Content marketing is anything but a paint by numbers profession. Creativity is rewarded, especially if you know what your audience wants from their social media.

If you want to find methods of content development that work for you, start by looking at what has worked for others. Here are some of the campaigns that range from quirky to subtle, but all have found the right social media platform to bring impressive results to their brands.

This Campaign is a Joke
The family restaurant Denny’s uses Tumblr, of all things, to create an online presence flush with irreverent humor. Most of this humor is self-deprecating, and it works. Tumblr also encourages the use of audiovisual content, something Denny’s frequently uses to create memes, which often spread organically when blog visitors reblog them or send them to their friends—no expensive PR company required.

The content works because none of it feels like an advertisement. Although every piece has Denny’s worked into the frame somehow, it’s all original and entertaining. It is the epitome of taking medicine with a spoonful of sugar and brilliant, off-center humor is central to the strategy.

Keeping It Simple
Rolex is a brand that doesn’t have to do much to maintain its standing—or so you’d think.

New competitors are coming into the high-end luxury watch market all the time and Rolex often finds itself in a quandary. How do they market themselves without making it seem as though they’re trying too hard? Looking desperate will lend credibility to the new brands, which is precisely the foothold those brands are looking for.

The solution is to keep the content simple. When Rolex introduces a new brand (or re-establishes an older line), there is no fuss or extra stuff in the shot. You get the best camera taking a picture from the best angle in the best lighting possible—that’s it. Everything is minimalist, streamlined and it works. However, every detail is top quality with no shortcuts.

How is this quirky, you might ask? Take a look at some of the pictures on the Rolex Instagram page. These are some odd shots. They just don’t appear strange because of Rolex’s establishment as a brand. Simplicity lends its talents to distinction quietly.

Giving Inspiration
Random House could rest on its laurels as one of the biggest publishers in the world, but it lends its name to future authors by staying current online and creating one of the best content marketing strategies on the Internet. As a publisher, Random House’s entire job is to inspire people to trust the authors that it publicizes. However, its first task is to stay relevant and does so by sharing its inspirations.

The social media pages from the company seem as though they come from a single person instead of a huge corporation. The inspiration is very personal and speaks to people on an individual level, which is quite a feat for an organization of its size. The content strategy feeds, especially the Random House Instagram, serve as a prime example for any company that is looking to connect with its target audience and make it count over the long term.

Customer Service as Content
Nike is not a company that is well known for its customer service, yet it has some of the best in the business. Why? Well, when your customer service department solves problems word doesn’t spread as fast. Everyone loves a horror story. No one hears about the stuff that goes right. So, Nike took its PR and content strategy into its own hands and turned its customer service successes into a full-scale marketing campaign.

The Nike Twitter feed is full of service stories that would otherwise have never seen the light of day. Taking stories directly from company archives also ensures the originality of the material, which is essential to the success of content marketing. What’s more is that the Nike customer support team is a fun bunch. Because the company empowers them to solve problems, they can do it with a sense of humor. This makes for a lighthearted read that many people come to check out just for a laugh.

There’s no need to constantly get on the soapbox and shout at people. Sometimes the subtle, fun and – yes – quirky approach works best.