You’ve probably heard some of the touted benefits of content marketing. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing. It generates three times as many leads, according to the same source. And 82% of businesses with a blog see positive ROI from content.
Stats like those explain why both B2C and B2B marketers are willing to go big on content, dedicating over 25% of their total marketing budget to it (Point Visible).
But not everyone gets content right.
To find out what makes for good — goal-driven, revenue-increasing — content, we decided to analyze three outstanding content marketing examples. We dug into data from content marketers in ecommerce, finance and SaaS to figure out the strategies and tactics they use to win organic traffic.
We learned three main takeaways:
- Content produced by users and networks helps brands differentiate.
- Content built on data adds value and builds trust.
- Content must be scalable to stay competitive.
Deconstructing how each brand gets traffic and rankings reminds us that, while content tactics differ across brands, we can learn valuable lessons for other sectors.
Content Marketing Example for Ecommerce
Ecommerce market share is still growing: 20% of U.S. shoppers shop online at least once a week, with global trends set to double that by 2023. But that doesn’t mean things are easy for retailers, as competition can be fierce.
In the face competition, ecommerce content marketers need to build brand awareness and show positive ROI feeding directly into the purchase funnel. Our first example, fashion e-tailer ASOS, does just that.
How Asos Does Ecommerce Content
UK-based ASOS is one of the world’s top 10 global fashion retailers based on revenue, bringing in £2.4B in 2018. It sells exclusively online, targeting the millennial market, a segment characterized by their:
- Willingness to shop via social media channels
- Tendency to be influenced by peers or bloggers more than celebrity endorsements
- Propensity to impulse buy
- ASOS responds to these target demographic trends by weaving blog posts, a digital magazine, a social media presence, video, and email into a holistic content marketing strategy.
Where ASOS really stands out is in their use of influencer marketing strategy and user-generated content. Their ongoing “ASOS Insiders” campaign shows influencers worldwide promoting ASOS products and looks on their own platforms. The content is then cross-promoted on ASOS’ site with direct buy links to products.
ASOS also encourages non-influencers to share their ASOS buys using the Instagram hashtag #ASSEENONME, which has over 1M shares. (Check out our how to use Instagram for business beginner’s guide.)
Their influencer and user-generated (UGC) content extend beyond traditional social media platforms to YouTube. ASOS video content ranges from “haul” videos with style influencers and ASOS fans to inspirational documentaries with young activists. This allows the brand to tap into millennials’ ethics-driven consumerism while still involving their influencers.
Plus, 40% of YouTube visitors use the platform to learn more about a product before they buy it, according to Think with Google, making it a revenue-friendly channel for the fashion brand.
Both influencer and UGC create a network effect for ASOS’ content marketing, extending reach and brand awareness among target shopping demographics at a relatively low-cost for the brand.
What Ecommerce Marketers Can Learn From Asos
ASOS content reaches their target audience by tapping into network effects. The brand has found ways to increase the ROI on content marketing by reducing spend on production: user-generated content is low- to no-cost but shows high returns on brand acceptance and purchase probability.
Content marketers looking to emulate ASOS could try:
- Incorporating UGC into product pages to decrease cart abandonment and improve ecommerce SEO
- Tapping into existing niche communities built around hashtags or social media groups
- Working with niche bloggers or vloggers
Takeaway: Content that is driven by peers and community leaders — influencers — will differentiate a brand from competitors using traditional promotional marketing.
Content Marketing Examples for Finance & Investment
Would you take financial advice from someone you didn’t trust? No. Which is why content marketing in this sector faces a discrete challenge: winning consumer trust.
Content can demonstrate expertise, as well as position a brand at the forefront of an industry undergoing disruption. Take a look at how CB Insights does it.
How CB Insights Does Content Marketing
CB Insights sells tools to help hedge funds evaluate the investment potential of not-yet-public companies. Investors get access to 100s of financial data points, synthesized to improve investment decision-making. The product’s unique selling proposition (USP) is access to unique, accurate financial data that can make you a more successful investor.
To reflect that USP in its content marketing, the CB Insights team incorporates into their content:
- Trend reports parsed geographically or by vertical
- Analysis of successful business models and market context
- Charts and infographics
- Briefings on future trends by industry
- Listicles of disruptive or emerging companies
A standout tactic across all content types is the use of original data garnered from the CB Insights platform. The company uses its own USP to prove their trustworthiness to investors.
The Venture Capital Funding Report Q1 2019 is a great example of data-driven content at work. The 78-page report parses global funding data and trends using simple graphics to help tell the data story.
CB Insights paired with PwC to produce the report; a smart move that aligns the brand with financial services leaders.
CB Insights Content Marketing Impact
Diving into the data we can see that this content strategy not only drives traffic to the right keywords but also wins backlinks from reputable sites.
- Backlinks: Using Alexa’s backlink analysis tools, we can find links from high-quality sites to CB Insights, including Time, Reuters and Cornell. Backlinks of this standard can help CB Insights position higher in search results. In total, the brand won 4,000+ media mentions in 2018.
- Keywords: Site keywords cluster around relevant themes like acquisition, startups, and funding, as well as verticals such as tech and blockchain.
- Readership: 500,000+ newsletter readers
CB Insights’ data-driven content helps them rank for competitive keywords; backlinks from leading publications help the site rank even higher in search engines and build trust and a strong reputation.
What Finance & Investment Content Marketers Can Learn from CB Insights
Data-driven content is more time- and resource-intensive than other content types. But it pays dividends for brands that sell data and information, as CB Insights does, to show what their product is all about.
Content teams can leverage data-driven content in the following ways:
- Build relationships with media partners and share data-driven content with them to win backlinks. Find out more about media pitching.
- Mix gated content with non-gated to guarantee search visibility as well as leads.
- Use graphics to expand content reach. You’ll also have a better chance of winning featured snippets if your content has relevant, original images.
Takeaway: Data-driven content builds trust, proves expertise and positively affects SEO.
Content Marketing Examples for SaaS
In the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space, content marketing encourages product adoption and understanding. It also feeds directly into downloads or software subscriptions. Thus, it’s no surprise that 89% of the world’s biggest SaaS companies have a blog.
But that industry-wide commitment to content presents challenges to marketers. SaaS content marketing need to produce creative, original content that differentiates a brand in a saturated content field. Plus, content needs to be scalable to allow small SaaS brands to compete against competitors with greater publishing resources.
How Price Intelligently Does SaaS Content Marketing
With software that helps subscription companies set their pricing strategy, Price Intelligently targets digital marketers and entrepreneurs. They differentiate their content offering by producing learnings-based content from real-world examples rather than generalized marketing content.
The content strategy includes a weekly blog post tearing down the pricing strategies of two well-known brands. The posts incorporate short videos in which the Price Intelligently C-suite picks apart pricing and makes recommendations and expert comments, that’s then shaped into an article.
The teardowns allow Price Intelligently to:
- Continually create original content that’s instantly recognizable as part of the brand.
- Scale that content efficiently. Each post follows the same basic template, making it highly reproducible for anyone on the content team.
The SEO impact of the content is augmented by a technique known as cross-cutting. Once Price Intelligently builds up a store of teardown posts with similar themes running through them, they create new SEO-friendly content based on thematic learnings.
For example, three teardowns that talk about psychological pricing could be combined into a new piece of content targeted at that keyword, which has 1,900 monthly searches.
It’s worth noting that, while both CB Insights and Price Intelligently use teardowns, the structures differ. Price Intelligently relies on expert comment, CB Insights on data. This speaks to how the same tactic — teardowns — can be modified for different businesses.
Price Intelligently Content Marketing Impact
By focusing on scalable content formats that can be easily recycled into new content, Price Intelligently increases content impact:
- Channel Mix: An estimated 49% of Price Intelligently’s traffic comes from organic search attributable in part to content.
- Audience Interest: Using Alexa’s Audience Interest tool, we see that over 70% of Price Intelligently’s audience are interested in finance, tech news and marketing.
It looks like the content is successfully attracting Price Intelligently’s target user base and bringing in almost half the site’s monthly traffic.
What SaaS Marketers Can Learn From Price Intelligently
Brands can scale content production quickly while still being original and click-worthy, even in a competitive market. Content marketers looking to emulate the strategy could try:
- Using templates to create blog posts at scale
- Cross-cutting to catch more keywords and recycle existing content
Takeaway: A content strategy built around templated content allows teams to increase and maintain content production at scale; cross-cutting guarantees that sites maintain keyword diversity despite taking a templated approach.
Beyond Examples to Best Practices
Extracting learnings from successful content marketing examples in your brand’s sector helps you set a strategy that builds on what the competition is doing and optimize it. By tearing down what is working for other brands — and what isn’t — you’ll start seeing content marketing benefits sooner.
Alexa’s marketing software allows you to benchmark site performance and to make sure you’re learning from the best in class. Sign up for a trial of Alexa’s Advanced plan to get full access to the competitive analysis and keyword research tools you need to start winning with content.