By Michele Linn published September 2, 2011

12 Organizations Doing Content Marketing Right

We are getting VERY excited about Content Marketing World next week. With that, we have the last post in our series where we ask speakers some questions about content marketing. Today, they inspire us with stories of content marketers who are executing their programs well.

I’m really excited about Intel’s Free Press project, because I think it’s a perfect example of where we’re heading with brand journalism. They’re doing such a great job illustrating how corporate content can be interesting, informative, and in-depth. I’m also a fan of Cisco’s blogging and video efforts and Eloqua’s blog.- Alison Bolen (@alisonbolen)


I’m a big fan of what GORUCK.com is doing. They make backpacks and are a small business, but they are constantly telling their story in their own words. Most recently, I love what GAPis doing with its new line of denim and using video vignettes to focus on the people, mindset, and approach to launching a new jeans brand.- C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman)


In 2007, Lauren Luke began selling make-up products on eBay in an effort to subsidize her modest day job as a taxi dispatcher in Newcastle, England. In an effort to improve her eBay sales, Lauren began creating practical, make-up application videos and distributed them on YouTube. Some of her most popular videos featured her step-by-step instructions on re-creating celebrity looks. For example, Lauren noticed the unique make-up stylings of pop sensation Britney Spears in her music video for Toxic. Five years later, Lauren has her own brand of make-up distributed exclusively by Sephora, she has a series of teen books called Lauren Luke Looks, and she’s built a bigger brand than Estee Lauder on YouTube. Most impressively, Lauren Luke hasn’t spent a dime on traditional advertising. That’s content marketing at its finest.- Andrew Davis (@TPLDrew)


I am going to vote for the little guy. In Prescott, Ariz., a revitalized motel called The Motor Lodge is doing a bang-up job of using social media for its content marketing — engaging customers and prospective customers by using Facebook updates to create a personality for itself. The Motor Lodge is basically a two-man operation, managing to run a boutique hotel in a small town and at the same time acquiring more than 1,400 fans on Facebook. Just take a look at their Facebook page and their interactions. You can read more in my post about hotel marketing and the Motor Lodge.- Arnie Kuenn (@ArnieK)


I think Neiman Marcusis doing a great job of using emails to prompt engagement by tempting me with information. Their subject lines are creative and tease me into opening the emails because they talk about information I want to know. Example: “Just heard from Paris: THE color for fall.” I opened it just to find out what it is (aubergine). That kind of thing is a perfect example of content marketing at its best — they become my go-to source for what’s in, and eventually I’ll buy clothing from them. Relationship building where the content marketer supplies unique and valuable information is a win-win for all.- Ahava Leibtag (@ahaval)


Anyone who knows me knows I love guitars. I play them, collect them, curate a blog about them, and am a sponge for information about them. The guitar industry abounds with brilliant examples of brand journalism… from the major manufacturers… Gibson’s “Lifestyle” and Fender’s “News” through to retailers like Guitar Center with their Guitar Center TV channel on YouTube.- Clyde Miles (@clydemiles)

I think among the better content marketers out there is American Express. Their OPEN Forum provides tons of authentic, useful content that is sure to be handy to small business owners American Express hopes to serve. The content rivals items you’d read in a general-interest business magazine yet does an effective job of establishing American Express as a source of credible thought leadership for small business owners. The OPEN Forum also does a great job of cultivating a community feel and fosters discussions rather than an endless barrage of content. On the non-B2B side, I like what P&G and Barefoot Proximity have done on the Man of the House site. MOTH has useful content for men that goes beyond the “get six-pack abs” content you find in Men’s Health and other pubs.- Rob Pasquinucci (@pasquinucr1)


As of pure skill, creativity, and prominence as a content marketer goes, Darren Rowse is at the top of the game with Problogger and Digital Photography School. Both are multi-million dollar content marketing businesses. For brands, I’m a huge fan of Home Depot in terms of how relevant its entire online presence stays to seasonal and geographic trends, as well as the audience of DIY home improvement consumers. Home Depot gives its audience exactly what they need to keep coming back to stores. As for an up and comer, it will be interesting to see where Michele Chmielewski will be in terms of her own audience a year from now and how her clever creativity and keen sense of establishing a personal audience connection translates into the content marketing of her employer, Seesmic.- Nate Riggs (@nateriggs)


Everything I learned in my early days of content marketing stemmed from the information I found on Hubspot’samazing blog. Hubspot has essentially branded its own phrase (inbound marketing) and started a movement amongst thousands of businesses all over the world all because it’s been dogged in its approach as teachers and givers of this incredibly important information.- Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion)


Do you have any favorites? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. And, if you are at Content Marketing World next week, stop by and say hello! We’ll be wearing orange polo shirts.

Author: Michele Linn

Michele is the Content Development Director of the Content Marketing Institute and a B2B content marketing consultant who has a passion for helping companies use content to connect with their ideal buyers. You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B Marketing.

Other posts by Michele Linn

  • http://www.sproutcontent.com Dechay Watts

    Another great example to check out is Yoga Journal.  Their blogs are really informative and categorized to specific interests, they offer several different newsletters and have a LiveMag section with tons of video and audio presentations.  They also do a really good job of cross promoting their website in the print addition of the magazine.  Almost every article includes a link to a video on their site. One of their newest content marketing efforts is a 7 Day Fall Detox that you can sign up for online and connect with other people participating. Cool stuff.

    • http://blog.tippingpointlabs.com/blog tpldrew

      Dechay,
      I’ll totally check out Yoga Journal. Sounds great!
      Thanks for sharing it with the #CMWorld team!
      - Drew

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamdidner Pam Didner

    Great exmaples.

  • http://www.facebook.com/taranicholle Tara-Nicholle Nelson

    Definitely lululemon – their blog, review program on their products and microsites like http://salutationnation.com/
    make them an indispensable part of many yoginis practices (and runners,
    too!). Their bag is the textbook ideal for what I call Manifesto
    Marketing. And their emails?  My office knows that if an email comes in
    during a meeting and I get distracted, it’s highly likely to be because
    lulu just sent me an email with the new riding jacket and I need to get
    that.  And no – I do not ride horses. But still.

  • http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Michele Linn

    I love the additional examples. Thanks for sharing them!

  • http://twitter.com/ljcrest Laura Crest

    I’d have to add Heather Lloyd-Martin of SEO Copywriting.com to this distinguished list of the best in the business, as well as Lee Odden of TopRank.  Great stuff, Michele!  Thank you ;-)

  • deolakay

    Great list! I will love more examples of businesses that not only use blogs but a combinationof several content marketing forms to hit a wide range of audience. For that I will gove the crown to salesforce.com