Award-Winning Content Marketing Campaigns That Work

How do you define success in content marketing? The main tenets are things like increased web traffic, more leads, and ultimately higher sales. But every so often, a campaign comes along that really stands out and deserves recognition. This is what led to the creation of the Content Marketing Awards. Every year, they honor new content strategies for top brands by recognizing the best marketers, the best agencies, and the best projects of that year. What can we learn from these award-winning, content marketing campaigns that we can then implement in our own strategies? Let’s take a look at the winners over the last couple of years and see.

2015 Project of the Year – Excedrin


Excedrin is a very specialized medicine. While drugs like Tylenol and Advil are designed to treat different pains and ailments all over the body, Excedrin only treats headaches. However, they also have a reputation for being the best. The makers of Excedrin are the headache experts—and that expertise is reflected in their content marketing.

Excedrin uses what they call “story packages” to deliver content. These story packages are distributed among a variety of channels and include articles, videos, images and more. The main focus of these packages is the articles: informative pieces about some causes of migraines, from Tyramine to Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. While these topics can be a bit more technical than the average blogger is looking for, they proved a tremendous success among people wanting to understand their headaches. They raked in thousands of shares on Facebook and other social media.

What You Can Learn: Don’t be afraid to get a little technical in your content, if that’s what the situation calls for. Just make sure that it’s still accessible to your audience.

2014 Project of the Year – Guitar Center

In addition to Project of the Year, Guitar Center also won other Content Marketing Awards in 2014, including highest YouTube subscriber growth. Their YouTube channel is, after all, the main focus of their content campaign.

Guitar Center doesn’t just make videos. They use their YouTube channel to hold competitions that get their audience involved in the content. The Search for the Next Great American Songwriter called for original song submissions and offered people the chance to have a 4-track EP produced. Meanwhile, the Your Next Record competition, challenged users to remix a single by Steve Aoki. And the Guitar Center Drum-Off sought to find talented, undiscovered drummers.

Each of these competitions provided lots of video content for audiences to follow, highlighting finalists creating tons of amazing music. By giving viewers such a wide variety of competitions, they appealed to all different types of music lovers and got them invested enough to follow their content. This in turn helped increase their overall subscribers and cemented Guitar Center in people’s minds as a brand that supports and nurtures talented, but undiscovered, musicians.

What You Can Learn: Get your audience involved in your content. Competitions are a great way of doing that. Not only does taking submissions give you a wellspring of new content without having to create it, but it also gets people invested in what you’re doing and keeps them coming back for more.

These award-winning content marketing campaigns provide great inspiration for content marketers everywhere. The two campaigns are very different from one another, but both very effective within their niche. And at their core, they both have the same goal: to engage their audience in new and innovative ways. All of their content is geared towards accomplishing that goal. Your own content marketing campaign might not win any prestigious awards, but if you keep that goal in mind as you create your content, you can still see content marketing success.

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