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For today’s installment in our content marketing series, we’re going to take a look at three very different brands doing content marketing in unique and interesting ways. And while these are well-developed brands with a fair amount of capital (human and financial) behind their efforts, the techniques they employ are absolutely accessible by small businesses as well. Let’s dive right in.

1. Saveur Magazine
Of all the types of content you could create, video certainly has the potential to go viral very quickly, and with very little added effort on you part. The key is to create something that will answer a question that a lot of people might have on their minds. Saveur does exactly that with their SAVEUR Basics video series. While there are probably a number of expert chefs consuming the magazine and website, the majority are more the aspirational set. People who cook frequently and want to be able to expand their skills so they can be more like the pros. Enter this series of just a handful of tutorials that are brief, helpful, and beautifully shot. I find these incredibly useful and really make me value Saveur as a brand. And judging from the YouTube details, over 1 million other people feel the same way.


2. Salesforce
Perhaps a bit more applicable to the readers of this blog than the example above, is the content offered up on the Salesforce Blog. Knowing the target audience for their product, Salesforce has created a smorgasbord of content on topics like marketing, social media, and business management that those individuals are likely to be searching for. They have so many great content pieces now in fact, that they’ve created a handy tool to help you find the content that might appeal to you most. And while we don’t expect small business owners to take it to this level right away, the whitepapers and articles found here are a great example of how well this type of content can be handled.

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3. Apartment Therapy
Our third example today shows how content marketing can really help any type of business with a little creativity applied. Apartment Therapy is one of my personal favorite destinations on all of the Internet. If offers design and style ideas and DIY tips and tricks for everyday apartment living. All in an attractive and well-organized format. But after looking at the site for a few minutes you might be wondering – what does Apartment Therapy’s wealth of content actually sell? While they do offer several books, and in a way they are “selling” their founder as a brand, what they really sell is….us, the consumers. It’s content marketing, one step removed.

Think of it this way: Apartment Therapy creates content that appeals to me and thousands of people like me. They track our visits and engagement on their website. Because they have such relevance to that specific audience, advertisers are happy to pay for space on their website. So, Apartment Therapy is selling me to advertisers who want to sell their stuff to me. And I’m happy to participate in that cycle, because I’m getting great content in return – for free.

So the moral is, no matter what you sell, or even if you have a blog or website that doesn’t sell anything directly, content marketing can still benefit your business and bring in revenue.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the resident blogger at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social marketing tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog and Google+.

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