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Feast on These 9 Content Examples Worthy of Gratitude

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Feast on These 9 Content Examples Worthy of Gratitude

Content marketers always have a lot on their plates. But in the past two years alone, you’ve likely taken on extra responsibilities, adapted your marketing strategies, and evolved your audience understanding – all while facing intimidating challenges.

These are no small feats. So, this week while the U.S. gives official thanks, in the spirit of gratitude, we’ve gathered a few standout content marketing examples that speak to the theme. Many of these appetizing efforts were honored as winners and top finalists at this year’s Content Marketing Awards. But award or no, they’re all worth savoring.

Spending time with friends and loved ones

Thanksgiving is when many people gather with whom they care about and turn to in times of need. It’s a reminder of how meaningful human connections are, whether around the dinner table, in front of the TV, or through your favorite digital devices.

Love connection

Some might remember AT&T’s tagline, “Reach out and touch someone,” in reference to person-to-person phone calls. Though the conduits for those conversations have expanded, the brand remains dedicated to keeping the lines of communication open and available.

@ATT doesn’t use its Reach out and touch someone tagline, but it still promotes connection. Its Love Connections campaign does just that, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In its Love Connections campaign, personal communication isn’t just a holiday obligation – it’s a vital necessity. The raw documentary video series highlights the life experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ community who rely heavily on their trusted connections to reinforce their sense of belonging.

For example, in the inaugural video (below), Alok – a gender nonconforming person – describes the harassment and antagonistic remarks about their flamboyant appearance. Despite experiencing that negativity, they don’t hesitate to live on their own terms and encourage others to do the same.


The Love Connection sparked meaningful conversations among the LGBTQ+ community, their allies, and even their detractors. The brand furthered its commitment by supporting The Trevor Project – an organization aimed at suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. You’ll find more details on this campaign in 5 Lessons From the Content Marketing Awards Project of the Year Finalists.

Reaching consumers’ hearts through their stomachs

Some consumers may have packed away their sourdough starters in favor of new dinner reservations, but there’s no substitute for a home-cooked meal shared with friends and family. To evoke similar feelings of comfort and connection, marketers fill their plates and content platforms with tempting, food-focused fare.

McCain cookbook creator

Many families bond by passing down recipes through the generations. McCain Foods turned that tradition into a branded kitchen keepsake with McCain Family Cookbook Brought to You by Food24.

With the help of its content marketing agency New Media and South African foodie site Food24, McCain developed a first-of-its-kind Cookbook Creator tool. As explained in this video, it lets users upload six favorite family recipes, along with personal notes and photos.

Top recipes from Food24 and McCain rounded out each collection. Each custom book was printed and delivered to the consumer who created it.

The effort strengthened McCain’s position as a meal prep partner while creating a memorable – and lasting – association between the brand and home-cooked family meals.

For more details on this campaign, read Where There’s a Goal, There’s a Way: 4 Strategy-Led Content Programs.

Butterball Talk-Line calendars

Butterball is a brand practically synonymous with Thanksgiving’s big bird.

Its annual Turkey Talk-Line opened on Nov. 1 to answer questions and help prevent meal prep meltdowns. But this year, the brand also took the talk offline with a free calendar full of culinary expertise and extra emotional support.

Known for its turkey hotline, @Butterball sold a 2022 Comfort Calendar filled with culinary expertise and extra emotional support. It sold out almost immediately, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The 2022 Comfort Calendar sold out way before Thanksgiving grocery shopping even started. But Butterball doesn’t leave customers holding the (giblets) bag: It’s stuffing its Instagram page with enough tasty tips to carry you through Christmas.

Taking the turkey show on the road

Consumers eagerly return to the skyways and byways for post-pandemic holiday reunions. Yet, travel providers still reel from almost three years of turbulence that shook their businesses to the core. Fortunately, their industry partners are helping them pull out of the tailspin with targeted content tools and inspiration.

The Compass accelerates travel business recovery

Leisure travel agents struggled as vacationers resumed their travels. They had to keep up with frequent regulatory changes, meet the surge in customer demand, and grow (or reopen) their businesses.

Small boutique agencies have been particularly hard hit. But they can find much-needed support through The Compass, an editorial media brand launched by VAX VacationAccess to unite and assist its audience in the professional travel community.

Image source

The Compass Magazine and website are filled with timely industry education on topics like social media marketing, agent development, and hot travel destinations (as shown in the image above.)

In addition, personal stories and perspectives from their fellow agents help reignite the readers’ passion for traveling and inspire them to make their business a success.

Fáilte Ireland sparks growth with customizable content assets

The U.S. wasn’t alone in pandemic-impacted travel businesses. Many businesses in Ireland’s tourism industry struggled to stay afloat, lost staff, and/or had minimal marketing skills and little time for training.

Those compounding concerns spurred Ireland’s national tourism body, Fáilte Ireland, to launch a first-of-its-kind interactive toolkit. Keep Discovering provides the country’s small and medium-sized businesses with short, easy-to-access content, customization services, and other practical resources – all free.

This image of the toolkit’s cover describes some of the Keep Discovering offerings – downloadable assets, social media calendar and email templates, and ready-to-go campaign images and videos.

Image source

With over 7,300 downloads of its branded assets and more than 5,000 visits to the toolkit page, Ireland’s travel agents appreciated the help. According to Transmission (the agency on the campaign), Keep Discovering helped regional tourism businesses to “rally in huge numbers.”

To learn more about this campaign, read Want To Generate More Demand? Follow These 4 Content Tips.

Get your game on

Football is a popular pastime on U.S. Thanksgiving. Whether consumers plan to score some touchdowns in their yard or play armchair quarterback with a drink in their hands, a great content play can help push the excitement into overtime.

Captain Morgan leads a cheer for the fans

Football fans are known for going to great lengths to show support for their favorite teams. For its sponsorship of the National Football League’s Fan of the Year contest, Diageo’s rum brand Captain Morgan captured that excitement in a video-centric campaign.

Captain Morgan brought on NFL legend Victor Cruz to host its We Bring on the Spice docuseries. Victor visited the top seven Fan-of-the-Year finalists and dove into their stories of devotion and how they share that passion with others in their fan communities.

The resulting videos include the story of an LA-based New York Giants fan who travels 3,000 miles to attend games (shown in the video below) as well as a super fan who created a supporters’ group that’s now over 10,000 members strong.

By giving these NFL super fans a video-centric platform to share their team love, Captain Morgan spiced up the football season – and left its signature flavor on the field for its audience to enjoy.

Learn more about this effort, and other standout video content campaigns, in 4 Ways To Win With Video – The “It” Content Format for 2023.

Get inspired to give back

This year, Patagonia’s founder put his company shares into a trust that will direct future profits to fight the climate crisis. Your brand doesn’t need to take “giving back” to that extreme, but you can use your content platform for philanthropy and public service.

Anheuser-Busch invests in preventing alcohol abuse

Anheuser-Busch markets some of the world’s most iconic beer brands, including Budweiser, Corona, and Michelob.

But as Ahava Leibtag writes, it also donates money and creates content to educate consumers about the dangers of abusing and misusing its products, such as drunk driving, underage drinking, and binge drinking.

That content includes Global Smart Drinking Goals, which Ahava describes as a set of programs and initiatives to reduce harmful alcohol use by focusing on shifting social norms, consumer behaviors, and their organization’s business practices.

The image below shows the age gate to access its site, reinforcing the brand’s efforts to keep alcohol-related content out of the hands of visitors younger than the legal drinking age.

Anheuser-Bush also shares content on Instagram using #DecidetoRide. In partnership with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the efforts encourage consumers to call a ride-share service if they’ve been drinking alcohol during their holiday celebrations.

Pepsi implements actions that help advance racial equality

Many brands published anti-racism content following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. But Pepsi reinforced its public statements with a long-term commitment to the cause.

That year, the beverage brand launched its racial equality journey initiative with a five-year plan and pledged a $400 million commitment to increase Black representation at PepsiCo, support Black businesses, and empower Black communities.

Today, visitors to the PepsiCo site can find ongoing progress reports, details on the latest program elements, and results of the initiative to date.

As Ahava writes, Pepsi reinforced its commitment to diversifying its workforce by recruiting potential job candidates from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The brand promotes this recruiting partnership through content like this HBCU Halftime Game video, which recognizes HBCU students’ contributions on and off the field.

To learn more about these two campaigns – and other examples of brands that give back, read Ahava’s article, How To Raise Your Brand’s Voice on Issues That Matter.

Better yet, why not put your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) intentions in play – literally?

Line 25 makes a game

Line 25 Consulting is a practice dedicated to helping organizations expand their DEI viewpoint through guided training, customized workshops, and other service offerings. But recognizing an opportunity to make the lessons more engaging and actionable for marketing teams, agency founder Michelle Ngome created the Be Inclusive card game.

Each card in the DEI deck features a prompt like, ‘How do we practice DEI beyond social media’ or ‘How can we accommodate neurodiversity in the workplace’?

Image source

By facilitating productive conversations on these important issues, the game prepares teams to take the next logical step – finding meaningful solutions to address them.

Fill your plate, but don’t forget to fuel your intentions

From the CMI team to yours, we hope you find time to take a break this holiday season to be reenergized and ready to create amazing content that enables your businesses to do and be better for your customers tomorrow.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

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3 Smart Bidding Strategies To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads

Now that we’ve officially settled into the new year, it’s important to reiterate that among the most effective ways to promote your business are Google Ads. Not only do Google Ads increase your brand visibility, but they also make it easier for you to sell your services and products while generating more traffic to your website.

The thing about Google Ads, though, is that setting up (and running) a Google Ads campaign isn’t easy – in fact, it’s pretty beginner-unfriendly and time-consuming. And yet, statistically speaking, no platform does what Google Ads can do when it comes to audience engagement and outreach. Therefore, it will be beneficial to learn about and adopt some smart bidding strategies that can help you get the most out of your Google Ads.

To that end, let’s check out a few different bidding strategies you can put behind your Google Ads campaigns, how these strategies can maximize the results of your Google Ads, and the biggest benefits of each strategy.

Smart bidding in Google Ads: what does it mean, anyway?

Before we cover the bidding strategies that can get the most out of your Google Ads, let’s define what smart bidding means. Basically, it lets Google Ads optimize your bids for you. That doesn’t mean that Google replaces you when you leverage smart bidding, but it does let you free up time otherwise spent on keeping track of the when, how, and how much when bidding on keywords.

The bidding market is simply too big – and changing too rapidly – for any one person to keep constant tabs on it. There are more than 5.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, and most of those searches are subject to behind-the-scenes auctions that determine which ads display based on certain searches, all in a particular order.

That’s where smart bidding strategies come in: they’re a type of automated bidding strategy to generate more conversions and bring in more money, increasing your profits and cash flow. Smart bidding is your way of letting Google Ads know what your goals are (a greater number of conversions, a goal cost per conversion, more revenue, or a better ROAS), after which Google checks what it’s got on file for your current conversion data and then applies that data to the signals it gets from its auctions.

Types of smart bidding strategies

Now that you know what smart bidding in Google Ads is and why it’s important, let’s cover the best smart bidding strategies you can use to your advantage.

Maximize your conversions

The goal of this strategy is pretty straightforward: maximize your conversions and get the most out of your budget’s allocation toward said conversions. Your conversions, be they a form submission, a customer transaction, or a simple phone call, are something valuable that you want to track and, of course, maximize.

The bottom line here is simply generating the greatest possible number of conversions for your budget. This strategy can potentially become costly, so remember to keep an eye on your cost-per-click and how well your spending is staying inside your budget.

If you want to be extra vigilant about keeping conversion costs in a comfy range, you can define a CPA goal for your maximize conversions strategy (assuming you’ve got this feature available).

Target cost per acquisition

The purpose behind this strategy is to meet or surpass your cost-per-acquisition objective that’s tied to your daily budget. When it comes to this strategy, it’s important to determine what your cost-per-acquisition goal is for the strategy you’re pursuing.

In most cases, your target cost per acquisition goal will be similar to the 30-day average you’ve set for your Google Ads campaign. Even if this isn’t going to be your end-all-be-all CPA goal, you’ll want to use this as a starting point.

You’ll have lots of success by simply leveraging target cost per acquisition on a campaign-by-campaign basis, but you can take this one step further by creating a single tCPA bid strategy that you share between every single one of your campaigns. This makes the most sense when running campaigns with identical CPA objectives. That’s because you’ll be engaging with a bidding strategy that’s fortified with a lot of aggregate data from which Google’s algorithm can draw, subsequently endowing all of your campaigns with some much-needed experience.

Maximize clicks

As its name implies, this strategy centers around ad optimization to gain as many clicks as possible based on your budget. We recommend using the maximize clicks strategy if you’re trying to drive more traffic to your website. The best part? Getting this strategy off the ground is about as easy as it gets.

All you need to do to get started with maximizing clicks is settle on a maximum cost-per-click that you then earmark. Once that’s done, you can decide how much money you want to shell out every time you pay for a bid. You don’t actually even need to specify an amount per bid since Google will modify your bids for you to maximize your clicks automatically.

Picture this: you’ve got a website you’re running and want to drive more traffic to it. You decide to set your maximum bid per click at $2.5. Google looks at your ad, adjusts it to $3, and automatically starts driving more clicks per ad (and more traffic to your site), all without ever going over the budget you set for your Google Ads campaign.

Conclusion

If you’ve been using manual bidding until now, you probably can’t help but admit that you spend way too much time wrangling with it. There are plenty of other things you’d rather be – and should be – spending your time on. Plus, bids change so quickly that trying to keep up with them manually isn’t even worth it anymore.

Thankfully, you’ve now got a better grasp on automated and smart bidding after having read through this article, and you’re aware of some important options you have when it comes to strategies for automated bidding. Now’s a good time to explore even more Google Ads bidding strategies and see which ones make the most sense when it comes to your unique and long-term business objectives. Settle on a strategy and then give it a whirl – you’ll only know whether a strategy is right for you after you’ve tested it time and time again. Good luck!

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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