practice isn’t always simple.
What if you’re trying to make a startup seem like a bigger, more well-established brand? Or what if you’re trying to create simple, accessible content around a really complex and technical product?
These questions, and many more, were answered in the following case studies from leading marketing agencies. We’ve picked some of our favorites, with an eye toward including brands that succeeded for their clients in the face of a massive challenge:
Hotel chain The Four Season’s clientele are a uniquely urbane and well-traveled bunch, which is why just any content wouldn’t do. Greensboro, NC-based content agency Pace created FourSeasonsMagazine.com, as well as a collection of related micro-sites and newsletters.
The affiliated outreach includes Concierge Recommends and Wedding Four Seasons. Described as both “sophisticated and tactical,” the content excels because it’s so effectively targeted, well-researched and loaded with gorgeous pictures.
Did it work? Absolutely! Not only was Pace awarded agency of the year at Content Marketing World 2013, the content’s also been awarded multiple gold and silver awards in the annual Adrian digital marketing awards.
What they did right: Pace embraced the quality and luxury at the core of The Four Season’s mission, and channeled these principles into content to educate their client’s customers. The average individual who frequents the Four Seasons has been around the globe a time or two, which is why their cutting-edge travel editorial drove such remarkable results.
2. dCustom: Carry the Load
Carry the Load is a non-profit organization dedicated to “restoring the original meaning of memorial day,” by raising awareness and funds for non-profit organizations that support US military veterans.
dCustom helped create a video to raise awareness for this cause, which instantly went viral. This piece of content was shown before movie trailers, at a Texas Rangers baseball game, and even won a Telly award.
As you can tell, the content isn’t especially flashy, but it works. By achieving an understated effect, dCustom was able to effectively align the content’s mission with Carry the Load’s objective, which is to put the focus on people.
Why they did right: It would have been tempting to go for an overstated video, but they didn’t. By showcasing real people and their emotions, dCustom was able to better connect with the video’s viewers.
Nashville, Tennessee-based content agency Hammock wasn’t given a small task by B2B organization Health to You. The agency created a library of health-focused content resources that detailed proactive living habits, in a way that could inspire adults to live better lives.
The content would be implemented and publicized by hospital, employers, and other companies. While the task sounds massive, Hammock succeeded intensely well. The engaging resources they created improved audience engagement, and Health to You’s own client retention.
What they did right: This project was especially challenging because the audience was so broad. However, the quality measures of this project allowed the content to be accepted as a valuable resource by Health to You’s end users.
Oslo-based Publitek focuses exclusively on technical publications, but they do this extraordinarily well. A recent assignment wasn’t an unfamiliar marketing challenge, but it’s a pretty big one - how do you make a startup seem larger and better-established? And what if the client is incredibly specialized?
Working with microcontroller company Energy Micro, Publitek created 110 highly-technical, expert articles on the client’s behalf. Within 5 years of Publitek’s engagement with Energy Micro, the company was purchased for $170 million, thanks in large part to Publitek’s ability to effectively tell their story through content marketing.
What they did right: Publitek transformed Energy Micro into the definition of a brand publisher. Through obsessive PR efforts and networking, articles authored by Energy Micro became a reputable resource, rapidly improving the brand’s positioning in their market.
The American Indian Science & Engineering Society has a long-standing magazine, Winds of Change. However, as its audience of tech-savvy STEM professionals was increasingly digital-focused, its content strategy needed a revamp.
The PohlyCo stepped in, and added web advertising, and an email marketing newsletter for the publication. Sales and profits have increased significantly as a result, and the magazine has been able to attract big-name advertisers like Toyota and the US Navy.
What they did right: Taking the magazine digital was a key step for PohlyCo, who recognized that engineers and scientist’s today are highly sophisticated when it comes to technology. Tailoring the content to a context its readers were most comfortable with was a critical component of increasing readership and revenues.
Can you imagine writing a blog with an 80% CTA conversion rate? Content that inspires individuals to action en mass is among the most valuable kinds, and that’s exactly what marketing agency Wax achieved in their work for Humana.
The largest provider of supplementary Medicare insurance in the US, Humana needed engaging content for its audience of primarily senior citizens, to inspire them to engage in more healthy living habits.
With a combination of both visual and editorial content delivered on the web and in print, Wax’s program achieved remarkable results for Humana’s members, 80% of whom reported taking better care of themselves after reading the content.
What they did right: When many of us think of health-related content, we think of dry, boring content. However, Wax went to the opposite end of the spectrum, and enhanced their articles with a realistic voice, and bright, colorful visuals. It was a risk, but it worked.
Just because an organization’s products are complicated, it doesn’t need to mean that their content is difficult to find or digest. Marketing agency Trew was contracted by Bustec, a leading provider of data acquisition products, to create a total redesign of their website, including mobile-optimization and better content.
At the core of this revamp was a short, flash-based video tutorial which explained Bustec’s products. The results turned out to be remarkable; Bustec increased web traffic 300% within 6-months of the redesign, which can surely be attributed to the improved ease-of-use, visual content, and SEO optimization at the core of the strategy.
Why they did right: By explaining Bustec’s complex product lines in engaging visuals, the site became less daunting, and immediately made sense to first-time visitors, allowing Bustec to improve traffic retention, referrals, and repeat visitors.
The Flaming Vegan is more of a community than a site or blog, but their results from contracting Good Blogs to step in and assist were positively remarkable. The marketing agency focused on both native and user-submitted content, keeping costs and engagement low in the process. The results within the first 90 days of the contract included:
- Publication of 500 User-Generated Blogs
- A 500% Increase in Social Media Traffic
- Organic search traffic from over 2,000 phrases!
What they did right: Actively soliciting user-generated content kept operating costs down, while dramatically increasing the social shareability of their content. Each new contributing author’s friends were sure to come and check their content out, allowing The Flaming Vegan to quickly build an audience.
Marketing agency TC Transcontinental partnered with car manufacturer Chevrolet to promote the launch of their all-new, family-friendly Orlando. In order to capture the attention of French speaking Quebec Mothers, TC Transcontinental distributed high-value content to a high-traffic media site, which featured life-hacking tips specifically tailored to busy Mothers.
The campaign included a lead-capture element, where Mothers were able to enter a drawing to the VIP premiere of The Muppets movie. As a result, the marketing agency was able to both capture leads and create significant hype around the vehicle release.
What they did right: TC Transcontinental wisely channeled their efforts into the right forms of distribution, instead of attempting to build an audience from the ground up before the quickly-approaching launch.
Despite the fact that Roma Moulding is the world’s 2nd-largest picture framing manufacturer, their website wasn’t quite optimized for eCommerce. TBK Creative stepped into create a total redesign and content revamping of their website.
By creating web copy for 1600 product descriptions, and adding a “build my own frame” tool, TBK Creative was effectively able to achieve content marketing perfection and achieve “one of the most sophisticated WordPress websites built to date.” The result includes high-quality product descriptions, an interactive element, and some serious SEO potential.
What they did right: Regardless of how well-established a brand is, they’ll struggle to gain traction online without well-written product descriptions. By improving Roma’s web content around their products, TBK was able to effectively elevate their user experience and web metrics.
For more insights on how leading marketing agencies are driving remarkable results for clients, check out 28 Indispensable Research Reports and Marketing Case Studies for #SmallBiz Strategy.