30 Pieces of Content Inspiration for Your Swipe File

There is some fantastic content marketing available online.

Plenty of companies have put a lot of effort into creating engaging, interesting, educational content that draws attention to their business by carefully targeting their customers.

If you’re looking to put together a swipe file full of examples of excellent pieces of inspirational content marketing, have a look through the following pieces of stellar content:

1.   Hipmunk’s ‘How Much Does a Disney Vacation Really Cost’?

Hipmunk’s blog breaks down the real cost of a variety of vacations.

This infographic lets customers researching vacations know exactly what the real cost of a trip to Disneyland would be.

It’s smart because it’s colorful and informative – customers learn important information, and are more likely to use Hipmunk to book their Disney adventure.


2.   General Electric’s Txchnologist ‘Meet The Scientist Who Never Sleeps’

The Txchnologist blog by GE is an excellent example of creating an authoritative news source.

It features a variety of articles about science that technology that are designed to appeal to GE’s target customers.

  • Customers are led to the site by interesting articles, and begin associating GE with state of the art technology.

Its article on a robotic scientific assistant is an example of a piece of content that’s educational, interesting and well researched – giving site visitors something to enjoy and share with their colleagues.

3.   Equity Arcade’s ‘Gaming Industry Crash’

Equity Arcade is a videogame crowdfunding website with a very active blog covering all aspects of the gaming industry.

  • What’s impressive is the lengths the blog goes to in order to maintain a status of authority, including featuring articles that don’t serve its purpose as a funding platform.

One such article questions whether the industry is heading for a crash.

While it ultimately argues that a crash isn’t imminent, its balanced exploration of both sides of the argument helps the blog to gain credibility as an unbiased editorial platform.

4.   Moz’s ‘The 2016 State of Link Building Survey – Results & Analysis’

Moz is well known for creating informative, in-depth research-driven content.

This helps to develop Moz’s reputation as a source of well researched marketing resources.


5.   Jack Daniels’ Single Barrel Blog

The best content marketing is a lot more than just a description of a product.

With the Single Barrel blog, Jack Daniels produces articles on the lifestyle of their customers.

An article on boot cleaning might not seem like it fits with an alcoholic drink brand, but it fits the image Jack Daniels are eager to cultivate for their product: outdoorsy, rustic and authentic.


6.   Bumble and Bumble’s ‘Styling and How-Tos’

How-To videos are very common ways of showing how a company’s products can be used in the real world.

What’s special about Bumble and Bumble’s approach is the wide variety of tutorials they offer, suited to a variety of different hair types.

This means that even if customers have reservations about how the products will work with their own hair, they’ll see an example of someone similar to them using the product to fabulous effect.


7.   American Express Departures’ ‘Amazing First-Class Air Cabins’

With its Departures publication – available both in print and online, American Express builds up its brand identity as a card used by the wealthy, sophisticated and cultured among society.

Departures is full of travel tips and ideas, including a full gallery of pictures of some of the most impressive first class cabins from airlines around the world.

Seeing these images, it’s tempting not to get out the American Express and order an expensive flight to give the cabins a try.


8.   Petsmart’s ‘Understanding Raw Nutrition for Dogs’

Often the best content marketing doesn’t draw attention to itself.

By featuring an article about raw dog food without mentioning its products by name, Petsmart can help spread its reputation as an authoritative source of information on pet care, meaning that when its readers come to buy food, they’re likely to remember the brand that knows what it’s doing.


9.   AirBNB’s ‘The Local List: San Francisco’

AirBNB has a vested interest in encouraging people to travel.

Their Local Lists are a fantastic way of helping people to get the most out a vacation in different cities, making sure they want to stay longer and travel more often.


10.   Kat Von D Beauty – ‘Inspiration Du Jour’

There are a lot of benefits to getting customers involved in content creation.

Kat Von D Beauty has a curated gallery of customer photos on its site, giving visitors inspiration about how to use its products to create unique, eye-catching looks.


11.   Intuit’s ‘Death of the Office’

This infographic from Intuit is fantastic: a strong visual full of compelling information, with a lot of research behind it.

All of this works together to sell self-employment and small businesses, which helps publicize Intuit’s range of accounting software.


12.   Marriott’s ‘Two Bellmen’

I love this video.

It’s produced with the highest production value:

  • Bright, colorful videos,
  • Well choreographed dancing
  • Some very effective licensed music
  • A very fun narrative.

All of this adds up to create a fantastic ad for the kind of world that Marriott embodies, and the kind of service you can expect at their hotels.

What’s interesting, though, is that even though this video is produced by Marriott as an advertising campaign, there’s very little product placement on display.

  • There are no lingering shots of Marriott logos.
  • There’s less product placement in this than you’d find in a typical Hollywood blockbuster.

This helps viewers to forget they’re watching an ad, and just enjoy the video for its own content – but that won’t stop them thinking of Marriott and its amazing dancing bellboys when it comes time to book a hotel.


13.   Lana Del Rey’s Tumblr

It’s great to use social media to push out content to a wider audience.

This gifset from Lana Del Rey fits perfectly on Tumblr – it’s seen plenty of shares because it’s exactly the kind of artsy, pretty content that Tumblr users go for.

It’s a great example of carefully choosing a content platform based on the audience that will frequent it.


14.   Target’s Pinterest Board

Another example of smart use for social media: Target cultivates a Pinterest board of examples of ways its products can be used for DIY projects.

This appeals to a core Pinterest user group, and shows them not just good craft project ideas, but also where they can go to get the gear they’ll need.

15.   Callaway Golf’s ‘You Can’t Argue with Physics’ YouTube Series

Good content teaches audiences lessons they want to learn.

Such is the case with Callaway Golf’s series on the physics of playing golf – viewers learn scientific methods for improving their game.

This taps into golfers’ desire to progress and develop their skills, and helps make Callaway synonymous not just with playing golf, but with playing smart golf.


16.   Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Between Meetings’

Virgin Atlantic is all about facilitation travel across oceans, often for business purposes. Virgin want their customers to have the best possible experience, not just while travelling, but during their entire experience.

Their blog offers smart tips for getting the most out of even a short time between business meetings in a new city.

This is smart marketing – it directly targets their perfect audience, gives them a reason to regularly visit the Virgin Atlantic blog, and helps them to associate the brand with not just effective business meetings, but enjoyable travel experiences.

17.   Disney’s ‘Ultimate Tweet’

Disney is a brand that knows how to leverage its characters.

This social media photo shoot (and connected making-of blog post) helps Disney to travel across social media, reminding users of a wealth of Disney characters, products, and the Disneyland parks themselves.


18.   Intel IQ’s ‘Inexpensive Prosthetics for the Masses’

Intel wants its brand to be connected with all aspects of technology.

With a recent article on digital printing of prosthetic limbs, Intel not only cements its reputation for being involved in cutting edge electronics, but also adds a human element that it’s hard not to feel good about when reading.


19.   The White House ‘Behind the Scenes’

Regardless of your opinion on his politics, you’ve got to admit: Obama’s got style.

To show the cool, savvy, human side of the President, the White House maintains a Flickr album full of behind the scenes photos of Obama working, relaxing, or occasionally dancing with his wife and elderly visitors.


20.   Microsoft ‘Behind the Scenes: Surface Pro 3 Commercial’

Speaking of behind the scenes content, there’s nothing more that people like than finding out how something was done.

Microsoft’s ad for the Surface Pro 3 uses a lot of clever camera tricks to provide a shifting scene of someone using the computer.

The connecting Behind the Scenes video makes every use of the powerful ad, by giving people an in-depth look at how the commercial was achieved.


21.   Hello Flo’s ‘First Moon Party’

Humor is definitely your friend, even when dealing with sensitive subjects.

Hello Flo, which provides items relating to periods – especially for first timers, created an ad about periods which in many ways resembles a mockumentary sitcom.

It’s funny, cheeky, and it shows that the brand doesn’t take themselves – or the issue of menstrual cycles – too seriously. Anyone watching with a preteen daughter is likely to consider some Hello Flo products to help with the transition to womanhood.


22.   Etsy Blog’s ‘Make Coloring Book Cookies’

Etsy’s blog is all about maintaining the image of style and craft that the marketplace website is known for.

With many articles, including one about icing cookies, the blog goes beyond drawing attention to products people can buy, by giving them a craft they can try at home.

This helps to solidify Etsy’s reputation as a place to come for quirky ideas and craft projects.


23.   Whole Food Market’s Whole Story ‘Tips for Every Skin Type’

Whole Food Market’s blog focuses on the needs of every kind of potential customer, to make sure that everybody who visits their website learns which of their products will be useful for them.


24.   Equinox Furthermore ‘Q&A With Lucy Liu’

Celebrity endorsements are powerful, and the stars don’t even need to hard sell your products.

Fitness company Equinox’s Furthermore blog recently interviewed Lucy Liu about her recent roles, as well as her exercise and health regimes.

It’s the kind of interview that draws in viewers while subtly teaching what Equinox stands for – without having to specifically mention any of their services.


25.   Rosetta Stone’s ‘The Impact of Language Advocacy on Economic Security’

Language learning resources generally appeal to a specific kind of person who have a desire to improve their international communication skills.

For this reason, Rosetta Stone’s blog focuses on encouraging people to see why language learning is important, both to reinforce existing hopes that people might have to improve their career prospects, or to help people consider learning a new language.

26.   Fidelity’s ‘The 50/15/5 Guide: A simple approach to budgeting’

Fidelity’s blog has found a clear audience: it targets people who are concerned about financial stability and planning for the future.

This is why the blog includes an infographic about the best practices for budgeting – it helps to establish Fidelity as a brand that provides solid, actionable advice on getting the most out of money.

It does so in a simple and accessible way, but one that makes people want to learn more about financial planning.


27.   Progressive’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll — Behind the Wheel Trucker Documentary’

Progressive’s Trucker Territory campaign is an interesting way of building trust with its key audience.

Through highlighting the real stories behind truckers, the brand ingratiates itself with a big part of its audience.

What’s more, a wider audience sees the videos and begins to associate Progressive with the open road – exactly what a company that sells car insurance wants.


28.   British Gas’ ‘High Energy Gaming’

Similar to Trucker Territories, British Gas’ blog post looking at the different energy consumption of various videogame consoles speaks to a niche audience who might be concerned about how much playing games might be costing them in power.

The article is authoritative and well researched, providing interesting information and highlighting why those who play lots of games want to choose a cheap energy provider.


29.   Dell’s Powermore ‘Telemedicine: The great hope for healthcare—but are we there yet?’

In looking at new age medical technology and its advancements, Dell’s blog cements itself as a brand that’s focused on the technology of the future.

In choosing to take a measured, balanced approach, though Dell ensure that readers trust their blog not to sugarcoat the future of technology in order to soft sell their products as the best thing since sliced bread.

A little grounded realism in content marketing can go a long way to generating trust.

30.   Shutterstock Blog’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit: Celebrating Youth in Images from Offset’

Shutterstock’s blog is full of galleries of its stock photo images.

These galleries, often arranged by theme, give viewers an idea of the variety of images that are available, and encourage creativity and inspiration for the kind of things customers can use Shutterstock photos for.

There’s Plenty More Where That Came From

As content marketing gets more popular, there’s a growing amount of excellent content online to draw inspiration from.

What are your favorite pieces of content marketing? Feel free to share them in the comments below:

Images: PixabayHipmunk, Moz, Jack Daniels Single Barrel Blog, Bumble and Bumble, Departure, Petsmart, AirBNB Local Lists, Kat Von D Beauty, Intuit, YouTube, Tumblr, YouTube, Disney, Intel, Flickr, YouTube, YouTube, Etsy, Whole Food Market, Furthermore, Fidelity, Trucker Territory, British Gas