As the discourse around content marketing builds, some of the most visible, influential brands in the world are diving in head first with some very creative applications of their own.

According to this Forbes piece, top marketers are finding that content is key in creating engaging experiences for consumers.

“Scaling our content isn’t just about expanding the size of our social reach across news platforms,” says Ron Faris, Head of Brand Marketing at Virgin Mobile. “It’s also about deepening the level of engagement we have with our fans in the social communities they hang out in.”

Music, video, and mobile content increasingly play a role in content strategies as brands explore ways of reaching consumers through their preferred channels of engagement. And it’s not just millennials – that dream demographic – brands are considering, either. American Express and Marriott, brands not typically associated with popular entertainment, are finding content useful in rewarding their current customers.

“Content for us lives first and foremost in the offline world through our hotel guest experience,” says Dan Vinh, VP Global Marketing, Renaissance Hotels. “This is how we ensure that what we do and say is authentic. Then we extend it to online to continue the dialogue with existing guests and their network (our prospects).” Renaissance Hotels, Marriott’s lifestyle brand, have launched two discovery platforms to help their guests get acquainted with the local city they’re staying in and find nearby entertainment.

Each brand must design and execute their own winning content strategy that works well for them, but in each instance, some vital points of consideration apply to any player in the space.

“An amplification strategy should be a key tactic in a content strategy,” says Lisa LaCour, VP Marketing at content discovery platform Outbrain. “Once the content is created, search and social networks can be used to distribute, but you should also make sure to distribute it out to others who may not know it exists.”

As brands continue to explore their respective strategies and tactics, one thing seems clear: content can cover many bases.

“Focus on existing customers as well as prospects,” says LaCour.  “Content marketing is a great tool to create brand affinity but can also be powerful in building a new audience of potential customers.”

The brands featured in the article will continue their discussion on content marketing at Brand Innovators Content Marketing on December 6, 2012.