How to Replicate the Success of the Best Brands in Content Marketing

It’s not difficult to replicate the best brands’ success when it comes to content marketing. All it takes is a little strategy. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably already realized the importance of a content marketing program for your business. You have questions, though.

One of the most frequent remarks I hear from business owners is, “Sure, content marketing works for the big brands. But how can I make it work for us?” Glad you asked.

Many of the “big names” in content marketing today weren’t even around during the last century. In fact, many of them sprang up only a few years ago, leveraging content to solve problems that traditional companies would not touch.

Even those legacy companies who have made a success of content marketing started their content marketing strategy small. Many of them, tied to traditional advertising, had to endure slipping sales until their marketing team could convince the C-suite to hop on board the content marketing bandwagon.

No matter how small, how recently you’ve launched, or how stodgy your company is – you, too, can make content marketing work for you. Look at what other brands have done, replicate what works for your company, and watch your business grow.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Post at least two times a week.
  • Brainstorm topic ideas based on your customers’ needs and their pain points.
  • Take inspiration from top brands’ content marketing success stories.

Blog at Least Two Times a Week

I know – I’m starting with the toughest challenge. But hang in there – at least I’m not asking you to drench yourself with an ice bucket in the middle of winter so you can get free publicity.

All I’m asking you to do is to have a common-sense growth strategy that’s doable, measurable, and proven to yield results.

Research shows that when you publish blog posts around two to four times a week, you’ll reap the most bang for your buck. Not only do our own data back that up, but those of other agencies do as well.

HubSpot, one of the best digital marketing brands today, also has conducted extensive studies on blog posting frequency with thousands of companies participating. Their results agree with ours:

Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month have 3.5 times the traffic than those that blogged less than four times a month.

However, if you don’t have time to publish four blog posts a week, no worries. Simply by increasing your frequency to twice a week will produce a significant increase in traffic as well. Let’s break it down by company size:

  • 10 or fewer employees: Those that published more than 11 posts a month had nearly three times as much traffic as those publishing one post a month – and twice as much traffic as companies that published two to five blog posts every month.
  • 11-25 employees: Companies that published more than 11 blog posts every month increased their traffic 3.5 times more than those that published once a month.
  • 26-200 employees: Those that published over 11 blogs a month enjoyed a twofold increase in traffic compared to those who posted only once per month.

These statistics apply no matter whether your company primarily sells to other businesses (B2B) or to consumers (B2C). The “magic number” of posts per month that showed a significant increase was eleven. You’ve got this!

“But how?” you ask. I won’t tell you it’s easy. However, it’s easier than you probably think. Once you start, you’ll probably come up with so many ideas that you’ll find it hard to limit it to two posts a month!

What Are Your Customers’ Needs?

The number one rule of content marketing is to publish information, strategies, and tools that potential customers need to improve their lives and their businesses. It’s simple. Everything else is filling in the blanks.

Take some time to sit down and figure out who is most likely to need the products and services you offer. Study their demographics, what they do for a living, their likes and preferences, where they are on social media, where they are on their customer journey, and, most importantly, what keeps them up at night. If it helps, give them a name, such as “Paula Pilot,” “Doctor Dan,” or “Cindy CEO.”

Next, jot down which of your products and services can meet their needs. But, instead of blatant self-promotion or product promotion – which I can tell you by experience – never works, you’re going to position yourself as an authority in your field.

“How?” You ask. You’re going to provide them with information – at no cost to them – that can help them solve some of those problems, satisfy some of their wants, and maybe even entertain them in the process.

How Are the Best Brands Doing It?

Here are some ideas that the world’s best brands have used to forge a winning content marketing strategy:

GE: Engage Their Imagination

Founded with the spark of imagination in the mind of one Thomas Edison, GE maintains its reputation as a leader in the engineering community with imaginative content. Its content ranges from sci-fi books for kids’ films to podcasts – all positioning the company on the leading edge of science without promoting a single product in the process.

Home Depot: Use How-Tos to Showcase Your Expertise and Deliver Value

No matter whether your business offers goods, services, or both, you can always provide value to your customers by showing them how to do something. Home Depot, for instance, provides video and online tutorials to its customers, whose gratitude reflects in the DIY giant’s capturing the lion’s share of the nation’s home improvement business.

IBM, Reebok, and Starbucks: Empower Your Employees

You don’t have to produce all the content yourself, nor does your marketing team, if you have one. These three diverse brands all share one thing in common: they empower their employees to produce content through employee activation programs. Involving your teams in producing content can lend more authority to your brand. Not only is employee-produced content more effective, but it also leverages your employees’ expertise in their respective fields to provide more technical details in your content.

QuickSprout: Create Guides to Serve as One-Stop Content Shops

Founded by digital marketing guru, QuickSprout is known for its guides to various aspects of digital marketing. Whatever your field is, you can create an authoritative guide that can help people new to your field to learn more about it and use that information to help them with their businesses or personal lives.

For instance, if you sell show horses, you could create “The Ultimate Guide to Winning in Working Hunter Classes.” If your gig is SEO, you could create “Learn the Insiders’ Secrets to SEO Success.” If you’re a voice teacher, perhaps a “Guide to Recovering from Hoarseness” guide would mark you as an expert who is generous enough to share a few secrets to one of vocalists’ most frustrating challenges.

Get creative. You have a wealth of information. Share a little of it and build your reputation – and your business – in the process.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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