What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the evolution of traditional marketing towards the informational age style of communication. It focuses on delivering value by using strategic audience-tailored content that both interests and engages customers in an active instant communication and feedback loop. The purpose of content marketing shares its foundation with traditional marketing, which is to retain clients, increase brand awareness and generate profit; yet content marketing is less centered on product promotion and more composed of exhaustive customer research, and the generation of content that is perceived as valuable information for the audience. As such a large part of content marketing is being able to effectively and efficiently communicate one’s “story”  as to why this particular content can have a direct and impactful benefit to their lives.

Content = Marketing

Content marketing movements are becoming the most effective means when it comes to reaching target audiences. The following is a list of some of my favorite positive, inspiring and effective social media campaigns:

1. Obama Presidential Campaign 

President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was one of the first to use and test live data to optimize their campaign marketing strategy, it proved to be highly effective. Throughout the campaign they tested different versions of the same page to figure out what works best for their audience. The director of analytics and team not only measured and tested the amount of conversions but also the messages sent, the words and the formats. Everyone knows Social Media was instrumental in the success of the Obama brand, but looking at the language, data management and successful experiments, I found a body of knowledge, facts and interesting studies on different social media behavior based styles of communication. https://www.barackobama.com

2. Charity Waters

Two reasons why they are my one of my favorites: because the show their assets, their social impact, and because they are good at engaging their audience and showing people how it happened. They facilitate tools so supporters of charity water can create their own campaign and fundraise money for the purpose of bringing clean water to poor communities around the world. They achieve this engagement using images, video and great story telling. They tell a story visually to show the impact they are having with individual stories, rather than say in an abstract way that they are changing millions of people lives in Africa. They concentrate on the struggling individual first, how his/her life is completely different as a result of Charity Waters donations, and their team’s very existence. Visually depicting that their work is substantial and real. https://www.charitywater.org

3. Always #LikeAGirl 

People loved Always’ #LikeAGirl and the effects are well documented. It was the favorite commercial of several magazines, blogs and social media users who found it highly educational, inspirational, and important to share and talk about. It’s the product of human centric design and customer research. Translating into a meaningful story the needs and interests of the audience and ultimately changed the face of the brand by breaking the traditional product-focused commercial and changing audience perception of the phrase itself. http://www.always.com/en-us/likeagirl.aspx

4. Nike ‘She Runs’ 

Nike “She Runs” is by far my favorite example of integrated marketing. This campaign was promoted through social media, newsletters, gyms, online stores, interactive ads on the streets and onsite stores. As a result 44% of participants purchased NIKE footwear with registration. It challenged a community to do sports at night, stimulated conversation, connected users and gave them a space to share their stories, goals, lifestyle and achievements. Thus demonstrating how to exceed KPIs and generate revenue through the power of cross-cultural connections and supporting a female night running community at the same time. https://www.facebook.com/nikewomen?brand_redir=140723289500

5. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola surrounds its marketing campaigns with emotional designs and music that are always relevant to the times. As Melinda Gate’s said referring to the 2010 FIFA World cup in South Africa, Coca-Cola Mix: the non profit world could learn a lot from Coca-Cola. They are growing an online community with messages of unity, energy and positivity. They support themselves with their community and fans giving priority to their preferences and are open to ideas coming from the outside. This company is always coming with something interactive, fun and easy to like, there are too many campaigns that are highly inspiring for me but the days of the Celebration Mix were my favorites.

6. Enough Food For Everyone IF Campaign

This campaign achieved incredibly positive results at 2.25 million website views, a calculated media exposer of 1,651,718 people, and 3.4 million interactions on social media channels. I really liked the style, humor, and presentation of the problem and the political outcomes generated in the UK.

7. Apple iPod Silhouette’ Campaign

Apple’s iPod Silhouette 1,000 songs in my pocket had been called one of the most effective campaigns of the century. The purpose of the colors, movements, sounds and happy vibe was to increase the number of fans and develop Apple’s brand internationally. The campaign alone increased apple stock in 2004, increasing Apple’s market value up to $2 billion. The content was centered in purchasing feelings instead of products, separating from traditional marketing and focusing on the intangible benefits of having an ipod: owning fun. Ipod sales peaked during the display of this campaign, putting the target audience at the center of the advertising, increased awareness and overall customer approval and satisfaction. As a result, Apples market share was up to 92% during 2004.

8. CISCO  #CiscoEmp

The target of Cisco’s #CiscoEmp campaign was to increase brand awareness and it worked. Within the second week the campaign had reached 50,000,000 first-degree employees. Through this campaign Cisco employees built a community through blogging and sharing on social medias. I like Cisco because they produced very good metrics on campaign actives and their campaign management in general is very meticulous.

9. WoolMark

WoolMark opened its doors and connected to all their stakeholders on social media. Generating interaction in an integrated social media campaign was inspirational and full of eye opening potential. In this case study the figures speak for itself: Total Brand exposure of approximately 120 million impressions, 1.1 million page views, 18,000 entries, 8,000 user comments, 1000 bloggers sent them positive feedback, 200 articles written and lots of news friends on social media, from 600 to 43,000 fans. Retailers, designers, old and new costumers in online media and within the industry posted positive comments, all of which helped WoolMark win awards for their campaign

10. Orange Obox “Play” Campaign

Orange is concentrated in their people, their network, their customers and international development of a very high-speed mobile network that offers a simple service to their 231 million customers worldwide. Their campaign “play” was about the fun of communicating as a common characteristic across cultures. This was not a social media campaign but it could have inspired one. Moreover, it highlighted the importance and power of communication for connecting with others and building strong relationships, regardless of where you are from, when you were born, or what color your skin is.








Inspiring Story Behind charity:water – Interview with Founder and CEO Scott Harrison – Foundation – YouTube

Obama’s social media guru on how they got people to take action in the presidential campaign. – YouTubeWoolmark – Fashion by Feelings Social Media campaign case study – YouTube

Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign – IF the G8 were kids – YouTube

▶ K’NAAN – Wavin’ Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix) – YouTubeMARKETING ANALYSIS: K’naan, Coca-Cola’s Genius & the Song That Took Over the World, Wavin’ FlagFeel Inspired – This Girl Can▶ Nike ‘She Runs’ Case Study – MFA Awards 2012 (Best Integrated Media Campaign) – YouTubeorange obox -“play” campaign – subway. commercial directed by ohav flantz. – YouTube10 of the best social media campaigns from 2012 | EconsultancyFacebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Valueorange obox “play” campaign pdf – Buscar con Google5 top social media campaigns of 20142013 – The IF campaign  |  BondHow To Use Apple’s Marketing Method To Grow Your Business. – Social Media Week

Read more from the author… Perla Vasquez is a Master of Social Entrepreneurship and Project Management candidate at Hult International Business School located in San Francisco, with over three years of experience in human resources, stakeholder relations and communication in the construction and energy industries. Skilled in market research, social media, project management, strategic analysis and business development. Fluent in English and Spanish with cross- cultural communication skills and capacity to work effectively in variety of global environments. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=145449093&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic


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