It’s that time of year again. “Best of” lists abound and everyone waits with bated breath to learn just what was the most used emoji in 2015.

We’ve always been dedicated to meeting expectations, so we thought we would chime in with our favourite examples of Content Marketing for the year.

Without further ado, here are our nominees for the fictional Search Factory “Content Marketer of the Year” award.

National Geographic

National Geographic Facebook

National Geographic is already a media and publishing company, so maybe they have a bit of an unfair advantage. But in terms of engagement, audience building and creating a self-sustaining content asset, this is one brand that has it going on.

Their success essentially comes down to a few key points – truly exceptional content, building a community, using the right platforms for the job, and understanding their purpose.

It goes to show that nailing the basics is essential to achieving real returns on your CM investment.

GoPro

GoPro YouTube

GoPro embodies the concept of knowing what you’re selling. From the outside, they sell a camera. But delve deeper and you’ll see very clearly what they really sell is content.

User-generated content is perfect for engagement. Audiences are intelligent, so genuine interaction with authentic, organic brand ambassadors means people don’t feel duped if they enjoy brand content.

An integrated approach that invests in both amateur and professional content is paving the way for future success.

Content Marketing Institute

This Old Marketing Podcast

It would be worrying if the founding fathers of content marketing got it wrong. Fortunately, they haven’t put a foot out of line this year.

CMI has built an enormous business out of their own content marketing approach. While they still consult to enterprises, they also run the huge Content Marketing World conference each year, release educational material, run a massive blog, and do a heap of other cool stuff.

One of their ideas to really take off in 2015 is their weekly podcast, Pulizzi and Rose – This Old Marketing Podcast. They’re currently more than 100 episodes in and are regularly placed among the top marketing podcasts on iTunes.

When you think about it, this is all about a content marketing podcast about content marketing by the content marketers at Content Marketing Institute. It doesn’t get much better than that.

yo dawg content

Plus, this modern channel has really highlighted just how long the concept of content marketing has been around. Telling stories to sell an idea is a tale as old as time.

The key takeaways we can glean from these main players are:

  • Know your audience
  • Be strategic!
  • Ensure these strategies are based on genuine audience desires and intent
  • Understand your publishing platform(s).

And, of course, measure, measure, measure… then adjust as necessary!

Extra resources:

Got some time to kill? Check out this slideshare presentation created by Content Marketing Institute. It explores content marketing industry trends for 2016.