Learn what makes their content marketing strategy stand apart from that of their competitors, and you’ll have an edge over your own competition. Here are our favorites:
- Top-ranking blogs share several characteristics that make them stand out.
- Choose the blogs that inspire you most and whose strategies you’d do well to replicate.
- Revisit these blogs to study the evolution of their content and adapt their strategy to your own.
A perfect example of a brand’s messaging aligning with its product offerings, IKEA Ideas places its products in supporting roles as it solves common challenges homeowners face. Its “Outdoor Furniture Maintenance Guide,” for instance, offers valuable advice about how to choose durable furniture and protect it from the elements once it is in your home.
Subtle product suggestions for each maintenance problem they solve never intrude on the readers’ experience. Rather, they simply illustrate each maintenance tip with vivid visuals that make the tips stick out in readers’ minds.
The blog that brought content marketing to the fore, HubSpot rose to fame in the marketing world with its lengthy, detailed guides on a variety of marketing topics. It remains one of the foremost authorities on content production and publication by expanding into research and maintaining its focus on top-quality, problem-solving content.
Home Depot’s DIY Projects Done Right
We’ve long been advocates of in-depth customer research and content that focuses on customers’ needs. Home Depot hits a home run with its customer-focused collection of blogs, “DIY Projects and Ideas.”
Instead of a single blog, Home Depot segments its blog posts according to customer interests. It groups its blogs in three general categories: DIY projects, outdoor living, and home décor. Then, it breaks down each of these categories into smaller ones, each laser-focused on specific customer segments.
Take its outdoor living category, for instance. Home Depot’s content team segmented this content into three groups: garden ideas and projects, lawn and landscaping, and outdoor recreation. When a gardener looks for the latest news on her hobby, she doesn’t have to leaf through camping checklists, pool cleaning tips, or guides on how to build a playhouse. She can quickly find a wealth of ideas specifically targeted to her needs.
IBM dominates the business technology space with its innovative products. But what you might not know is that IBM has taken the industry lead in content marketing as well.
It, like Home Depot, segments its blog categories by reader interests. What makes IBM stand head and shoulders above the rest of the content in its sector is that it empowers employees outside its content team to contribute blog posts.
Not only does this move create way more engagement and more conversions, but it also positions each of those employees as thought leaders in their respective fields. It’s innovation at its best, elevating IBM’s sterling reputation even higher.
In contrast to IBM, which aims its content to large enterprises, Fiverr caters to small businesses and startups. Its blog posts include a large collection of how-tos, which they call Fiverr Guides.
Newbies to the business world can learn how to build their business, create a website, build their brand, and many more tasks larger businesses usually delegate to internal teams. Knowing its customer base, again, is the secret to this freelancer portal’s success.
Links to various categories of freelancers are subtle, usually only anchor text, keeping the reader focused on the information they are learning. These easy-to-read posts take readers through each process step-by-step, making them invaluable for time-strapped small business owners.
John Deere’s The Furrow
Farm equipment giant John Deere did content marketing before content marketing was cool. From its founding in 1895 as a print magazine to its current incarnation as a blog, The Furrow continues to produce informative content that keeps farmers and other agriculture stakeholders on the cutting edge of the agriculture industry.
Progressive Insurance’s Commercial Blog
No, we’re not talking about Progressive’s TV commercials. Though the discount insurer is best known for its quirky TV ads about its wacky crew of employees and motorcycle centaurs, its commercial division publishes a superb blog aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses.
With advice on everything from data loss prevention to HR faux pas, it provides an excellent source of valuable information that can help businesses overcome many of the problems they face as they grow. Progressive’s non-commercial division, too, publishes an informative blog called “Answers,” that bills itself as an “easy guide to everything insurance.”
Once Flo et al. rope them in, Progressive’s content team nurtures auto and home customers down the sales funnel with well-researched, yet easy-to-understand content that builds trust in its brand.
You might think that a blog from a language learning course would be stuffy, full of obscure tenses and verb conjugations. In Rosetta Stone’s blog, there are a few conjugations, but it’s anything but musings from the ivory tower.
Its content delves into a cornucopia of topics, from how various languages tackle inclusive language to fascinating glimpses into the world’s tapestry of cultures. It’s well worth checking out, even if you aren’t a foreign language buff.
Its subtle siren song lures customers into signing up for a course simply for the delight of immersing themselves more in the cultures they read about here. Just a little “Get the App” call-to-action button to the right of the new article choices is all they need to hook in the curious.
Slack’s Several People Are Typing
After the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to work remotely, collaboration has taken on a whole new meaning. Slack, who make software for collaboration and productivity, upped its content production to provide guides and other articles to teach business leaders and employees alike to adapt to the “new normal.”
Earlier content, too, is well worth reading, particularly their tips on upping your business’s productivity through collaboration. Building its reputation as a thought leader through timely, actionable content, Slack has positioned itself to grow at a time when other businesses have shut their doors.
Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials
Once in the capable hands of Content Marketing World’s 2016 Content Marketer of the Year, Amanda Todorovich, Health Essentials grew its audience from 250,000 views per month to six million per month in only five years.
Its secret? A laser focus on its readers and their health needs. Combining user data analysis with customer personas to put a face on those numbers, Todorovich steered the blog to become one of the world’s foremost sources of health-related information.
Take the time to study these successful large company blogs in depth to draw inspiration for your own.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality blog content 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.