When you think of “killer content strategy,” do you think of Kraft Foods? For many people, when they think of Kraft, they think of cheese. In fact, Kraft represents a lifestyle. That lifestyle stands for easy-to-make, family-friendly food and recipes.

Kraft has actually been at the forefront of content marketing since long before that term was ever coined. They launched kraftfoods.com back in 1992 – years ahead of the time that many of their competitors would launch websites. This website has grown over the years to include a host of recipes and food-related content. They followed up on their web content with a printed publication, food & family magazine [sic] in 2005.

And where as content marketing is a hot concept right now, Kraft once again proves that they were ahead of the game when it came to recognizing the importance of informative, educational content – both on the Web and in print. In 2009, the company hired Julie Fleischer as its Director of Content and Integration.

Kraft educates its audience, in other words. It teaches them about creating easy meals that families will love, so it definitely has busy moms and working parents in mind.

But it isn’t just Kraft Foods throwing some recipes online every so often and calling it a day. As Julie Fleischer points out in an interview with Forbes, Kraft’s Culinary Experts are responsible for about a third of the content on kraftrecipes.com, with the remaining two-thirds coming in from the users themselves. This content is updated regularly, too.

In addition, as Kylie Jane Wakefield points out in an examination of Kraft’s Content Marketing Strategy on Contently’s blog, The Strategist, Kraft further leverages that user-generated content to help involve and build community. Some of the pictures that accompany the UGC recipes have even turned up as new default pictures on Kraft’s Facebook page.

And speaking of Facebook, Kraft has fully embraced social media as part of its content strategy. In addition to their Facebook page, which is updated once or twice a day, they also have a solid presence on other key social media sites.

They set up their YouTube account in 2005, and today it’s full of ideas and how-to videos for creating meals the whole family will love.

The Kraft Twitter account isn’t updated as regularly, but that account promotes products and replies to customer service issues.

And if ever a social media platform fit perfectly into Kraft’s content strategy, it was Pinterest. Fleischer noted in the Forbes interview that Kraft monitored Pinterest for a year before establishing themselves on that platform. Because Pinterest is such a big site for sharing recipes, it seemed a perfect place for Kraft to share their

It might seem that it would be impossible for Kraft to create all of this content without being seriously self-promotional, but they make it work. While they do recommend their products be used in the recipes, that’s about as far as it goes. Like a good content strategy should do, Kraft’s content marketing centers on inspiring and educating its visitors, trusting that sales will follow.

But here’s what’s most interesting about Kraft’s content marketing efforts: they can work the same way for you. Everything you read in this post seems pretty doable, right? The fact that Kraft was ranked #49 on Fortune’s list in 2011 doesn’t change that. The resources are the same. Those steps can be taken at the small business level, the Fortune 1000, 500, 100, 50 levels. The money that you have to work with will be different, but the process is exactly the same.

Can you see your business following such a content strategy? Let us know!