4. John Deere is one of the biggest media companies
Speaking of venerable brands: Farming equipment supplier John Deere is among “the biggest media companies” around, noted Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute. The company’s farming magazine The Furrow— first published in 1895 — has amassed some 1.4 million subscribers. One reason is that The Furrow focuses on informing John Deere customers, rather than selling to them. By Pulizzi’s estimate, content in The Furrow has mentioned the John Deere brand 15 to 20 times in its 122-year history. With that approach, farmers who read the magazine often end up buying John Deere equipment again, he noted.
5. Ann Reardon finds her ‘content tilt’
Ann Reardon is a food scientist and dietitian. She started a website in 2009, How To Cook That, with recipes and the occasional video. In 2012, she launched a related YouTube channel to showcase her unconventional, creative recipes — such as her Lego Batman cake. Currently, Reardon’s YouTube channel has an impressive 3 million subscribers. Though there’s no shortage of cooking videos online, Reardon has succeeded by adding her own ‘content tilt,’ Pulizzi explained. Most content marketers believe it’s enough to use your subject authority to address customer pain points. But Reardon adds a tilt to her content by combining her authority as a food scientist with “differentiated storytelling” that no one else is doing, he added.
6. Stitch Fix uses algorithms to disrupt the fashion world
Founded in 2011, Stitch Fix is disrupting the fashion world via algorithms, noted James McCormick, principal analyst of customer insights for Forrester. Customers of the service fill out an online style profile, informing the company of fit, size and style preferences. A stylist looks at the data and sends a box of clothing and accessories tailored to the customer’s profile. The customer pays a styling fee and keeps or rejects any of the clothes received. The San Francisco-based startup is using “data intelligence for a competitive advantage” to know “what to stock, what not to stock,” McCormick said. Forbes estimated that Stitch Fix made $250 million in revenues in 2015, which was expected to jump 50 percent in 2016.
7. Copyblogger shows email marketing still works
Copyblogger is a content marketing SaaS that started as a blog in 2006. Founder Brian Clark’s focus was to build a blog audience first and figure out a business model second, according to Forbes. Copyblogger’s parent company, Rainmaker Digital, has gone on to serve more than 200,000 customers and earn more than $12 million in annual revenues. “Ninety percent of Copyblogger’s revenue comes from customers who subscribe to their email newsletter,” Pulizzi said, adding that email is still the most effective way to market to customers.
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