Content marketing and social media go together like peanut butter and jelly. Done right, a good content marketing piece can go viral and result in massive exposure and reach for the company.
Here are seven excellent social content marketing examples and the strategies that paid off big for their companies—plus tips for how you can copy their ideas!
Target and Pinterest: Party with Pinners
Target and Joy Cho of Oh Joy! teamed up to create this unique pinboard, filled with cute, affordable and downright whimsical party ideas for gatherings big and small.
It also travels through the alphabet, giving party ideas, recipes, decorating suggestions and fun crafts for all ages using materials and items that you can, naturally, buy at Target. With over 800,000 followers and tons of comments and repins, Target has carved out a special place for decorating and serving on a budget.
How to Do It
Many of the images featured on Target’s party pinboard have originally come from Instagram. Using a free app like InstaPin can let you effortlessly pin Instragram photos to your Pinterest board. No app? No problem. A web-based service like Gramfeed gives you the same functionality online. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due!
Vine and Home Depot: DIY Dazzle
Who could’ve predicted that a few seconds could be so informative? In our fast-paced, attention-starved world, getting the message out loud and clear is more important than ever—doubly so for advertisers. That’s why Home Depot has created short and sweet DIY projects and workshops through its Vine outlet.
How to Do It
Create a six-second teaser video showing your product or service in action. But don’t give away the ending. Instead, ask your followers how they think the story ends. Consider turning their ideas into a little contest for even greater marketing momentum. Time lapse and stop-motion animation videos, in particular, are ideal for use with Vine.
Buzzfeed and HBO’s Silicon Valley: The Perfect Match
There are some things that only a certain segment of your audience will understand. HBO knows this and went straight to the source (programmers) to promote its new series, Silicon Valley. By showing problems that programmers can relate to, they generate targeted readers who are likely to check out their new series as well.
How to Do It
Buzzfeed advertising focuses on several different avenues, including social stories, partner promotions, social discovery, custom videos and more.
Of course, the budget required might be a bit too steep for most small businesses, so consider where your audience is likely to hang out online when they’re bored and looking for entertainment. Then think of ways that you can craft a targeted piece of content that they can totally understand and appreciate!
Mobile Apps and Charmin: When You Gotta Go on the Go…
Think you can’t come up with a fun, creative and practical way to sell toilet paper? Charmin did. Although it’s not exactly social media, their app does make that-thing-that-shall-not-be-named a little easier, with mapped out directions to all the restrooms in a given area. Not surprisingly, you can rate the public restrooms through the app as to whether they’re “Sit” (like) or “Squat” (dislike).
How to Do It
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for an iPhone programmer to create an app. Online template-based services like Seattle Clouds make it easy for anyone to point and click their way to a custom app using a variety of layouts and setups. The resulting app can be used on Amazon Kindle, Apple iPhone and iPad and Android devices, so you’re covered no matter which device your target audience uses.
P&G’s Home Made Simple
When you have brands that run the gamut from diapers to deodorant, you need a content marketing strategy that can encompass all of them without being overly promotional. That’s exactly what P&G’s Home Made Simple is designed to do.
With categories that span everything from recipes to organization, crafts to decor, they not only share articles and videos, but how-tos, quotes, community discussions and much more. Essentially, they’re posting information and letting their audience take it to the next level. It’s crowdsourced content at its finest.
How to Do It
Any good content management system should be able to handle the foundation of a resource site. For example, WordPress together with premium plugins from WPMUDev can turn your basic blogging platform into an attractive blend of membership, community, events calendar and more—all in just a few clicks.
If you wanted to promote your selection of mobile phone plans, how would you do it? Verizon knows. You tell people all about the best, hand-picked apps in a range of practical categories ranging from studying to battery life.
Knowing what apps are available automatically gets people excited about the potential of their new phone—without a single advertisement actively promoting it. In fact, you’d never know Verizon was even behind the site until you scroll down to the footer. That’s content marketing done right.
How to Do It
Plenty of content management systems allow you to transform your site into a Review HQ. Premium WordPress themes like Pro Review can give you a professional looking review site with a few clicks.
If you’re absolutely in love with your existing theme but still want to give it review functionality, the WordPress Review plugin will give you the flexibility of a custom post type specifically for reviews. It’s basic, but it’s free, and you can’t argue with that!
American Express OPEN Forum
Like Verizon Wireless’ Recapp, American Express has embraced the small business community by way of its OPEN Forum. Everything from asking questions to sharing advice is welcomed here, and members are often highlighted on the front page, demonstrating that OPEN is the community that gives back.
Although American Express is clearly noted as the provider, you won’t see any credit card links scattered over the page until you scroll to the bottom. Through its tight integration with LinkedIn, the OPEN Forum streamlines registration and posting, letting people dive into the community right away.
How to Do It
A combination of WordPress plugins (like a member directory), bbPress (forum) and a Q&A add-on can make this happen for you. If you simply want to turn WordPress into a forum, there are themes for that, too.
If you’d rather not use a content management system as the basis for your forum, you can still get all the benefits of a community through a highly popular, self-hosted or company-hosted forum like VBulletin.
Tying it All Together
The core thread that ties all these sites together isn’t about the technology behind them. It’s how they manage to combine community, helpfulness and openness in a way that immediately invites discussion and feedback.
Content marketing is more about the content than the marketing—and getting users to interact, share and contribute builds a strong relationship-based foundation that any company would envy.
Share Your Content Marketing Wins!
Have you crafted an amazing content marketing social campaign? Seen one that’s worth sharing? Tell us about it below in the comments!
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sherice Jacob.
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