Author: Content Marketing Institute Team

The Content Marketing Institute team byline indicates this article reflects the collective work of the CMI community. To submit your Weekly Wrap suggestions, fill out this form or email us at [email protected]. As a brand, CMI is a global marketing education and training organization. It hosts the largest content marketing-focused event -- Content Marketing World -- every October. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @CMIContent, and use the hashtag #CMWorld.

By contentmarketinginstitute published May 21, 2021

Brands Try for ‘Most Likely to Succeed With Gen Z’ Crown [Examples]

It’s graduation season again. Although more ceremonies will happen in real life this year, we look at a few new and successful ways brands are celebrating with their online audiences.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published May 14, 2021

Keep ‘Em Guessing (and More Lessons From Content We Love)

This week, the Morning Brew shows how to perk up reader interest. A content creator whips up a handy resource for B2B writers and experts. And a new content studio from Neutrogena puts its best face forward with an award-winning documentary.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published May 7, 2021

Your Content Inspiration of the Week: The Brash, a Bash, and Your Cash

This week, we’re talking about a twist to B2B event marketing, a pivot from the traditional business anniversary celebration, and a content marketing salary report from Managing Editor.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published April 30, 2021

3 Ways to Know Your Audience: Hire Them, Talk to Them, or Tease Them

This week, we’re admiring Nerf for using TikTok to hire a new executive – whose only job is TikTok. We’re scratching our head over a newly released survey of writers that reveals a challenge with an obvious solution. And we’re having fun with a Marketing Gibberish Generator that uses (gentle) teasing as a content marketing tactic.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published April 23, 2021

How Do You Like Your Content Marketing – Cheesy, Fruity, or Extremely Personal?

This week in content marketing, a Trader Joe’s contest stretches user-generated content on and on. Pepsi tries an expensive approach to tempt people to try a surprising new flavor. And a Kia dealership in Canada test drives personalized video content.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published April 16, 2021

Content Examples We Loved This Week (They’re Not All Fungi and Games)

This week, we’re talking about growing fans of fungi, gaming for fun and data, and translating a serious message into something people will watch.

Fungi catalog prompts the best compliment ever

Family-owned Fungi Perfecti mails out a print catalog once a year to promote the health values of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms – and sell products.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published April 9, 2021

How to Elevate Brand Stories So They Pack an Emotional Punch [Examples]

This week, it’s all about elevating conversations. Procter & Gamble, Volvo, and T-Mobile show how to make a brand platform matter by aiming for more than product promotion.

P&G promotes widening the lens

“Words alone won’t create change. Sustained action and investment are necessary to address the systemic bias and inequality in advertising and media.” Those words come from P&G, a brand that puts money (and actions) behind its statements.

Widen The Screen is an initiative to raise awareness for and fuel investment in Black-owned media. The first two-minute video challenges viewers to think about and recognize how stereotypes in media influence their perceptions.

P&G also released three behind-the-scenes episodes featuring perspectives from the people involved in creating the video. All are must-watch content.

Widen The Screen’s purpose reaches beyond this video series. “(It) is an expansive content creation, talent development, and partnership platform that celebrates creativity and enables Black creators to share the full richness of the Black experience,” according to P&G.

This summer, P&G will collaborate with Black-owned film production studio SpringHill Company on a project that takes viewers inside a boy’s imagination to showcase a range of professional opportunities beyond athletics.

P&G isn’t a newcomer when it comes to supporting Black creators. Now in its third year, Queen Collective is a partnership among P&G, Queen Latifah, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and Tribeca Studios. The mentoring and talent development program gives women filmmakers of color a platform to share important stories from their unique perspectives.

WHY IT MATTERS: P&G says it better than we could: “Only when we Widen The Screen to Widen Our View can we all broaden the spectrum of the images we see, the voices we hear, the stories we tell, and the people we understand. Fully.”

Showcasing a broad spectrum of stories (images, voices, and words) is a way to go beyond the surface and truly begin to understand someone else’s experiences.

P&G continues to use its huge platform to tell stories that matter. All brands – regardless of size – can tell and promote the stories of people who don’t have a platform to further their message.

Of course, the topic you choose should have some connection to your brand. There are lots of stories to tell – you shouldn’t have any trouble finding ones relevant to your brand’s purpose.

Hat tip to A. Lee Judge whose LinkedIn post about the initiative caught CMI’s Lisa Dougherty’s eye.

#WidenTheScreen #content initiative from @ProcterGamble shows brands how to do more than talk about diversity and inclusion to really make a difference via @Brandlovellc @ALeeJudge @CMIcontent. #WeeklyWrap #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Controversial seatbelt saves lives

Do you know (or do you remember) how controversial the seatbelt and seatbelt laws were? Do you know Volvo invented the three-point safety belt and shared the patented design with other car makers?

A new exhibit at Fotografiska New York uses portraits and audio to tell the stories of 15 people whose lives were saved by the seat belt Volvo invented.

The exhibit, a partnership between Volvo Cars and photographer Martin Schoeller, also tells a story about Volvo’s past while giving a glimpse of the company’s future. Volvo says it’s committed “to saving a million more lives with new safety innovations that could be just as controversial, including a speed cap on its new cars and exploring in-camera technology that can detect if a driver is distracted or intoxicated,” according to a MediaPost article about the exhibit.

If this theme sounds familiar, you might remember this moving video we featured last year.

WHY IT MATTERS: People might find it interesting to hear Volvo say, “We invented the three-point safety belt.” But that fact can’t compete with the impact of hearing the stories of how that invention saved lives – from people who wouldn’t be alive to tell the stories without it.

The combination of images and audio creates an emotional experience for the audience that will last long after they leave the museum (or finish watching the video).

It’s also a great way to educate people about the controversy of the past to mitigate future controversy.

[email protected] could’ve simply reminded people it invented the three-point safety belt. Instead, it created #content experiences from people telling the story of how seatbelts saved their lives, via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Where’s the turkey?

T-Mobile celebrated April Fool’s Day like it was Thanksgiving.

The company flipped the script on what can be a tricky day for brands by turning it into a celebration of gratitude with the #GivesThanksNotPranks campaign.

The campaign offered people this prepopulated retweet: “I’m swapping pranks for thanks. All you gotta do is tweet #GiveThanksNotPranks. Each tweet = $5 to @DonorsChoose from @TMobile.”

But #GiveThanksNotPranks went beyond a charity-focused Twitter campaign. T-Mobile created the microsite as a home base for the initiative. They shared information about the Donors Choose organization and ways to support the campaign (sharing, donating directly, or texting).

T-Mobile brought corporate partners, from Motorola, Twitter, and TikTok, to Mattress Firm, Wattpad, and SanMar into the campaign, which launched March 22 and generated media coverage. Other brands joined in during the tweet fest. T-Mobile followed up by announcing the results – over $1 million raised for classrooms in need through Donors Choose – on April 2.

WHY IT MATTERS: CMI recently advised brands to avoid April Fools’ Day content unless it fits with their established voice. In this case, T-Mobile did it right, says CMI’s Stephanie Stahl. The “Uncarrier” did the “un-April Fools’” thing by forgoing tomfoolery in favor of doing good.

The company also avoided the mistake of treating #GiveThanksNotPranks as a one-day opportunity. It smartly began the buzz more than a week ahead of the day. And it seems to have adjusted its Twitter strategy for the week because its activity soared. It went from posting every day or so to regular posts and replies every day through April 1.

Unlike most brands, T-Mobile followed up immediately to share the results (it’s the brand’s pinned tweet). Too often, whether it’s a fundraising story or one that promises more to come, brands fall down on the follow-up. Audiences are left wondering or, worse, feeling used. And that makes them less likely to consume that brand’s content or promotions in the future.

[email protected] flipped the script on April Fools with #GiveThanksNotPranks – see this and other examples of brands elevating their #ContentMarketing via @EditorStahl @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet
Intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else in content marketing? Share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Weekly Wrap.

 Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

By contentmarketinginstitute published April 2, 2021

Traffic Soared but Funding Disappeared (Plus Other Content Marketing Surprises of the Week)

This week, a brand-funded magazine faces a hairy situation. Everyone’s least-favorite email error creates an accidental community. And marketers fear they’ve maxed out their audience’s digital attention spans.

Dollar Shave Club slashes relationship with MEL magazine

A month ago, the men’s lifestyle and culture magazine MEL celebrated the ninth anniversary of Dollar Shave Club, the brand that founded and funded the publication.Continue Reading

By contentmarketinginstitute published March 26, 2021

3 Happy Little Content Marketing Examples (Feat. Bob Ross)

This week, Mountain Dew brings back Bob Ross, Twitter Marketing gets into bracketology, and shipping containers predict the future.

Redo The Joy of Painting (courtesy of Mountain Dew)

Mountain Dew is a loud brand. Yet the beverage giant recently took a turn on the calm side, creating a “lost” episode of the beloved PBS show The Joy of Painting.

Though the show’s host and painting instructor Bob Ross died in 1995, he’s remembered fondly by many who grew up with his quiet and encouraging approach to teaching art. His popularity surged in 2020 as people sought calming programs during the pandemic. So, Mountain Dew decided 2021 was the year to harken back to Bob in a posthumous tribute.

The beverage brand and agency TBWA/Chiat/Day worked with the Bob Ross Company to create the new 40-minute episode. The instructions in the episode lead viewers-turned-artists to create one of his iconic scenic snowy woods paintings (in this case featuring a bottle of Mountain Dew). Here’s the  15-second commercial for the episode:

Instead of editing an old episode of The Joy of Painting, Mountain Dew and its agency partner created a new, original episode using a body double, voice actor, and much more. (Read about how they did it in this article from The Drum.)

The Mountain Dew website provides a materials list so viewers can gather everything they need before they start the full episode.

WHY IT MATTERS: It seems like an odd pairing – a brash, youthful beverage brand and a PBS painting show that last aired original episodes 26 years ago. But it works because of Bob Ross’ (posthumous) status as a pop icon – and because Mountain Dew went for authenticity, tapping into the calm earnestness that made the artist-turn-host so popular.

Calming, authentic, and earnest aren’t adjectives most people use to describe the Mountain Dew brand. That’s why we like the anomaly of this partnership. It’s fun – and fun is in keeping with the Mountain Dew brand. And it surprises the audience – Bob Ross is not someone you expect to “do the Dew.”

Calming Bob Ross and brash @MountainDew create a surprisingly happy little #ContentMarketing pairing, via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Click To Tweet

HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: CMI’s Kim Moutsos saw The Drum article. Anything involving Bob Ross grabs our attention (in part because CMI Creative Director, Joseph “JK” Kalinowski, is such a fan).

Twitter doesn’t bust brand brackets

The NCAA basketball tournament may be king of the brackets, but brands have gotten in the game too.

Twitter Marketing jumped into the bracketology action with its #BestOfTweets brand bracket.

The “competitors” are getting involved, too. In this tweet, Oreo humbly responded to its victory over Skittles (60% to 40%):

WHY IT MATTERS: Twitter Marketing smartly found a relevant twist on a big trending topic this month. Customized matches give its community an opportunity to interact with the account and each other (Check out the feed to see how passionate some voters feel about their choices.)

HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: We’re on Twitter and we’re marketers.

[email protected] #BestOfTweets Brand brackets show how to put just the right spin on trending topics, via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Cargo ships can tell the future

How do you know if business is looking up or down? Christopher S. Penn, co-founder of Trust Insights, checks the Baltic Dry Index.

“This is the aggregated cost of container space on a cargo ship and is a reasonably reliable measure of B2B health,” Chris wrote recently of his surprising business predictor.

“Why? It’s not speculative – you don’t buy space on a cargo ship for fun. You buy it when you have goods and services to move from point A to point B in bulk. When companies are buying and shipping goods, you know they’ve got business to do. It is overweight on home construction (which is a massive consumer of overseas goods like lumber), but in general, it’s a decent barometer of what’s happening.”

WHY IT MATTERS: Content marketers must think about the business if they want a seat at the executive table. The better you understand sales predictors – and can talk about and react to them accordingly – the more valuable you’ll be to the sales team and executives. And with that increased respect, you may not have to defend or explain content marketing as much as you do now. (You also may get more support for your content marketing budget requests.)

HOW WE HEARD ABOUT IT: Christopher Penn shared his method on the CMI #CMWorld Slack channel.

Marketers who want a seat at the executive table better understand sales predictors. @cspenn suggests a surprising indicator of #B2B business health via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap #Examples Click To Tweet
Intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else in content marketing? Share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Weekly Wrap.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

By contentmarketinginstitute published March 19, 2021

About That Burger King Tweet … and More Helpful Content Marketing Lessons

This week feels like back-to-school season. Burger King UK gets a lesson in the importance of context. Marketers get a resource for figuring out where they are – and where they need to be – on the social media maturity roadmap. And everyone can learn from an at-a-glance chart that shows just how many steps go into producing high-performing content.Continue Reading