Quality content marketing does more than sell. These days, people want to be engaged with humor, stunning visuals, and great conversation. Some companies exude creativity with content such as survival guides and maps that track best-selling items.
To help you rethink content marketing, we asked 12 startup founders for their pick of companies that really know how to capture an audience.
The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, is the entrepreneur that most entrepreneurs aspire to be. It’s not just because of his net worth. Branson makes it look like he is having a lot of fun. He makes the effort to write stories about previous and current struggles he has with the Virgin companies, and he offers true insight into what’s working and not working for the brand.
KISSmetrics does an amazing job with “evergreen” content marketing on how to build your online presence and measure the impact of your campaigns. The articles are in-depth, useful across industries, and stand the test of time. As a result, it has built a consistent stream of inbound leads to their paid software products.
Searchmetrics is awesome at content marketing. It does in-depth studies of things that are of interest to most business owners. It show you exactly what’s going on with website rankings. It’s pretty amazing stuff and really has helped me with my current business to know in detail what’s going on.
– John Rampton, Due
(Editor disclosure: Searchmetrics is our partner for our SEJ Summit conference series.)
Intuit Quickbase is one of those rare brands that prioritizes compelling content that solves customer problems over constant sales pitches. The company’s Fast Track blog has become one of the most respected project management and leadership online publications out there today because Intuit understands that it will, in the end, “catch more flies” with quality thought leadership.
– Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work
I know he’s an individual, but Jay Baer is awesome, and many people source inspiration from his thoughts and methodologies. What makes him so stellar are his approach and way of thinking. He’s got a human and gritty feel that is refreshing compared to the rest of the fodder and listicles out there.
– Peter Sena, Digital Surgeons
The social media tool company Buffer is providing great content on their blog. They regularly post in-depth pieces that are relevant to their audience, and are optimized for web consumption and sharing on social networks. You can even read about how they’re doing it – they openly share their strategies (and even results like revenue, how many customers they have, etc) on their website.
The Muse is a career website that has done a great job of providing top quality career and job interview advice. Even as a business owner, I find their advice relevant and helpful when hiring for our team!
– Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
Shopify has one of the most popular e-commerce blogs, sharing valuable and detailed information about the tech space. By partnering with authorities like Daymond John from Shark Tank and holding contests, they have moved beyond simple content marketing. Shopify makes it easy for entrepreneurs to learn and grow their visibility by sharing guides, tutorials, and videos.
– Marcela DeVivo, Gryffin Media
Best Made Co.
I love Best Made Co. and their use of story. Their team travels to awesome locales to source and test products, taking pictures and capturing stories along the way. Its website and catalog are better for it.
Mitchell & Ness
Mitchell & Ness is getting attention for its latest content marketing campaign and rightfully so. The company used sales data to create a map of best-selling retro jerseys, along with a guide. The result was a lot of funny and nostalgic conversations. This is an example of an entertaining campaign that built a relationship between a brand and its target audience without pushing a sales message.
An online purveyor of men’s shaving products, Harry’s realizes its content shouldn’t always be about their brand. Its online magazine helps draw audiences by covering everything from beef broth recipes to avalanche survival.
– Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs
Aloha offers high-quality natural foods and supplements. Not only do they have great products, they also have amazing content, including beautiful photos and videos throughout their website and an online magazine. With helpful articles about everything from exercise and meditation to travel and tips for sustainable living, it’s clear that Aloha both understands and cares about its customer base.
– Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals
Featured Image: Gonzalo Aragon via Shutterstock