Content marketing examples are inspiring because they show you what’s possible to achieve. Instead of vaguely understanding that you need to create content, you can see a live example. To help you achieve your growth goals, you will learn specific examples from 15 companies that are thriving today.
Why Study and Model Content Marketing Examples?
There are three reasons why it makes sense to study content marketing examples. First, this is one of the easiest ways to solve creative blocks (i.e., “blank page syndrome”). Second, seeing other successful companies win in content marketing is inspiring! Finally, it helps you earn support from other people. Some people are skeptical about content marketing ROI. To address their concerns, point out these examples. Instead of merely providing a conceptual answer to “What is content marketing?”, I find it much more powerful to define the strategy through real-world examples.
5 SaaS Content Marketing Examples: Ideas You Can Use Today
Software companies have many different ways to grow. Some companies prefer to focus on a sales-driven model with sales development representatives (SDRs) and account executives (AEs). Others focus on content marketing to attract leads and position them in the marketplace. To illustrate what’s possible for SaaS companies, check out these five companies.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Grow a software company with the founder’s personal brand
As I write this post, I’m nearly finished reading Russell Brunson’s new book, “Traffic Secrets.” I’m a massive fan of his work! Previously, Dave Woodward from ClickFunnels was a guest on this blog: From $0 to $70 Million: Inside The ClickFunnels Marketing Machine. There are plenty of lessons to learn from Click Funnels. Today, I’ll focus on one point: personal branding. Russel Brunson, one of the company’s co-founders, is a content production hero with multiple books, podcasts, and social media updates. He strikes an excellent balance between growing his personal brand and growing the company brand.
If you are a SaaS company founder and wonder whether it makes sense to build your personal brand or the company, take note of Russell Brunson’s success. He has shown us that it is more than possible to create both a personal and corporate brand at the same time.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Use podcasts to promote your software company
While content marketers often focus on written content or video, audio, and podcasts are an important channel as well. Quickmail stands out as a successful podcast (the Cold Outreach Podcast) based on cold email. After listening to dozens of episodes, it is clear that the show hosts Jack Reamer & Jeremy Chatelaine are committed to sharing valuable insights.
In April 2020, the podcast published an episode on backlink request emails. Instead of providing general frameworks, the hosts took a teardown approach. In essence, they analyze and optimize outreach emails. This content marketing examples demonstrates another content marketing example – create content by providing commentary or analysis on somebody’s else work.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Attract attention by publishing industry-specific guides.
Publishing relevant content is one of the best ways to achieve results in marketing. In Phone Wagon’s case, they have achieved results by publishing guides dedicated to specific niches (also known as industry verticals). For example, take a look at this guide: The Ultimate Guide To Selling Leads To Chiropractors.
How can you publish in-depth guides to help your target market achieve its goals? That is a powerful question you can use to inform your content marketing strategy. Content marketing is just one part of Phone Wagon’s growth journey. The company also has an interesting origin story about finding product-market fit through cold calling. Find out more through my interview with Phone Wagon: Helping Agencies Deliver Better Results With Phone Tracking: The PhoneWagon Story.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Achieve success by committing to long term publishing.
While HubSpot prefers the term “inbound marketing,” their commitment to producing outstanding content is clear. As I interview SaaS marketing professionals, HubSpot is one of the commonly cited examples. Honestly, spending a few weeks studying the HubSpot sales and marketing content is one of the best ways to get up to speed on the latest and greatest strategies.
Here is one some specific example of HubSpot’s successful content to consider:
From SEO and Google Ads research, I know many people are looking for plans and templates in the marketing space. HubSpot’s blog post showcases several critical practices in one place. First, they are creating relevant content based on market demand (e.g., interest in marketing plans and templates). Second, they offer a free download to pull leads into their system. Third, their content is presented in an easy to read format.
I could write an entire post about the company’s content strategy. For this post, let me focus on one fundamental practice: consistent publishing. HubSpot has been publishing new content on sales and marketing for years. As a result, the HubSpot blog has become a go-to resource for digital marketing.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Publish actionable tips for your target market while showcasing your SaaS product.
Ahrefs is one of the best SEO software products on the market. The company’s blog provides an outstanding commitment to detailed tips that are easy to understand. In particular, Ahrefs is doing excellent work publishing content aimed at novice marketers. They are one of my go-to resources for content marketing ideas because of their commitment to high-quality headlines, and content quality sets a great example.
For example, take a look at David McSweeney’s article “The Noob Friend Guide To Link Building.” Right up front, David tells us that we will gain four benefits from his content, including link building theory and “essential skills and tactics.” As you progress through the post, you will see charts and data points presented based on Ahrefs data.
By showing the product’s data in a blog post, you can imagine how using the product will help you to do your job better. However, it is not just a sales pitch. Whether or not you sign up for Ahrefs right away, you will learn insights. As you invest in SaaS content marketing, look for ways to showcase your product directly in your content.
Topical Content Marketing Examples: Key Lessons From Consultants
In addition to SaaS companies, I occasionally work with consultants to help them grow their authority. Since consultants are in the business of selling expertise and solutions to complex problems, content marketing is a natural fit. Long before the Internet, consultants used content marketing in the form of newsletters, public speaking, and books to build their expertise.
What Too Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Provide expert commentary on new industry developments (e.g. GDPR).
Specialized in Oracle Eloqua marketing technology, 4 Thought Marketing has worked on content marketing for years. As a result, the firm has established a growing email list of engaged subscribers.
Since Oracle Eloqua is a sophisticated marketing platform, potential clients are going to have different concerns than novices. For example, they may have a long list of marketing projects they need to execute. Specifically, larger companies are concerned about marketing compliance. They can’t afford to get into trouble by accidentally or deliberating regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Europe or California’s CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act).
Take a look at the firm’s topical content marketing examples based on GDPR and compliance topics:
- Reinventing the art of offers after GDPR. This post shows that GDPR is a marketing opportunity if you view it through the lens of developing better offers.
- Key Privacy Compliance Topics for 2020: Part 1. This post is one installment in a multi-part series – a proven way to keep your audience engaged as you share your perspective over time.
When you see a significant change in your industry due to regulations, new laws, or market conditions, that is an exciting content marketing opportunity. Studying industry publications is one way to find out about these breaking news topics. You can also find topical content marketing examples by studying the agendas for industry conferences like SaaS North.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Stark illustrates that you can achieve content marketing expertise in multiple sectors.
How does content marketing strategy evolve when you change your business focus? Jonathan Stark’s content marketing provides an example. Stark has successfully built an audience and authority in two different markets.
Market 1: Technology Consulting Expertise
Market 2: Professional Coach To Freelancers and Consultants
In the past few years, Stark has shifted his focus to coaching and training freelancers and consultants. In evolving his business, content marketing played a critical role. Stark launched a podcast “Ditching Hourly” which made a robust argument against billable hours as a business model. Building on this base, Stark also published digital books like Hourly Billing Is Nuts and launched a new podcast, The Business of Authority.
At first glance, Stark’s success in these two markets appears to be unrelated. There is a connection between his success in both markets. Stark built expertise and skills, like writing blog posts and writing books in the first market. Besides, his success in technology consulting gives him credibility as a consultant to other freelancers and consultants.
What To Learn From This Content Marketing Example: Invest in high-quality publications to maintain your positioning as a thought leader.
McKinsey & Co is one of the world’s largest management consulting firms. They are worth studying because their publication is an excellent source of topical content marketing examples. We’ll take a close look at those examples in a moment. Before we dive in, there’s a critical point to realize. McKinsey & Co is established, and they work with the Fortune 500. There have been multiple books published about their methodologies like The McKinsey Way and The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World’s Top Strategic Consulting Firm.
Despite McKinsey’s success, they are not resting on their laurels. Instead, the company has one of the most prestigious consulting publications in the world: McKinsey Quarterly. The firm’s publication is a serious rival for other business publications like The Economist and Harvard Business Review.
There are two specific content marketing examples to learn from McKinsey. First, the firm has invested in a beautiful, easy to use website that makes articles easy to read. Second, articles present original research on emerging trends. For example, take a look at this 2018 article: Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers. The article draws on research with thousands of consumers to understand the subscription e-commerce trend.
Highlights from the research include the following:
“Our research shows that 15 percent of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products on a recurring basis, frequently through monthly boxes.”
“The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100 percent a year over the past five years. The largest such retailers generated more than $2.6 billion in sales in 2016, up from a mere $57.0 million in 2011.”
“E-commerce subscribers tend to be younger urbanites with money. Compared with the general US population, they are more likely to be 25 to 44 years old, to have incomes from $50,000 to $100,000, and to live in urban environments in the Northeastern United States. These subscriptions particularly appeal to women, who account for 60 percent of them.”
For a client interested in e-commerce trends, McKinsey’s depth of insight and original research is compelling. You might not have the resources to survey 5,000 consumers like McKinsey. I included McKinsey’s approach to content marketing to show that the sky is the limit when it comes to publishing content to build a business.
Content Marketing Examples: What You Need To Do Next To Keep Growing Your Following
Studying these seven content marketing examples illustrates what’s possible. You can follow the ClickFunnels content marketing strategy and grow by leveraging the founder’s personal brand. Or you might prefer to focus your content marketing strategy on a podcast like QuickMail. Fundamentally, generating content marketing ideas is not a problem once you see all the successes in the marketplace.
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