Creating effective content marketing campaigns is hard.
It is often hard for companies to come up with ideas, get the attention of an audience and measure success.
We will try to make it a little bit easier.
Here are 6 content marketing campaign examples with lessons we can learn from them to provide inspiration for your own company’s content campaigns.
Ocean Spray | Nathan Apodaca on TikTok
Nathan Apodaca set the internet on fire on September 25th when he uploaded a video to TikTok. He was riding a skateboard to work, drinking a large bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice while lip-syncing to the song Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Nathan had been driving to work at an Idaho potato warehouse when his 2005 Dodge Durango’s battery died. It wasn’t the first time the battery had died since the truck has more than 330,000 miles on it. So he hopped on his skateboard, titled his video “morning vibe” and the rest is history.
The video has been watched about 60 million times and has inspired countless remixes including ones by Mic Fleetwood and Ocean Spray CEO, Tom Hayes. A very grateful Ocean Spray thanked Mr. Apodaca with a brand new red truck filled with cranberry juice. While it is difficult to calculate any jump in sales for Ocean Spray yet, the company says it has received over 15 billion media impressions from the video. Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is now #12 on the Billboard Top 100, 43 years after the song was released.
The timing of the video was perfect as people were looking for a distraction in the midst of the upcoming election and the pandemic. The drink of choice is unexpected and surprising. Nathan shows some serious skill in drinking from the bottle without spilling it.
- Obviously this was not an organized content marketing campaign but both Ocean Spray and Fleetwood Mac were able to leverage the opportunity. Companies need to be monitoring social media and be ready at a moment’s notice to capitalize on social media content.
Oracle | On the Fly video series
On the Fly by Oracle is an ongoing 34-part video series that started in 2019. The original idea for the campaign was for marketing experts to make 2-3 minute videos of marketing tips while they were traveling around the country. The experts shot the videos at unique locations, e.g. while they were waiting for their flight, train, luggage, etc.
The premise of the campaign changed in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic. The expert would now feature digital marketing and customer experience tips within the context of the pandemic disruption. The videos now feature internal spokespeople too while the tone continues to be very casual and authentic.
- Outsourcing your content to experts initially can be an effective method to drive success. You can build up your audience while substantially reducing the workload on your team.
- The videos are short and easily digested.
- Be ready to change your campaign as necessary.
Getty Museum Photo Challenge
In this funny and educational content marketing campaign, the Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles turned a clever idea from another museum into tons of user-generated content that marketers dream about. The museum issued a challenge to their audience on social media to recreate art masterpieces using just three objects lying around the home. The results were both creative and hilarious.
- See what your competitors and frienemies are doing from a content standpoint.
- The museum adapted to their building closing by bringing their art into the homes of their audience.
- Unfortunately, the museum didn’t create a custom hashtag which made it hard to see all the entries.
Blendtec | Will It Blend video series
These crazy videos started 13 years ago featuring Tom Dickson, CEO of Blendtec, a high-performance blender maker. He donned a white coat, posed as a laboratory testing company and put various objects into their blenders to see if it would blend. The Will It Blend video series put the company on the map as Tom gleefully blended up many iPhones, an iPad, marbles, a Justin Bieber doll, glow sticks and more.
The 100+ videos have over 290 million views and resulted in a 700% increase in sales in a three-year period after launch. The company created a separate YouTube channel for the Will It Blend campaign.
- Is your product development process worth showcasing? What if you ramped up the process to a ridiculous level?
- Separating the campaign from the core marketing channels allow the company to drive sales while not distracting from their core messaging.
Zendesk | Zendesk Alternative mini-site
Here is a creative campaign that is part search engine optimization and part content marketing. Zendesk, the maker of customer service software noticed that many people were using search engines to search for “zendesk alternative.” While it is a very common occurrence when you offer a product or service, it is not very common to hijack the keyword phrase. Zendesk created a hilarious fake band called Zendesk Alternative, creating a mini-site and video optimized around the keyword phrase that consistently ranks in the Top 5 on Google.
- Zendesk took a negative situation and flipped into an opportunity that demonstrated their personality and enhancing their brand.
Nokia Bell Labs | This Day in STEM
This Day in STEM was a content campaign we developed for our client, Nokia Bell Labs. The concept of the campaign was to target teachers and K-12 students interested in science and technology. We would feature global past and present innovation, including ones made by the organization. We promoted social media content using the hashtag #ThisDayinSTEM. The content received millions of impressions on social media and drove thousands of new visitors to the website.
Our most popular post was the anniversary of the BASIC computer language tweet which received over 5 million impressions and over 25,000 retweets/ quote tweets. Interestingly, while we were targeting the younger audiences, the engagement for this tweet was driven by computer pioneers. They were in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s who shared thousands of photos of their BASIC user manuals and first computers.
- Educational content can become viral too.
- Educational content can be appealing to both young and older generations.
- Have fun with your content and let your company personality come through with your content.
We know content marketing is hard and we hope that these campaigns can give you ideas for developing your own. Remember that nostalgia campaigns can connect generations while potentially driving massive content engagements. Look for ideas in unexpected places, e.g. in product development and business challenges.
Most importantly, success with content marketing starts with delivering what the audience wants to consume. It is not about delivering just your content nor it is about the content you think that they want to consume. Get close to your customers to really understand what they want. Survey, query and ask them. Good luck and please share your thoughts about this post!