Laura Petrolino

Rut-Busting Content Marketing Examples

By: Laura Petrolino | March 14, 2016 | 

Rut-Busting Content Marketing ExamplesBy Laura Petrolino

Sure, you all are thinking now….”Really? Why do we need more content marketing examples? Aren’t we already flooded in too much content as it is? We get it Laura, we get it!”

Or do we? (Dun, dun, daaaaaaaaaa.)

While we all may know the many different ways we can implement content marketing as part of our overall communications strategy is as wide as it is deep, sometimes it’s hard to think out of the box.

The blog box.

Maybe we will throw in an eBook every once and a while.

Perhaps we will get wild and crazy and do a video or add some visual elements.

Maybe….just maybe, we will throw all caution to the wind and add some user-generated content.

But, in the end, we tend to be stuck in a content box—which limits the bounds which we push our content to different levels, perspectives, media types, and mediums.

So let’s stop.

I don’t know every person reading this blog post today, but I know many of you…and you are freaking creative, hilarious, innovative individuals.

Individuals who need to pop-out of that box like a stripper out of a birthday cake.

I’ll start the inspiration train with these three content marketing examples of efforts I personally love and which take very unique—and effective—approaches.

Project Yourself

I looooooove, loooove, loove this project.

The Artist Rapid Response Team (ARRT!), a group of Maine activist artist who use their talent to support causes they care about, and 350 Maine, a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the planetary climate crisis, joined together to create this amazing projection which played during our First Friday Art Walk this month.

ARRT! Video Projection Project 

This is a fantastic content marketing example not only of out of the box tactics, but also fantastic storytelling, and extremely well-targeted content distribution.

Think about it—this video was projected during a time period when and where active community members were out and about. This is a story that directly affects them and they can relate to on a very intimate basis. Casco Bay is maybe a five minute walk from this building and anyone who lives, works, or plays in Portland is—by choice and location—connected to the water in some way.

Plus, it played into the event already going on.

The First Friday Art Walk is a time where community members gather, visit galleries, watch street performers, and consume many micro-Portland stories all night.

If you think of it in digital terms, something like this didn’t disturb the user experience, but instead augmented it.

Sort of like a real-world version of native advertising or (well done) sponsored content.

A Visual Journey

We all know visual elements are a very powerful force when it comes to content marketing. Often we use them to complement or support actual words, but I always love it when they are used to replace words altogether. Recently I encountered two content marketing examples of that done really well.

One is large scale and elaborate.

One is extremely amateur and micro-focused.

Both are extremely powerful. And proof you don’t need a huge budget and expensive equipment to produce powerful visual storytelling.

First let’s look at the simple: Photographer Theron Humphrey took his rescue dog Maddie on a road trip across the country. He recorded their journey through photos, which resulted in a very powerful story—no words needed.

And more elaborate: One of our clients sent this to me last week. It’s absolutely genius and pretty breathtaking.

“Inherit the Dust” places life-sized panels of animals in their former habitats, places now completely changed by heavy development and industrialization.

It sends an extremely though provoking message—with no words at all.

And although it is a large scale operation, there are many smaller scale ways to take this idea and transform it into a version that fits the goals and resources of your organization.

Your Favorite Content Marketing Examples

And now it’s your turn.

There are just three examples which have crossed me interwebz in the last week.

Which inspiring content marketing examples would you add to this list?

About Laura Petrolino

Laura Petrolino is the chief client officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She also is a weekly contributor to the award-winning PR blog, Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.

  • Gini Dietrich

    My mom just texted me this: “We need to pop out of our box like a stripper out of a birthday cake”

    • My mind went all kinds of places when I read that several hours ago. (Your mom was not part of where my mind went, FWIW.)

      • Laura Petrolino

        Hahahahahaha! OMG Paula…. VERY good clarification there.

    • She said ‘We’ and not ‘You’?

  • I always read these fantastic posts, get to the bottom where you ask for an example, and ……………………………….BLANK…………………………….. 🙂 I guess what I can say is this: the best content marketing to me is something that evokes “me too!” or “that’s me!” or “that’s my friend!” or “that’s just like my life….” It’s not someone telling me what I should buy, read, eat, or do —- it’s someone loving it so much that I want to do the same thing. My fellow Shot at Life champ Nicolette did a 3 min FB live as we organized our Hill Day … and someone responded “oh now I think I could do that without being intimidated” (paraphrase). So much more impact than some pre-packaged PSAs.

    • Laura Petrolino

      You know it’s funny you say that because I always feel like the best compliments I get on anything (whether it be my writing, speaking, actions, facebook statuses, whatever…) is when someone says to me “oh, you are just like me…,” “I think/do/say that all the time,” or “OMG we are the same person.”

      Whenever I can get someone to relate to something I say, write, or do like that is a great victory and something I feel really proud of (not to mention honored to be able to connect in that way).

      • Laura Petrolino

        And love this shot of life video….you are right, that’s the best response you could get to something like this.

      • EXACTLY!


  • I’m with Paula, my mind went blank after your question! But, I just remembered about the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Instagram account. They are killing it! ( I like the approach because instead of over doing it on messages like, “save the whales!” they are showing how beautiful our world is, which in turn should inspire us to protect and enjoy what it offers.

    • Whoa….you are right! That’s an awesome account. I didn’t even know it existed. Great example

  • First of all I was really happy to see that in Maine you have real buildings now…I was told by Vermonters Mainers live in Igloos. 8)

    I really loved the animals in Africa. Especially seeing how us humans replaced their ecosystem with garbage dumps. Nice work humans.

    I have to admit Laura when I saw Content Marketing in the title I went OH NO! But this is what content marketing should be. Forget blog posts and social media stuff…toss the EBook out the window with the baby and the sink. Content should be used to convert people after they find you….vs the finding them part (faster more economic ways to find people than CM).

    I will just say for me (and I really miss here in Vermont) Street Artists are great examples of powerful content marketing (not taggers). Banksy. Shephard Fairy.. People who create art as a social statement. Those are my favorites.

    • Hahaha! We had to build some this winter, since we had zero snow. Everyone was homeless. It was rough.

      Love the mention of street artists. I hadn’t thought of that at all, but you are right. In fact, I was down in Boston a few weekends ago and we watched this group which were extremely talented…not just based on skill, but the presentation, the story they told to connect with a crowd. It was absolutely fantastic—content marketing at its finest. Likewise, I’ve been to sand castle festivals, sidewalk chalk art collaborations, etc…..all displaying awesome content marketing using their medium of choice. Great example