What makes great content marketing?

Debra Ringer
Debra Ringer

According to the Content Marketing Institute, ‘content is the present – and future – of marketing’.

But what makes a great content marketing campaign? Below I look at a few stand out campaigns from some top global brands and note what we can learn from them.

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Share a Coke

Originating in Australia, the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign for Coca-Cola started with the aim of strengthening the brand’s connection with Oz’s young adults. They took 150 of the most popular names and put them on a bottle. Simple enough? But what spiralled from there was a global campaign that created a shed load of user generated content, backed up with a Facebook campaign to digitally share a bottle with contacts.  

Their product hadn’t changed at all – and yet in Australia alone, during that Summer, Coke ‘sold more than 250 million named bottles and cans in a nation of just under 23 million people.’

So what can we learn? The power of personalisation to increase engagement. Make people feel special: isn’t everyone’s favourite subject themselves? Creating personalised and sharable content works – you don’t need a new product to launch to create a buzz. It’s all down to your creativity.


Since it’s the CEO of Hubspot who coined the phrase ‘inbound marketing’ it seems rather fitting that they feature in a list of top content marketers.

They top the inbound marketing software industry and their content is central to that. Their blogs and guides are free, comprehensive and authoritative which brings their target audience of inquisitive marketeers straight into their hands. Whether you buy their software or not, they’re seen as a great go-to resource for all things marketing.

Lessons learnt here? Produce content that you know your audience wants to read. Make it relevant to them and your products so that you’re first in their minds. It’s exactly what we’re doing here, right? ; )


Several years ago, Adobe set up a new content hub: CMO.com. Similar to Hubspot’s strategy, the site delivers content that their target audience are looking for. And without being too in-your-face that it’s from Adobe.

The site has a wealth of new global content each week including features, interviews, opinion pieces and events. The site is fed into by marketing news from throughout the web and also available in German. So essentially you can get all your marketing news in one place. I just signed up for their weekly newsletter – falling straight into their ‘trap’ of capturing data from their target audience ; )

Key take home from Adobe? Be subtle and pretty much promotion-free. Let your content do the talking, bringing in your brand and product further into the relationship.


Airbnb’s main ethos centres around communities. Building a community of hosts and guests throughout the globe. And its these communities that create a lot of their content. With nearly 3million followers on Instagram, they have a wealth of user generated content showing off Airbnb properties.

They’ve also launched their own travel magazine, with much of the content again generated by their hosts and guests. In their own words, ‘Airbnbmag brings you human stories from around the globe, infused with local flavor’: they’re creating content directly from the experiences their audience has with their brand. And using it to inspire more.

Airbnbmag has its own website and is also available as a paid subscription. So not only are they generating new leads, and customers from their content but they’re also creating direct revenue.

What we can learn here is to share experiences with your brand, and use multiple channels. Whether it’s case studies, photos, or testimonials, let your customers do some of the talking.


The Body Coach, Zoella, The Food Medic ...

And finally there’s the brands that are founded solely on their digital content. And they make £££s from it. It’s not easy to go viral and there’s no set steps to follow to do so. But a running theme amongst this crowd is consistency: picking a set topic, rolling with it and posting regularly across a range of mediums. You need to know where your audience are, and go after them with stand-out and useful content. Get it right and your content is your product.



So, if it isn’t already, content marketing should be an integral part of your marketing strategy to strengthen your brand and generate leads. With buyers being 70% through their purchasing journey before they even reach out to a company (SiriusDecisions), content marketing plays a crucial part in the research and nurture phase. It helps position you as thought-leaders in your industry, by providing your audience with timely, insightful and useful content. Brands that do it well know their audience inside out and where they hang out online, targeting them with content they want to read, view or share.

If you’d like to have a chat about creating a content plan that will help hit your marketing objectives or getting better results from your current content marketing - get in touch we’d love to help.

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