While some brands are just getting their feet wet when it comes to content marketing, others have been using content for ages, and have shown that they are masters of it. Take a look at some of the top content marketing brands and see what ideas you can borrow a page from their playbook.
25 top content marketing brands
American Express has one of the best video content marketing setups you will find. The brand’s OPEN Forum provides assistance to small-business owners and anyone else looking to learn more about banking, loans or finances. Every video on the forum is geared toward customers and contains an incredibly deep library of content that could answer virtually any question a customer could have.
OPEN Forum has been thriving since 2007, and Amex has bolstered that innovation with several more forms of content marketing it continues to excel in. The brand sends insights and updates straight to followers’ inboxes with its newsletter, Business Class: The Brief.
Do you know the following terms: hardlines, soft consumables, e-tailers? Chances are, you need to brush up on these things, to expand your knowledge of e-commerce and especially if you’re a small-business owner.
Shopify makes learning the terms that make up the evolving e-commerce landscape easy, with its Business Encyclopedia and Business Glossary of Terms. It’s simply a database of terms that are important to know when it comes to using Shopify to sell your products. Shopify is one of the biggest innovators in e-commerce these days, working with Instagram to provide direct purchasing from social media.
Patagonia is the undisputed leader in content marketing when it comes to sustainability and transparency. The brand positions itself as a leader in saving natural resources such as oceans and marine life.
Patagonia even came out with its line of food products, called Patagonia Provisions, that promotes education about climate change and climate issues. Head over to the Activism tab on Patagonia’s website to find an abundance of content that displays the brand’s commitment to bettering the environment, including a self-imposed 1% Earth tax on all of the brand’s revenue.
Plenty of innovation is being made in content marketing in the fashion space, especially given the rise of Instagram in popularity and as an e-commerce platform. ASOS, a brand that allows small businesses to find a wide audience to sell their products, is one of the most innovative brands when it comes to marketing with user-generated content. The brand uses the hashtag #AsSeenOnAsos to curry posts from users all over Instagram.
Around November or December of each year, you can’t miss nearly all of your followers sharing their “Spotify Wrapped,” showing off their listening stats and recounting the artists they loved and discovered over the past year. Spotify’s “Wrapped” feature is one of the most clever pieces of content marketing from the past several years. You just can’t help but look back on the music and podcasts that came to define your year, and Spotify offers easy ways to share it on social media.
Airbnb has been one of the most innovative brands to inspire people to travel the country and even the world, and the company’s use of content on its website shows why it is so effective at getting people out of their home cities and exploring.
Airbnb launched Airbnb Neighborhoods to help potential travelers weigh up the pros and cons of particular neighborhoods in each city where they can stay in an Airbnb. The Neighborhoods page tells you exactly what to expect, so a trip can be made for specific purposes, or to explore a new area where someone has never been before.
Airbnb also boosts its content with breathtaking photos of all of its destinations, taken by professional photographers. It also provides a print magazine for browsing at Airbnb host locations or on magazine racks. The magazine tells stories about people in locations across the globe and articulates Airbnb’s brand mission.
Doritos has long been on the cutting-edge of user-generated content and advertising, with many notable Super Bowl ads and humorous campaigns characterizing the chip brand’s personality.
The brand’s use of memes to market its products is particularly worth paying attention. Doritos unveiled a new name for its meme creators: the “Legion of Creators,” or “Legion of the Bold.” People can sign up at the Legion of Creators website to create their own Doritos content. Cash prizes are in store if Doritos uses your own meme for its marketing or social media.
General Electric, a multinational conglomerate that started back in 1892, is certainly the oldest company on this list. GE has evolved with the times, setting up a content marketing operation that is to be admired by companies large and small.
GE provides daily content with a web-based magazine called GE Reports and its own weekly newsletter called GE Brief. On Instagram, GE started a hashtag, #GEInstaWalk in which GE and its clients walk through and tour facilities. The trend generated 3,000 new followers for GE.
IBM was a major player in the invention of the internet, and it continues to lead the way on how information is shared or accessed. IBM provides plenty of information about its products and any topics related to its work, with a blog, forums and events related to computer programming and software development.
Ben & Jerry’s
The beloved ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, emerged as a leading company speaking out on social issues in 2020, when the killing of George Floyd ignited protests and conversations about race relations in the United States.
It was covered widely in the media that Ben & Jerry’s worked to bring action and education on white supremacy, voting rights and . The brand started a series of podcasts on these subjects, too, most notably “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” in partnership with Vox Media. This is a meaningful example of excellent content marketing by a brand that seeks to be a leader on racial justice.
Podcasts are one of the most popular emerging forms of media, and brand podcasts are changing the conversation around content marketing. FedEx produces a podcast called, “Making It Work,” in which entrepreneurs “tell it like it is” each week. The podcast is heading into its third season, and it focuses on telling the stories of small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.
LinkedIn has forged a unique identity as a social media platform, keying in on professional connections to learn more about careers, industries and the ideas that make them work. Any user on LinkedIn who posts a thoughtful essay or an engaging blog post can expect to be connected with professionals across the country or even the world. LinkedIn shows how content can facilitate professional growth. LinkedIn has also added some innovative features lately, including Creator Mode for influencers and LinkedIn Video Ads.
Whole Foods is one of the biggest grocery chains in the country, and it knows how to tell a great story. The Whole Story, a media creation by Whole Foods, shares information about Whole Foods’ operations, recipes and nutrition.
This brand has mastered the use of many different channels to bring its followers content. This video showcasing a baker’s techniques and perspective on his craft tells a story in a unique way, and so does this interview with two of the executives who oversee body products at Whole Foods.
Taco Bell has sharpened its image as one of the most fun fast-food brands out there. The brand’s Twitter and Instagram pages embrace meme culture and the brand provides a fun experience at every interaction.
Lil Nas X has formed a partnership of sorts with Taco Bell, appearing in a commercial. Lil Nas X actually worked at Taco Bell as a teenager before his music career took off, so it’s a fitting combination of two culturally relevant entities.
Adding value to your readers, whether they immediately become customers or not, is an essential part of content marketing. Zendesk, a CRM software company, is one of the top software-as-a-service (SaaS) organizations in this category.
Zendesk’s blog is a gold mine of important resources and insights for business owners, communication managers or salespeople. The blog includes scripts for cold calling, articles covering interesting topics in Zendesk’s area of expertise and helpful how-to’s.
Canva, a graphic design tool, brings incredible design capabilities to anyone’s fingertips, and the software is so easy to use that anyone can appear to be a pro, regardless of familiarity with graphic design. Posters, infographics and other art can be whipped up quickly with Canva.
That’s not all Canva provides, though. Canva’s website, YouTube channel and social media help its users learn more about how infographic, posters or flyers can be tools for content marketing strategies. Articles such as “How to develop a content strategy from scratch” empower users to learn more about creating content. What’s unique about Canva is that the platform not only shares information about content marketing, it provides the tools needed to create eye-grabbing art, too.
Canva also engages with its fans on social media in interesting ways. Design challenges adorn the Instagram feed with beautiful user-generated creations.
Apple’s #ShotoniPhone user-generated content campaign on Instagram and other social channels is one of the most creative ways to showcase a product you can find. The photos in this hashtag are incredible examples of photography that don’t take much to create, outside of an eye for a great photo and the creativity to put it into motion.
A CRM and customer service communication platform, Salesforce is a fast-growing company that capitalized on the need to go virtual during the pandemic and hasn’t lost any steam moving ahead as we continue emerging from the COVID-19 days.
Salesforce is establishing itself as a content creator around business innovation, diversity and inclusion and leadership. A series of video content called “Leading Through Change” highlights the leadership challenges that upper-level managers face, and doles out advice on overcoming them. It also provides important perspectives on empowering women in the workplace and innovation in business across many different industries.
Slack is likely the biggest name when it comes to workplace communication. Of course, the company’s content marketing backs up that reputation. Case studies, of which you can find plenty of on Slack’s website, give clear examples of how Slack helps the working world turn.
This case study of how Boston’s MBTA transit system uses Slack to maintain its status as one of the smoothest-running transit systems in the United States illustrates Slack’s effectiveness. MBTA has been using Slack since 2016 for the purpose of sharing new ideas on the system’s operations, gathering data and solving issues more seamlessly.
Oracle’s “On The Fly” video series brings small, bite-sized video content that still packs enough substance to be memorable and actionable for professionals who watch it. The first season of this video series centered on delivering marketing advice while traveling, while the second season refocused in the wake of the pandemic to marketing during disruption. The perfect length of these videos, plus the diversity in perspectives and advice make it a memorable content marketing approach.
Chipotle’s brand personality has embraced meme culture and targeted millennials and Gen Zers for years. The restaurant’s limited menu items give the brand just enough to work with, and Chipotle makes it go a long way.
Social media campaigns such as these videos relating to free queso on Mondays and tips and tricks to make the most of a Chipotle order not only bring value to any follower watching, it also packs in a fun video that is worth sharing with friends – along with the free queso.
Coca-Cola is the most popular drink company in the world, so it’s no surprise that Coca-Cola is on the cutting edge of content marketing. The brand’s massively successful content and ad campaign, “Share A Coke,” which featured people’s names on Coke bottles is memorable for its creativity.
Lately, Coca-Cola has dipped its feet into augmented reality, rolling out a mini-game called the “Coca-Cola Byte AR Mini-Game.” Buying a Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte drink allows the user to scan the can and play the game.
GoPro’s company mission is to “enable the world to capture and share its passions.” Well, GoPro does the same thing with its own content marketing. GoPro creates and shares content made by its users and subscribers.
GoPro also maintains a blog called “World of GoPro.”
Uber started the ride-sharing game and has always taken a more straight-laced approach. However, Lyft seeks to cultivate a community and generate fun engagement along the way. The brand embraces TikTok creators, memes and other light-hearted forms of content.
Lyft is also making a big step in “bike-sharing” with another form of public transportation. Lyft’s content around this new feature piques people’s interest and makes them smile, laugh or learn more.
The advent of NIL in college sports opened lots of opportunities for brands. Gatorade is chief among the brands that made notable moves in the space. Gatorade started partnering with student-athletes all over the country to create the Gatorade Social Squad. Student-athletes from many different sports shared videos in partnership with Gatorade.
Gage Ferguson, a football player at Idaho State, is a popular TikTok influencer better known as @Dimes. Ferguson was one of many more athletes to join the #gatoradesocialsquad, and he contributed his throwing and football-related videos to the movement.