While you understand the need and value of a blog, implementing one might seem a little overwhelming to a busy SMB owner.
How can you consistently create great content to please your existing customers and attract (and convert) new visitors? There’s no formula for success, but there are plenty of successful blogs you can use as examples.
Here are some great corporate blogs from different industries and ways you can emulate their success.
1. Whole Foods
As one of the most well-known natural foods stores, Whole Foods is one of the best blogs on the social scene. The blog’s success is tied to the corporate image. Their customers are heavily invested in a healthy lifestyle and willing to pay higher prices for relatively unknown brands, organic, and locally sourced foods.
The takeaway: Whole Foods award-winning blog concentrates not just on products, but on culture and lifestyle. You’ll find plenty of healthy food and recipe advice, along with company information, two CEO blogs, and even industry politics.
2. Bomgar Insider
Bomgar is a SaaS solution for IT support for any device. Last year, they launched a new kind of blog initiative, the Bomgar Insider. It’s an intuitive customer advocacy program that goes beyond blogging to develop a real working relationship with their customers. Customers, in turn, are offered incentives for their participation.
The takeaway:Bomgar’s award-winning blog asks its customers for input on product decisions, and uses the information to make informed changes and updates on every aspect of operations.
Insightly is an insanely cheap and useful CRM and project management software designed for small businesses. Their award-winning blog is full of creative ways to use their products, small business advice, customer data and relationship management advice, and related information about common business topics. Their blog focus is informational content responsive to customer needs.
The takeaway: Understand who your audience is and focus on what they most want to know. Insightly delivers targeted information written to address the issues faced by their core customers.
4. The Pioneer Woman
It started with just a blog, but today, Ree Drummond is a TV star, a celebrity chef, and the author of a number of cookbooks and children’s books. Her down-to-earth honesty, gently snarky humor, and hearty rustic cooking have taken The Pioneer Woman to blogging superstardom. Ree speaks to the boot-scootin' country folk in all of us; that place inside that craves Grandma's cooking and the smell of an open campfire. Rustic is in, and The Pioneer Woman is riding the crest of the wave.
The takeaway: The Pioneer Woman blog wins a lot of awards. The biggest takeaway from Ree Drummond is simply to be yourself. Her blog posts and her shows are full of personal insight, family triumphs and tribulations, and passion for her life, family, and food.
One of the most influential blogs in marketing, Kissmetrics delves deeply into data to help marketers understand difficult subjects. Plenty of graphics and charts are included in blog posts to help make sense of statistics, tracking, testing, and other data. Founder Neil Patel is happy to go into detail about the inner workings of his business from start to finish, and talks about complex subjects in language anyone can understand.
The takeaway: Offering more deeply detailed information than anyone else in your niche establishes you as the authority in your field. on their award-winning blog, Kissmetrics doesn’t just say “this is how to do it.” they use real data and customer examples to show how it’s done.
6. Virgin Airlines
Richard Branson, the personable CEO of Virgin, shares wit, wisdom, and general life advice on his blog. He advocates work/life balance, and his blog is loaded with photos of him doing fascinating, wonderful, and absolutely ordinary things. There's something inherently fascinating about the not-so-secret life of a billionaire who likes to have fun.
The takeaway: Unleash your CEO. Starting a business isn’t easy. It takes a fighter..someone passionate, interested, and involved. Most CEO’s have plenty of stories about success, failure, and what it takes to win. Richard Branson’s award-winning blog is full of personal stories. The title I couldn’t resist: Entrepreneur: someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.
7. Careful Cents
Carrie Smith turned her passion into her business and brought an active community along for the ride. Her Careful Cents blog is clean and inviting, and each post is a direct answer to the most burning questions every freelancer and startup entrepreneur wants to know. Her award-winning blog is successful because it delivers exactly what visitors want - information, inspiration, and honest answers that are often difficult to find elsewhere.
The takeaway: Find your niche by identifying what your intended audience most wants to know. Research what competitors in your niche cover, figure out what they don't, and then break the mold. Go where no one else goes. Talk about the sticky bits...like what to do when customers refuse to pay, and how to deal with international clients.
You may notice some commonalities between these seven award-winning company blogs. While they are from different industries and have different customer bases, each company understands its market and the customers who make up their audience.
Each one focuses on topics of interest and branches out into related subjects. Their blogs are focused, but not narrow. They offer a variety of content that is consistent, professionally written, and always interesting.
Most great blogs have more than one author, but their content is carefully chosen. If your blog will be written by multiple authors, make sure you have a seasoned editor in place to ensure quality and follow a coherent content strategy.
To build an award-winning blog visitors will love, first understand your market and your audience. Design your content strategy with them in mind. Fill your blog with a wealth of information they won't be able to find elsewhere, and publish on a regular schedule so they know what to expect.
It takes time, patience and social interaction. Successful blogs are two-way. What's your secret for blogging success?