Branded Content ROI Case Studies
Content marketing strategy is considered a key marketing strategy for both B2C and B2B companies, with 92% of the most successful B2B content marketers noting they use creativity in crafting their content. We found several examples of B2B companies in the US that saw successful ROI from implementing branded content as part of their marketing strategy. These were Slack's Work In Progress campaign, Deloitte's Business Chemistry campaign, and IBM's content for promoting IBM Watson. For each, we've provided additional details below, including impacts of each brand content campaign.
- Slack is one of the most commonly used online productivity tools, most often utilized by businesses for communication.
- The company used content marketing as a tool to grow overall brand awareness and engage new audiences and industries.
- Their key content strategy is a podcast called Work In Progress.
- The podcast, which was eventually syndicated by SiriusXM radio has a wide audience, which allows Slack to reach non-users of their platform effectively by featuring topics to engage them.
- The podcast was the first part of a larger content strategy that included emails, blog posts, and video content.
- The strategy helped the brand boost traffic and reach a larger audience.
- The podcast team aimed to provide compelling content that both the brands they already worked with and new companies would be interested in, in order to grow listener base, and get the brand in front of more people.
- As a result of their effective marketing approach, Slack accumulated 8 million daily active users, with 3 million paid users.
- They also have the highest conversion rate of freemium software platforms, at 30% of free users becoming paid users.
- The company was valued at $7.1 billion in late 2018, an is not paid for by 43% of Fortune 100 companies.
Deloitte Business Chemistry
- Deloitte, a multinational professional services network, launched Business Chemistry, a content driven strategy to engage with their target demographic, in 2019.
- The campaign offers a system for B2B companies to improve their workplace dynamics.
- Specifically, Deloitte “teamed with scientists from the fields of neuro-anthropology and genetics to develop a system that leverages modern computational techniques to bring a data-driven approach to observing and understanding differences in people’s business styles.”
- The system offers both an assessment that categorizes people as falling into four buckets: pioneer, driver, integrator, or guardian, and then offers content on how to use this knowledge to effectively manage teams.
- Their dedicated Business Chemistry website offers other free content, including a podcast that explores business relationships, studies of stress in the workplace, and other interactive tools and videos.
- The program is already so popular that Deloitte released a book to accompany the approach, Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships.
- Deloitte has continued to grow rapidly in part due to their content marketing, and currently is the largest professional services network in the world, serving over 286,000 professionals globally, in over 150 countries.
- When IBM launched Watson, their new cognitive computing device for data collection and use, they created a branded content campaign that successfully got it in front of their target audience.
- Key to their content strategy was YouTube, where they launched two related channels, IBM Watson and IBM Think Academy.
- Both channels offered interactive and useful content, in order to support users in practical use of the platform.
- Because Watson is a complex platform, their content strategy also required an approach to establish themselves with professionals who don't have IBM's expertise.
- They did this with the Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson campaign, a multi-channel marketing strategy that highlighted the usefulness of the platform.
- The campaign used influencers such as Seth Godin to get the product in front of professionals from specialized backgrounds.
- The approach generated client leads and organic engagement for IBM Watson, including 425 million search and social impressions.
- They also received over 1.2 million page views, and over a million social engagements.
In order to determine what B2B companies had successful branded content marketing approaches, we analyzed industry reports, marketing news sources, and other media. We then used company websites and PR reports to gain additional data on how these branded content campaigns had contributed to their increased ROI. We also specifically selected companies and campaigns where details of how the content strategy impacted or benefited the brand.