20 Content Marketing Agencies & Companies Building Better Connections With Audiences

Fresh, folksy and familiar: These companies are showing how to create meaningful customer interactions through content marketing.
September 11, 2019
Written by Mae Rice

Have you ever encountered a tweet that read like it was from a person, but was actually from a brand? Maybe it was this one: “meatloaf is the exact opposite of soup.” It sounds like your wacky cousin, but actually, it was brought to you by the Denny’s social media team.

"Brands now behave like real people with idiosyncratic personalities on social media platforms," Adam Alter, a marketing and psychology professor at New York University, told Vice

And it’s worked well for the nationwide diner chain, which has amassed a half million Twitter followers and 281,000 on Instagram. 

It’s just one of many modern companies that promote their brands and products via content marketing on various platforms. Besides social media, they also release mixtapes, like Hamburger Helper’s Watch the Stove, and podcasts, like Inside Trader Joe’s — which made it to number three on the iTunes podcast charts in 2018. 

While this practice dates back to the 1800s, it has flourished in an age of ad-blocking software. Content marketing evades ad blockers, because it’s not an ad — at least by ad-blocking standards. It doesn’t interrupt the flow of other content with a pop-up or a “word from our sponsors.” Instead, it seamlessly blends content and promotion in a way that’s folksy and familiar. 

Most, if not all, major companies have embraced digital media to varying degrees, and helping them garner attention in an intensely competitive marketplace has become big business. Over the last couple of decades, there’s been a profusion of content management platforms, content marketing agencies and hybrids to serve a growing sector that according to one estimate will be worth $400 billion by 2021. 

Here are 20 companies to watch in the content marketing industry. 

 

semrush content marketing companies
SEMRush

SEMRush

Location: Boston

What it does: Companies like eBay and Overstock.com use this SaaS company’s signature product, an all-in-one marketing toolkit with a bevy of content marketing features. These include topic and headline recommendations, a shareable editorial calendar and content analytics. The platform even boasts a digital SEO writing assistant, which plugs into Google Docs and offers writers real-time suggestions for maintaining a brand’s tone and optimizing on popular search terms.

 

buzzfeed content marketing companies
BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed

Location: New York City

What it does: BuzzFeed may publish news and cultural criticism, but much of the company’s revenue comes from content marketing: brand-sponsored quizzes, listicles and Tasty videos. The marketing team’s near-scientific grasp on virality and huge social media following have attracted major brands in recent years. For example: Mattel sponsored a “Which Barbie are You?” quiz, and the team created an assortment of Radler-related Tasty recipes to promote Bud Light’s new Radler.

 

yotpo content marketing companies
Yotpo

Yotpo 

Location: New York City

What it does: Yotpo’s e-commerce marketing platform leverages enthusiastic user-generated content — like reviews, social media posts and community Q&As — to spark interest in a product. Used by companies like fashion house Steve Madden and luggage brand Away, the Yotpo platform makes it easy to transform user praise into sponsored social posts, or showcase it in custom displays on a company’s website. 

 

nativo content marketing companies
Nativo

Nativo

Location: El Segundo, Calif.

What it does: Beneath many articles on premium sites like Popular Science, you’ll find a grid of sponsored articles. (Exhibit A: “Eating Outdoors This Summer? There’s a Drink for That,” by Coca-Cola.) This is Nativo’s doing. The company specializes in placing branded content in front of human eyeballs. They also an advanced A/B testing tool with which brands can perfect their content; its machine learning algorithms automatically optimize thumbnail images and headline wording. 

 

column five content marketing companies
Column Five

Column Five

Location: Irvine, Calif.

What it does: This content marketing agency’s leaders believes so fervently in infographics, they wrote a book about their unique visual-yet-numerical allure. However, that’s not all their agency makes — they work on everything from animation to white papers to social media copy for brands like Red Bull and Toyota. Whatever the project, Column Five’s interdisciplinary team prioritizes experimentation, one of the five key values or “columns” that bolster the business.

 

outbrain content marketing companies
Outbrain

Outbrain

Location: New York City

What it does: Outbrain works with clients like Microsoft to place native advertising — so, branded content in the style of the host publication — with top-tier outlets, like the Washington Post and Conde Nast magazines. The company’s signature feed technology manages content in 14 different languages, which amasses almost 2 billion pageviews each day, Outbrain reports.

 

skyword content marketing companies
skyword

Skyword

Location: Boston

What it does: This company’s signature content marketing platform, Skyword360, was designed with coherence in mind. Global enterprises — like IBM, one of SkyWord’s clients — often publish massive libraries of content, and Skyword360 offers a birds’-eye view of it all so leadership can ensure that it tells a single, cohesive story. Built-in tools range from ideation management (which essentially organizes and centralizes brainstorming) to reviewing and editing functions.

 

fractl content marketing companies
Fractl

Fractl

Location: Del Ray Beach, Fla.

What it does: This content marketing agency has created some highly visible content for itself: Fractl’s market research on the emotions that viral content stokes and the perks that job applicants most value has appeared in the Harvard Business Review and the New York Times, respectively. The company’s team strives to create similarly high profiles for their clients, basing their content campaigns on rigorous research that includes biofeedback metrics, UX testing and focus groups.

 

hubspot content marketing companies
HubSpot

Hubspot

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

What it does: This company’s cloud-based software was designed with content marketing in mind. Back in 2006, the MIT graduates who founded HubSpot saw the marketing tides turning, flowing away from old-school promotional interruptions and towards helpful branded content. Their software enables that through myriad channels, with editing and publishing tools for email marketing, blogging and posting on social media. 

 

newscred content marketing companies
Newscred

Newscred

Location: New York City

What it does: Newscred’s content marketing platform offers brands a complex suite of metrics. These include traditional media metrics, like pageviews and average attention time, alongside marketing measures. Conversion analytics, for instance, track how often content triggers purchases, social media follows and the like. For their actual content, meanwhile, brands can turn to the company’s in-house studio, whose freelance photographers, videographers and writers align their work with social media trends and SEO best practices.

 

influenster content marketing companies
Influenster

Influenster

Location: New York City

What it does: On Influenster, users browse more than 38 million reviews of beauty, food and pet products. The user-generated content starts with brands like Maybelline and Hellmann’s sending reviewers free products, in colorful packages termed VoxBoxes. There’s only one condition: Recipients must honestly review the products. Hence the site’s thousands of varied, descriptive reviews, which function as content marketing — provided the product really works. 

 

cloudwords content marketing companies
Cloudwords

Cloudwords

Location: San Francisco

What it does: Cloudwords’ platform streamlines content marketing translation, a major boon for global enterprises like McDonald’s. Though the exact workflow varies — some companies rely on pure machine learning algorithms for translation, while others incorporate a human review component — every CloudWords client enjoys improved content scalability, even companies in niche fields with specialized jargon. The platform’s Translation Memory feature makes it easy to store translations of, say, “microchip” or “DevOps” for future use. 

 

movable ink content marketing companies
Movable Ink

Movable Ink

Location: New York City

What it does: Movable Ink specializes in personalizing online visuals, which have huge potential impact in content marketing. Copy needs imagery to draw the eye, but no single image appeals to everyone. With Movable Type’s tools, brands don’t have to choose one image. Instead, they can tailor visuals to individual digital users on email, mobile or desktop. That can mean presenting images linked to a user’s location and its climate, or to their recent browser history.

 

outbound engine content marketing companies
Outbound Engine

Outbound Engine

Location: Austin, Tex.

What it does: Outbound Engine specializes in content marketing for small businesses. The company’s team of experts pens industry-specific expert content for more than 10,000 small businesses. The works burnish clients’ reputations, and Outbound Engine’s platform manages the content distribution and tracks engagement closely so clients can follow up with intrigued readers.

 

s&g content marketing content marketing companies
S&G Content Marketing

S&G Content Marketing

Location: New York / Miami

What it does: S&G Content Marketing — S&G is short for Stunt & Gimmick — can shepherd companies through the entire content life cycle, from concept to distribution. The company’s team of journalists, digital artists and designers can produce original video, a deeply-researched blog post, an infographic or a media kit. What’s more, they do it while dodging industry cliches, finding fresh new language for even the most storied concepts.

 

hippo thinks content marketing companies
Hippo Thinks

Hippo Thinks

Location: Santa Monica, Calif.

What it does: This content marketing company collaborates with a network of more than 1,000 academics to craft credible, research-heavy content for clients. Hippo Thinks has worked with clients on original articles published in top-tier magazines, like Scientific American. The company’s educated creatives also make educational white papers for clients to share with customers. 

 

convince and convert content marketing companies
Convince & Convert

Convince & Convert

Location: Bloomington, Ind.

What it does: This marketing consulting firm works with major clients like Nike, Hilton and Cisco, and content marketing is a house specialty. The team starts by researching the brand’s base, then constructs a strategy that “delights and informs” that audience. They don’t create the actual content, though — they focus on the road map. 

 

talenthouse content marketing companies
Talenthouse

Talenthouse

Location: West Hollywood, Calif. 

What it does: This company functions as a complement to consulting services like Convince & Convert. On the Talenthouse website, brands recruit the creative talent to execute content marketing strategies. Talenthouse’s freelancers work with more than 120 brands, making custom content, graphics and video on a project-by-project basis. The workflow typically begins with an open call for submissions, followed by a selection process. 

 

brafton content marketing companies
Brafton

Brafton

Location: Boston

What it does: This content marketing agency started with storytelling. Some would call it copywriting, but the team thinks of storytelling conceives of it as an art that can forge a genuine bond between companies and consumers. Today, Brafton creates comprehensive content marketing campaigns for clients, pairing their copy with video and slick graphic design. The company distributes content, too, with SEO optimization and analytics-driven strategies.

 

percolate content marketing companies
Percolate

Percolate

Location: New York City

What it does: With Percolate’s content marketing platform, companies can identify and minimize roadblocks in the content workflow, coordinate and deploy complex campaigns and track reader engagement through metadata. The flexible technology, used by companies like Mazda and Levi’s, streamlines all the administrative elements of content creation, freeing up more time for creativity. 

 

Images via Shutterstock, social media and company websites.

 

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