“Content is king!” has been ringing in marketers’ ears ever since Bill Gates made the proclamation in a 1996 essay. In it, he predicted all companies would eventually become Internet publishers. But only recently have many brands truly recognized the power of producing content about their customers’ interests as a way to attract them and grow their business. This list of 50 Brands to Watch in 2012 is our way of honoring the pioneers who have built thriving content marketing operations, paving the way for the rest of us who are now taking up the strategy.

 

During 2011, our team members at Kapost were entrenched on the frontlines of Internet publishing, working with a diverse spectrum of content creators—legacy journalists, leading brands, industry influencers, and others—to meet their publishing needs. That work exposed us to various brands and businesses that were leading the charge in digital content marketing. We followed their efforts closely throughout the fourth quarter of 2011 to better understand their processes and operations.

 

While our initial selection of 75 brands to track was subjective, we used a variety of metrics to analyze and determine the top 50 rankings for this list. (Read about our full methodology here). Our partners at Click Z have published the top 10, with the remaining 40 in our own slideshow.

 

Since the outset of this project and the launching of the Marketeer, we’ve been introduced to numerous other content marketing efforts that certainly deserve a mention here. But we stuck with our initial 50 for the sake of completing our research and sharing it with you, our readers. After all, a comprehensive list of content marketing efforts would be futile. Instead, our intention is to add new brands to this inaugural list throughout 2012 and share their stories with you regularly at the Marketeer. We’ll be gathering information as the year moves along and look forward to researching an even larger sample of brands the next time around.
Until then, we hope you’re as inspired as we are by the hard work and dedication of the brand publishers on this list. And we anticipate your nominations for others to consider for 2013. Please share them with us via the forms available after each entry here. Happy reading.Research and reporting provided by Cameron Naish and Will Riseley.

Click here to view The Content Marketeer 50: Brands to Watch in 2012, #11-50 →

 

 The Full List

Rank Brand Content Marketing Index
1 American Express 400
2 Intuit 384
3 General Mills 377
4 Mr. Porter 373
5 IBM 365
6 Kate Spade 363
7 Williams-Sonoma 350
8 Cisco 347
9 Verizon 347
10 Liberty Mutual 346
11 P&G (HomemadeSimple) 345
12 Birchbox 344
13 Unilever (Degree Men) 342
14 Patagonia 340
15 L’Oreal 337
16 GE 336
17 P&G (ManoftheHouse) 335
18 Bergdorf Goodman 332
19 Tory Burch 331
20 Eloqua 324
21 Whole Foods 321
22 The Boston Consulting Group 318
23 Adobe 317
24 Marketo 317
25 Anthropologie 315
26 Zillow 315
27 Zappos 314
28 Fiskars 311
29 Southwest Airlines 308
30 Sun Life Financial 306
31 AT&T 303
32 Playstation 301
33 SEOMoz 299
34 Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting 296
35 Barneys New York 294
36 Deloitte 292
37 Radian 6 292
38 Starbucks 292
39 Dell 290
40 P&G (BeingGirl) 289
41 Amazon 287
42 Target 287
43 Evernote 278
44 Macy’s 267
45 The Gap 266
46 AtTask 262
47 Pepsico 259
48 Ebay 250
49 Wegmans 250
50 SAP 247

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  • Anonymous

    Toby,

    You have been so prolific lately! What a great piece.

    Pleased to see MovableMedia with 3 clients in the top 20.

  • http://www.ContentEqualsMoney.com Amie Marse

    Thanks for the compilation – it’s always great to see elbow grease in action. However, the real news about content marketing is that it has once again leveled the playing field for the little guy. Between SEO, social and content marketing clients can make huge strides with a tiny budget.

    The kicker? The process, the steps… the strategy is essentially the same. Did you see that article on Forbes last week with the Head of Content Management from Kraft Foods? She had the same issues as everybody else… and she works for Kraft. It’s a great time to be in business 🙂

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  • James McWhorter

    This is excellent. I will be following each of these companies closely!

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  • http://www.iwebsquare.co.uk/ iWebSquare

    The great list of 50 brands.

  • http://twitter.com/publicidadymark PYMW

    Nice Job !!!!!

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  • Danaly Web Design

    Surprised not to see WebMD on this list or any mention of them in this article. They have tons of content that outside companies actually pay for to display on their sites.

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  • Rob Yoegel

    My hunch is Monetate is #51, Toby?

    • http://communitas.tumblr.com/ tobymurdock

      yep

      coming on huge next year

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  • http://www.discoverafricagroup.com/ Andre Van Kets

    I’m no Hubspot fanboy (nor hater), but I’m quite surprised that Hubspot is not on this list.

    Regardless, still a great research list Toby.