Blogs. They were the original form of branded content, and they’re still one of the biggest ways that consumers connect with their favorite brands. I like to talk a lot about super creative branded content, but the reality is that corporate blogs are the bulk of any content strategy and the place where most branded content lives before it is put out into the world. This week we go back to the basics and take a look at how five brands are approaching their content strategy with great blogging.
The Whole Foods Market blog is a great way for the company to show just how passionate it is about healthy foods and a healthy world. The blog has a number of features, including recipes, product guides, and advice for holidays and hosting - information all centered around living a healthy, organic lifestyle. A blog should help to promote one's brand and communicate the company’s core values, and The Whole Story Blog does just that.
I think Pinterest is doing a great job of using its blog as a way to find the company's voice and connect with users in a way that goes beyond just boards and pins. My favorite part of this blog is the “Pinterviews” feature that showcases one Pinterest user weekly. It’s awesome to see how other pinners are using the platform to do everything from collaborate with clients to showcase Coca-Cola bottle collections. Pinterest's blog content allows the reader to connect with the company and to feel appreciated as a customer.
Bauble Bar is a trendy retailor of affordable, chic jewelry for women. The company's blog, The Post, is designed to look like just like a lot of the popular fashion blogs many of its customers are accustomed to reading. The Post does a great job of showcasing both the company and its products as an entity. I like that the brand often showcases employees wearing Bauble Bar products. Because Bauble Bar is primarily an online retailor, it is really helpful to see the company's products modeled on real people. This is definitely an idea that many other ecommerce stores could - and perhaps should - incorporate into their own blogs.
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has created a blog full of content for the environmentalists and adventurers of the world. The blog not only has great writing, but it has beautiful photography that just makes you want to go out, buy a tent, and spend a week in the woods. Moreover, Patagonia has created an online hub that speaks directly to its target audience and promotes the brand’s message perfectly.
Evernote knows exactly why people use its application, and the company has a blog dedicated to illustrating that process. Chefs, business owners, and fitness guru’s are just a few examples of the types of people showcased using Evernote. The blog also provides helpful information about using the application to it’s fullest potential with all the tools available. Sure it’s a bit self-promotional, but for users of the product or those shopping around for a note-taking tool, Evernote's blog is an incredibly useful resource.
Branded content doesn’t always have to be a full-scale, flashy production. Sometimes it can be as simple as showcasing your company or illustrating how your company's products can be used. That’s why blogs work, and why a good blog is a key first step in creating your content strategy.