Whether you’re a small business or a big enterprise, it’s imperative that you have a content marketing strategy. That is, a way to market your products and services online using relevant, useful content published and distributed through your website, social media, email communications and blog.
Each piece of content you add is another brick in your business’s digital marketing foundation, building your website authority and audience, establishing rapport with your visitors, and keeping you top-of-mind when their next purchase decision comes through, resulting in greater awareness and new business.
Not all content marketing strategies are created equal. There are some really fantastic ones, and, well, some pretty terrible ones. The following are five of my favorite social brands that all have terrific blog strategies that cater wonderfully to their respective (and sometimes shared) audiences.
As you can imagine, the Whole Foods blog audience is comprised of people who are concerned with their diets. They eat healthy, organic, and local. Many audience members have dietary restrictions that need to be looked after. We’re talking about some serious foodies here.
These people want and need to cook, clean, and live healthier. They want recipes from big-name chefs that use in-season produce. Whole Foods delivers this, and more, with their blog.
They produce all sorts of content relevant to their audience: recipes, blog posts on all different food topics, post series (What to Make This Week), videos, social promotions (#FoodForThought), and sustainability. The key here is that they do a really great job of listening to their audience a shaping their blog strategy and voice to cater to their interests. It’s conversational and fun, not uptight and sales-y.
Whole Foods takes the cake for having a great blog strategy that caters to the needs and interests of their audience. If you love fermented, funky stuff AND sustainability like I do, check out this post that talks about Revive Kombucha and their bottle exchange program.
Coca Cola’s online audience is obviously enormous. It’s global, comprised of all ages and demographics. Their content marketing strategy reflects that in a lot of different ways. They even have a Culture section on their blog.
They offer many different types of content as well. They have new marketing campaigns (you’ve probably seen “share a coke” recently), social promotions (#outofoffice), timely videos (Coke College Football Display Comes to Life), history, stewardship, sustainability (water replenishment report), food, and promotions.
The Coca Cola blog is the perfect place to find out how such a social brand has grown and prospered throughout the years. The timeliness of the blog posts are crucial to keeping their audience engaged.
For all you collectors out there, check out this interesting post that talks about the value of some extremely rare Coke memorabilia.
If you’re not familiar with Bigcommerce, they’re a software as a service company that provides their customers with the ability to easily create an ecommerce store and sell their products online.
Their audience is comprised mostly of startups and small businesses as well as online retailers who are conscious of latest tech trends and marketing techniques.
Bigcommerce offers a plethora of blog post types as well. They have four main categories that they funnel each blog post into: Selling online, Ecommerce Marketing, Dream Big, and Ecommerce News. The blog is properly structured for their visitors so it’s easy to find whatever you want to read about.
They regularly feature guest blogs from their integration partners (like BoostSuite) and industry thought-leaders as well as marketing tips that can be easily implemented in any small business marketing strategy. Guest posts are perfect examples of co-marketing (check out how these breweries are co-marketing). Bigcommerce, as with many other blogs, try to help their audiences by featuring articles with unique points of view.
I, for one, love the Dream Big section of their blog. If you’re working at a small business, those motivational quotes are the perfect pick-me-up after a long, stressful day. (Speaking of their motivational quotes, here are some from national small business week.)
Bigcommerce does a fantastic job of highlighting their most successful customers, which is important for their prospective customers to see. They have multiple posts that show off customers who have been on shows like Shark Tank and The Today Show. They also have a free ebook: Totally Tubular Guide to E-commerce SEO Cool.
Etsy is an online marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Their blog audience is primarily comprised of their vendors and their customers. You’re looking at a coed audience of do-it-yourselfers, to-be brides and grooms, artists, hipsters, and treasure hunters, to name a few.
The Etsy audience is interested in art, good food, fashion, and a vintage-forward lifestyle.
Etsy employs lots of different types of posts in their strategy. Many of their posts are sourced from the artists themselves. They also publish posts featuring new artists with personal insights into their lives, new trends and designers to watch, how-tos for cooking and creating, videos, and real people using real products created and sold through Etsy.
I grew up going on long road trips with my family so I thought this blog post/video/campaign was a neat idea.
Etsy is smart in recognizing that fashion and tastes differ by country and culture, so they’ve taken things to the next level by offering multiple country-specific blogs. This makes it much easier for them to grow their global audience.
I’ll finish things off with another strong player in the SMB space. Constant Contact offers affordable email and social media marketing service along with some stellar blog content.
Much like Bigcommerce, the Constant Contact audience is made up of small businesses and DIYers, from all different industries, locations, and demographics. Generally, these folks need help with their online marketing, and Constant Contact consistently delivers top-notch blog content to meet this need.
Their blog focuses on hot topics, how-tos, and tips and tricks regarding email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. They offer resources (like this one for SEO), guides, and lists that are easy to digest and act upon. What I find most amazing about their strategy is that you can tell that they really want to help their audience, not just pitch them as to why their product is great. A B2B blog strategy cannot be successful unless you’re completely dialed in with your audience, and Constant Contact has done just that.
Guest blogs and whitepapers are also big parts of their strategy. In a digital marketing world full of complexity and confusing jargon, Constant Contact keep things light-hearted and easy for their audience to understand.
In honor of small business week earlier this year, they put out a inspiring post/video/social campaign that urged small businesses to #DoMoreBusiness. Check it out here.
What do you think?
Do you agree with me when I say these five brands knock it out of the park with their blog strategies? I’m open to your thoughts and feedback.
If you know of some other social brands that should be on the list, maybe BoostSuite, then let us know in the comments! We want to see your suggestions!