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Which consumer companies do content marketing well?

There is a lot of talk about content marketing of late, but honestly have not seen that many consumer companies do it well. Aside from OKCupid (their OK Trends blog) and maybe Buffer what are examples of consumer focused companies that have done content marketing well? What do you think is key to pulling it off?

20 Replies

Alan Peters
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Alan Peters Entrepreneur
VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks
Great question. B2b companies have easier road here. Red Bull GoPro Whole foods
Marcus Siegel
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Marcus Siegel Entrepreneur • Advisor
Product Design
I think the very best content marketers are the ones who are able to outsource content production to their own consumers. Take GoPro as an example. Instead of creating their own content, they can draw from thousands of daily consumer contributions to find the best piece to recirculate back to their audiences. Of course, when your product is actually used by consumers to create high-quality videos that represent your brand's values, it's almost too easy.

As far as companies creating their own content, I really like following the Priceonomics blog. Buffer is also great, as you mentioned.

Sidenote: Recently I've been working with Nike, Redbull and a few other brands to help recreate this "outsourced content marketing" model within their respective consumer audiences.
Lauren Holliday
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Lauren Holliday Entrepreneur
Marketing Manager at Launch Academy
Neil Patel, http://quicksprout.com, blog.kissmetrics.com

SkilledUp.com is ramping up its content marketing. Yes, I am partial here because I do work with SkilledUp.com.

HubSpot for sure!!

Definitely Kapost.com too.

Contently also.
Sandy Fischler
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Sandy Fischler Entrepreneur
Experiential Marketing Director | Event Producer | Event Management | Entrepreneur
I think the more important question to be asking: is content marketing an effective route to reaching our potential customers?

I think content marketing works for specific customer types and specific situations. I'm not a fan of automated marketing, I think nothing will ever replace building relationships with people who are likely to become customers. So, my preference runs to growth hacking vs spray and pray marketing techniques.

That being said, in my book Copyblogger is the undisputed king of well done content marketing.
Alan Peters
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Alan Peters Entrepreneur
VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks
I would argue that content marketing is the opposite of Spray and Pray. Content marketing is a long game. A good content marketing ptogram provides value to your customers and builds lasting avenues of discovery.
Rajan Arora
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Rajan Arora Advisor
Director, Platform and Channel Solutions
Alan, great point. Content marketing is about creating relationships with consumers early in their buyer's journey, well before the cash register. It's an incredibly challenging practice, but can pay large dividends in the long run.
Sandy Fischler
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Sandy Fischler Entrepreneur
Experiential Marketing Director | Event Producer | Event Management | Entrepreneur
Alan, it depends on how it's used. 90% of what I see people doing with content marketing is spray and pray. They vomit out enormous quantities of low-quality content that does absolutely nothing to create value or build relationships. If your prospect doesn't walk away with some actionable ideas that they can implement and improves what they are doing then all that content marketer did was waste the prospect's 4 minutes reading yet another iteration of "10 Tips to Increase Your Marketing Effectiveness".

Content marketing that doesn't convert is a waste of everyone's time. It's a lot like social media marketing, everyone piles into it with a gold rush mentality but only a small number of people really understand it and do it well. Everyone else is just creating noise.

Done well, content marketing is extremely effective and as Rajan said, it pays huge dividends in the long run. The trick is doing it well and the only way to do it well is to really, deeply understand your customer and their buying process.

Churning out batches of content that's been SEO'd to death and pointing to click rates as a success metric is just sloppy marketing. The real question always has to be who is our customer, how to we intercept their buying process, and how do we deliver enough value that they're happily jumping into our sales funnel. If you aren't asking the hard questions up front then all you're doing is spray and pray.
Alan Peters
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Alan Peters Entrepreneur
VP Product and Technology at BusinessBlocks
Clearly, done poorly, or spamily, it doesn't matter what you are doing. Eg Email marketing can be super effective but I've unsubscribed to the Democratic Party mails because they drive me bananas. I think marketers need to vary techniques at different stages in purchase cycle. Content marketing isn't very good for converting a purchase. It's better for awareness or engagement. (NFL would be a brand who excels at content marketing for the latter). It also depends if course on what type if product or service you are selling. There's a lifestyle to be built around sharing economy companies - and that lends itself well to content marketing. Content marketing for a casual game would be a harder fit
Jules Pieri
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Jules Pieri Entrepreneur
Co-founder and CEO, The Grommet
Totally biased, but it's something that I am proud of at The Grommet. (We are B2C2B.) That sounds like self-aggrandizing promotion but the reason I am particularly proud of our work in this area is that for the first four years of our very painful starving beginnings, we never let up on the quality, heart, or frequency of our daily video/photo/written stories. Honestly it was the only thing we did well.

But content (product launches) are our product and I don't believe in MVP when it comes to content. I was willing to frequently apologize for the way we skimmed by on everything else in the company (below MVP!), but I was never willing (and still am not) to apologize for the quality of a Grommet--both its product performance and our own story telling.

We never called this core work "content marketing" but most people would.
Andrew J. Coate
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Andrew J. Coate Entrepreneur
Digital Marketer, Community Builder, Sorta Nice Guy
This is actually an interest question. The narrative in B2B is usually that content marketing is easy for B2C and it's hard to find good examples in B2B! Anyway, I'd like to thank Lauren above for calling out Kapost. We certainly appreciate that.

I'd point tohttp://kapost.com/kapost-50-content-marketing/.We're updating for 2014, but these were 50 companies we found to be spectacular at content marketing (and why), with many of them consumer focused. Hope that helps!
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