57 percent of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog, according to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report. But those numbers skyrocket to 92 percent when companies post to the blog multiple times per day. You’ll be hard pressed to find a company who doesn’t agree that blogging can give business a boost. But not all blogs or content prove effective. Effective blogging strikes a balance between promotional, usefulness, fun and engagement. Take a look at a handful of companies with blogs that work.
Whole Foods Whole Story
Whole Foods has always been a leader in fresh foods, organic fare and healthy alternatives to ready-made-meals. But they also host a leading blog, Whole Story”, with advice, recipes, news and interviews. Instead of simply posting product info and enticing people to buy from their stores, they also host video discussions with doctors and scholars on topics ranging from conscious capitalism to creativity. Whole Story, with advice, recipes, news and interviews. Instead of simply posting product info and enticing people to buy from their stores, they also host video discussions with doctors and scholars on topics ranging from conscious capitalism to creative cooking.
While their range of topics might be varied, they’re not exactly random. Their public core values include quality standards, organic farming, sustainability, animal welfare standards and community care. People come back for engaging content exploring current events and issues and stick around to see what they should make for dinner.
Marriott on the Move
Unlike many blogs typed-out by the voice of various employees or an outside communications team, founder Bill Marriott pens Marriott on the Move. Although the blog covers aspects of hotel business, he also touches on his own experiences and insights like his rules for tipping and taking care of guests. Why do people connect with it? Bill Marriott gives the huge corporation a name, face and personal voice behind the brand. People may only have a passing interest in his posts about his summer reading list, but the invitation into his personal life and how his business runs is a refreshing change from most corporate blogs.
The Zappos Blog
Zappos is renown for its customer service like free shipping both days and a 365-day return policy. The Zappos blog captures that light and friendly voice their customer service team is known for and posts articles about their products, as well as company events. While their blog focuses more on product than other big company blogs, they execute it with style. Readers feel like they’re a part of the team and a friend of the company instead of glancing through their latest selection of new shirts and shoes.
The BikeBandit Community
Blogging is more than photos and content. In addition to proving images and text, you must foster a community and offer them generous tips. BikeBandit offers tips on group motorcycle riding, buying a used motorcycle and funny motorcycle terms you should know. The idea is to give customers a reason to participate. Always ask your readers to respond to a question in comment field to get the conversation started. By giving your customers a reason to engage, you’re also giving them the tools to spread your content and become your biggest cheerleaders.
American Express OPEN Forum
American Express OPEN Forum features a slick and corporate design resembling a digital magazine. The company smartly focuses on their customer base of businessmen and women looking for tools and guidance about running their business. Instead of just blogging about American Express products and services, their content is packed with actionable advice like selling online, reverse mentoring, and taking the pain out of conference calls.
Ice Cream Journal
Get the inside scoop on ice cream and Turkey Hill Dairy with the online Ice Cream Journal. The company lets their eye-catching products speak for themselves with photos and mouthwatering content. They also entice ongoing readership by running user-submitted ice cream recipe contests and giving away prizes. But it’s not just all about Turkey Hill. Recent posts included a story about policemen pulling over drivers and giving away ice cream for their excellent road skills, and soliciting feedback on ice cream filled donuts.