There is something I have to admit here.

Whenever I search for content marketing online, the results that come up always show the flashiest examples carried out by the biggest brands.

Take Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign for example, which I have seen in numerous articles already. This a great example of content marketing, nonetheless; it drives engagement, includes personalisation, and ultimately leads to sales of their products.

But how could small to medium businesses take those examples and adapt it their strategies? Unlike the bigger brands, SMBs have to work with limited resources.

But, this should not stop you here. Content marketing is still the way to go for your business. Check out our content marketing article to find out more.

So, I thought I would write an article which SMBs can actually relate to.

Here, I will outline some great content marketing campaigns carried out by businesses when they were just starting up. Check them out to get some inspiration, so you can go ahead to build success with your content.

Mint – not the toothpaste kind

I outlined in one of our content marketing posts earlier the importance of content marketing by using Mint as an example.Click here to read the article.

Mint is a personal financial management service which started up back in 2006. During their early stages, they concentrated their efforts and resources on driving engagement with their content.

They did this by creating blogs that provided educational value on all things finance related, such as budgeting tips. They also took time into creating infographics and videos to create a customer-centric experience.

The outcome of their efforts was amazing; their content drove 2 million users to their website in 2009. Their blogs and content built so much trust amongst their audience that they even stated they would allow Mint to handle their sensitive banking information.

Their growth was exponential due to their content efforts, so much that after 3 years in business, they sold their finance tool to Intuit for a remarkable $170 million!

How video content shaved the day – Dollar Shave Club

When Dollar Shave Club started out back in 2011, their resources were very limited. With a very small budget and no employees, whilst being up against big brands like Gillette, they decided to squeeze the most out of what they had and invested into creating a video about the company.

Click here to watch the video.

Nothing too flashy here; they decided to invest $4,500 to create a video that states who they are and what they do in a creative and humorous way.

The results:

Just within 2 days, they gained 12,000 new customers, over 9.5 million views, and an amazing 100,000 new followers on their social media platforms!

Simply brilliant. A great example that shows you don’t have to go above and beyond with your content marketing to generate massive results for your brand.

AirBnB – book your (con)tent experience

content marketing by small businesses

Not so much of a small brand now. AirBnB grew their business to what it is with the help of content marketing.

Providing a customer centric experience through their blogs, they provide so much value to their target audience.

In their early days, they created topics around travel tips, places to visit around the world,  and local travel guides – and still continue to do so today.

Now with millions of visits and bookings on their site, and many people joining the business by hosting their holiday homes on AirBnB, their content efforts, no doubt, was a major factor that led to their success.

Cupcakes too good to ignore – Foiled Cupcakes

How could a cupcake bakery with no physical storefront grow from virtually no customers, to over 2,000 followers in just 6 weeks? I’m sure you guessed it right, content marketing.

The online ordering business encountered a problem with their website, no one could order their cupcakes on the site for 6 weeks.

During this period, the owner of the company turned to social media to keep her users updated, and blogged continuously.

It was these efforts that helped the company grow their user following within 6 weeks. They also attracted the attention of the national press, and managed to beat their own revenue goal by 600% once sales started coming in!

Another example of driving engagement via content marketing can be a game changer for your business.

River Pools and Spas – How they swam their way to the top

content marketing by small businesses

River Pools and Spas was established in 2001, however, in 2008 the US economy collapsed.

With many companies within the in-ground swimming pool industry severely affected by the recession, River Pools decided to take an innovative approach and turned to the internet.

In an attempt to create the most educational fiberglass pool website, they started producing content to demonstrate thought leadership within the industry.

This approach led to an increase of around 400% in website traffic and lead generation. They were also featured in the New York Times on their cover of small businesses.

The content wizard of Moz – Moz.com

Moz (formerly known as SEOmoz) was a local service that built websites for their clients.

In order to get their client’s sites ranking higher, Moz hired contractors for search engine optimisation (SEO) services. However, they failed to provide the service.

In an attempt to continue providing SEO services, the co-founder of Moz , Rand Fishkin, decided to learn SEO himself.

So, he created a blog to produce content around SEO.

With the repeated actions of posting on the blog, and other inbound marketing efforts, his content eventually became popular amongst many.

It even caught the attention of Newsweek Magazine, who featured them in their section of SEO. His content drove a huge number of new clients to their site, with many of them now asking for their SEO services instead of web development.

Click here to read more about SEOmoz’s story.

Moz provides an inspiring story of how the company went from being deep in debt, to now one of the leading SEO websites out there.

Conclusion

I hope this article helps illustrate that content marketing is not just for the big brands out there, neither does it have to break the bank.

Content marketing is indeed very powerful.

In fact, it has literally helped several small businesses rise up to million dollar companies that we all know today.

We hope the examples in this post inspire you to get creative and make the most out of your resources. Who knows, maybe you could be next on this list…