My Three Favorite Social Content Marketing Campaigns of 2013

I don’t know about you but for me, 2013 was a prominent year for content marketing. In the past—say, five years ago—things were so much different. Just take a look at the Content Marketing Institute’s list of 2009 content marketing predictions, where industry pundits were calling social media a “new frontier” for marketing.

It’s amazing to think just how far companies have come with the use of social media for content marketing purposes. Just yesterday, industry figures were applauding companies that paved the way by making corporate Twitter accounts. Today, a company is expected to have a maximum 60-minute response time on social media and can lose credibility with just a single spelling error in a post.

The reins are being tightened and companies have been forced to jump through more hoops than they care to admit this year. This pressure suffocated some brands and enabled others to rise to the top. Here are three social media content marketing campaigns that I think absolutely killed it in 2013. (Take note: these guys took the social marketing bar and raised it a few notches).

1. HBO’S First Ever Real Time Twitter Roast

I don’t care what anybody says—HBO’s real time Twitter roast of its deranged tween King Joffrey was ingenious (and not just because I’m a beloved fan). Speaking solely from a content marketing perspective, it makes me wonder why no one ever thought of doing something like it up until now. The brand’s fictional king-bashing event made for quite a hilarious content marketing campaign via social media. In fact, people are still using the hashtag #RoastJoffrey as recently as 16 hours ago, even though the campaign took place weeks ago. The campaign also garnered the attention of Yahoo and Oreo, who both participated in the fun.



2.  Cinnabon’s Sweet “Breaking Bad” Surprise

As I blogged about back in October, the brand was mentioned by character Saul Goodman on the critically acclaimed show (of which I was more than happy to cover as I’m a HUGE fan). Goodman—a criminal lawyer introduced in season two—tells main character Walter White during the show’s second-to-last episode ever: “If I’m lucky, in a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.” Not only did the show promptly leverage social media to keep the conversation going, but an actual Omaha-based Cinnabon store got permission from Corporate to hang promotional signs with the quote. It’s a brilliant way of quickly and tastefully (pun intended) doing social content marketing.



3. Glamour’s Top Instagram Ranking Video

Instagram is already a great social platform to spark content marketing creativity, but Glamour Magazine decided to round-up its top five most liked Instagram posts using—of course—an Instagram video. In the post, the brand writes: “Turns out our followers are just like us—fond of sweets, nail polish, and flowers!” I love how it’s an Instagram post with more Instagram posts and it also assures customers that the brand is keeping an eye on what they love most.


There were so many amazing social content marketing campaigns that it’s hard to just pick three. Which were your favorites for 2013?