Content marketing is more important than ever before. Brands in every sector recognize that creating excellent content is the key to winning over customers. In 2019, their content marketing strategies still hinge on the quality of their blogs. One survey showed that 53% of marketers felt that blogging was the most important form of content marketing.
If you are planning on revamping your own blogging strategy, it is a good idea to learn from companies with a great track record. We decided to create a case study on some of the best blogs in various industries, so you can use them as inspiration for your own website. Here are seven great examples to follow.
Coca-Cola has dominated its industry for over 130 years. The company’s success isn’t attributed so much to its product innovation, as to its ingenious approach to marketing.
Coca-Cola has always evolved with technology to make the most of its marketing strategy. It started the Coca-Cola Conversations blog to engage with its customers in a unique way.
The blog mostly focuses on talking about Coca-Cola collectibles. They make sure that every blog post is short and to the point. While longform content works in some industries that need to educate their target customers, Coca-Cola recognizes that its customers don’t want to read long walls of text when looking at old Coca-Cola products. They have made their blog more engaging by keeping the posts more concise. This strategy has paid off for them, because they have already earned well over a million visitors. The blog has been growing steadily since, which is especially impressive considering Coca-Cola had one of the largest brands in the world before this campaign started.
Grammarly is a company that publishes software products to help people improve the quality of the writing. They serve a number of different types of customers, including college students, law clerks and copywriters.
Grammarly manages a blog that provides basic writing tips. This helps the company into ways:
- The blog helps Grammarly brand itself as an authority in its market (after all, who would want to buy a grammar checker from a company that didn’t understand the mechanics of the English language?)
- They use the blog to generate more exposure for their brand
- By helping customers develop basic writing skills, Grammarly is able to help them get the most out of the product
Grammarly covers a large number of topics on its blog. It helps customers with a variety of challenges that they face with writing.
WayKen Rapid Manufacturing
WayKen Rapid Manufacturing is a company that uses prototype manufacturing services from China. They have a great blog that talks about amazing innovation breakthroughs in their industry.
Sweet Leaf Tea
Sweet Leaf Tea is a lesser known company, but it has clearly mastered the art and science of blogging. Unlike most brands in various industries, Sweet Leaf Tea recognizes that the effectiveness of a blog is not limited to the quality of its articles alone. They have created a holistic blog design that clearly conveys the company’s core branding message.
Sweet Leaf Tea uses older fonts. It also has a color scheme and pictures that help convey an earthy message. They do a good job cultivating the warm, nurturing emotions that they want customers to experience.
Nuts About Southwest
The airline industry is not particularly well liked by many customers these days. Southwest seems to understand that, so they have created a blog that helps change customer perception.
The Nuts About Southwest blog discusses customer experiences with both Southwest and the airline industry as a whole. They have done a good job getting customers to engage with them through social media. The blog has a social feed that any customer can reply through. The Southwest blog is optimized to share content through social media, so customers can spread the word about new developments at Southwest and events affecting the airline industry.
Intercom is a messaging software publisher that provides a variety of different types of products for various customers. Intercom recognizes that each classification of customer has unique needs. Therefore, it creates blog posts around different categories of customers.
What lessons can we learn from these successful blogs?
These examples show that brands in a variety of industries can get a lot of traction through blogging. Creating blog content is a great way to expand reach and position a company’s brand image in a positive way. Here are some lessons that we can pick up from these companies.
The length of your content should be based on customer expectations
If you read blogging guides, they often propose a lot of rigid rules of thumb when recommending the length of an article. Since the Google Panda update, they tend to recommend writing longer articles (ideally over 1000 words). These articles often are based off of those bloggers’ own experiences, which may not be universally applicable. The problem is that these bloggers often fail to consider that customers of different companies have their own expectations when reading blog content.
The blogs listed here all do a good job understanding the expectations of their customers. Coca-Cola writes much shorter blog posts, because they realize that people don’t want to read a couple of thousand words of content when they want to learn about a simple, fun topic like Coca-Cola collectibles. Meanwhile, other companies like Grammarly and Intercom write longer posts, because they have to educate their customers about complex topics.
Make the layout of your blog match your branding message
There is another commonality between the blogs we covered here. They all have optimized the user experience around their core branding messages. These companies realize that customer perception is determined by more than the content of their articles. The color schemes, font styles and header images are also very important.
Have a clear goal in mind
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make his writing content without a clear direction. You need to establish a list of objectives first. Every blog post needs to be written with these goals in mind and you need to make sure that it advances them in some way. Southwest has made sure that its blog posts improve the perception of the airline industry. Grammarly wants to educate customers about writing better and make sure that they have the necessary foundation to make the most of their product.
Make sure that your content warms readers up for future calls-to-action
You don’t want to take an ad hoc approach to writing content. Too many content marketing. They believe that as long as they get readers onto their website, they will be able to visibility for their brand. They believe that is all they need to do to get a future sale.
Unfortunately, it is rarely this easy. Your visitors are going to evaluate the entirety of your brand when deciding whether or not to make a future purchase. Inconsistent messages are not going to solidify your brand image in their mind. Low quality content is going to make your brand less appealing as well.
Whenever you are creating new content for your site, you need to think about brand positioning with the goal of future conversions in mind. This means that you need to think of future calls-to-action while generating any new content.
You need to make sure that your content sets the stage for future landing pages, so readers know what to expect. Here are some things that you will want to keep in mind:
- The general layout of your content should not be too different from your other landing pages. You might need to trim the length of the content a bit, but you are going to want to otherwise make the presentation as similar as possible.
- You need to think about the types of CTAs that you will have on your sales pages. Are you going to use buttons with a specific color? Then you might want to use similar colors in other images on your blog posts. That is going to help readers get used to those colors. When they make the transition to your landing page, they will be more comfortable interacting with them.
- Your other content should reinforce the key points on your landing pages. If you are emphasizing the importance of affordability and accessibility on your sales pages, then you want to discuss them in detail on other pages as well.
There are a lot of other factors that you might need to consider, but hopefully this gives you a good idea of what you need to keep in mind. Before you start creating any new content, you should ask yourself how it will support the rest of your strategy.
Don’t be afraid to change course if your content isn’t resonating with your readers
Consistency is one of the most important aspects of any content marketing strategy. However, it doesn’t make sense to be consistent about following a template that isn’t working.
There is a lot of testing involved in any online marketing strategy. You will probably start off with some preconceptions about the types of messages and content that will appeal to your readers. However, your data is probably going to show that a lot of your assumptions missed the mark.
Your content marketing strategy is going to be a work in progress at the beginning. You will need to pay close attention to your analytics to see what content your readers are most interested in. Don’t be afraid to stop writing content that they aren’t engaging with. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time and money.
Go after a broad range of keywords
You can learn a lot from major blogs like these by looking at their general layout, but you can see even more when you look under the hood. Take a look at the keywords that these blogs are ranking for.
You will see that Grammarly, Sweet Leaf and Coca-Cola are all getting traffic from a lot of different keywords. They have taken a very broad content marketing strategy, rather than focusing a few select keywords.
There are several benefits to this approach:
- You can attract a lot of traffic from less competitive keywords. This is especially important for new blogs, because they don’t have a high domain authority yet. However, it is also beneficial for large blogs as well. They can receive a lot of traffic from random, long-tail keywords that they might not otherwise have thought to focus on.
- You may find that some of the less obvious keywords actually convert better. By targeting a wide range of keywords, you can find a number of hidden gems.
- Targeting a wider range of keywords can help you expand the demographics that you want to target.
You may be surprised by how much traction your blog will get by focusing on a large number of keywords.
Use a strong internal linking strategy
All of the blogs that we reviewed here have done a great job with their internal linking strategy. They often have at least a couple of links on each page. This is a good way to improve SEO. However, it also improves navigation and helps readers find the content they are looking for.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a great logo
Creating great content is important, but it is not enough by itself. Every blog needs a great logo. Some companies have spent millions of dollars on their logos, so you don’t want to overlook it.
The blogs we reviewed all have excellent logos and they are prominently featured. You want to keep this in mind. You can always reuse the logo elsewhere, such as with branded water bottles.
Use These Blogs as Your Guide!
It is a lot easier to create a successful blog if you follow templates from others that have been successful. The blogs on this list have become very successful, because they have an excellent layout and a well-thought out content marketing strategy. You should keep this in mind while developing your own blog.