10 Inspiring Corporate Blogs and What You Can Learn From Them
Most business owners know how important it is to have professional corporate blogs and the benefits they stand to gain from sharing their expertise. But you may be less certain about how to leverage this platform to highlight your brand’s message while reaping all of the benefits of SEO copywriting (like increased visibility and lead generation).
From nailing down a consistent tone to defining the colors and layouts for your blog, there are a seemingly endless number of questions you have to ask yourself about how you want to present your blog. These are important questions to ask when researching for your blog, but if you obsess over every detail, you’ll never publish a post.
So instead of sifting through countless tutorials on the subject, take a look at some stellar examples of inspiring corporate blogs that are doing it right.
Learn from Corporate Blogs that Are Doing It Right
When you need inspiration, visit these 10 innovative and engaging corporate blogs:
The Evernote note-taking application has served mobile users of every ilk, from college students to corporate executives.
Mobile media is Evernote’s bread and butter, so it should come as no surprise that every entry on its blog features sharing buttons galore (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) so that readers don’t have to think twice about sharing or reposting their favorite posts on their social channels.
Evernote also intersperses product tutorials with shout-outs to its users, its take on industry news, and plugs for other apps that integrate with or enhance its products. And the blog does it all with a surprisingly uncluttered layout, arranged in a deceptively simple grid, and limited to a three-color scheme.
Take Note: The layout may seem simple, but it is also inviting and easy to peruse. This blog is professional and informative, and it encourages social sharing in a major way.
2. Red Cross
You may know the Red Cross as the nonprofit organization responsible for collecting blood and providing disaster relief, but there’s a lot more to this global charitable group. You can learn about it on Red Cross Chat, which features everything from disaster preparedness tips to profiles of nurses working in the field.
The blog may not show the same prowess for layout and design as others on this list, but the content is so engaging that you can’t help but continue scrolling to read more. As an organization that survives on donations, this connection is key to the Red Cross’s ongoing mission.
Take Note: This is one of the few corporate blogs where small flaws in layout and design can be overlooked because the content is so compelling that readers get sucked into the overall experience.
3. Virgin Atlantic
Two words: eye candy. The stunning images Virgin Atlantic presents on its newsy Flight Store blog and “Behind the Scenes” blog are enough to make you want to lick your phone screen — or at least jet off to some exotic locale. The tagline “Behind the Scenes” plays into the fact that consumers are increasingly opting for brands that practice transparency and authenticity, and there are few better ways to express this than through posts that highlight the inner workings of your brand.
As you scroll down, the layout and design become a bit more recognizable, but ordinary, it is not. Blog entries are arranged in three columns of boxes, complete with bold titles, color-rich photos, and opportunities to like and share with a single click.
Take Note: Like any good work of art, the layout of these blogs guides your eyes where Virgin Atlantic wants them to go. Serious readers will appreciate the efficiency and convenience provided by boldly featured navigational tools. CEO Richard Branson may march to the beat of his own drum, but this creative genius is no dummy — his blog offers both visual appeal and ease of use.
Hotel chains are a dime a dozen, so how do you make yours stand out via blogging?
Marriott does it by featuring sleek, fashionable, and covetable hotel rooms. These pictures each say thousands of words and compel readers to pause and imagine themselves in one of the 8,000-plus properties Marriott possesses.
Take Note: Marriott appeals to a vast audience, which is just what this brand serves. And the fact that blog posts are provided with startling regularity by an 82-year-old Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International is enough to lend the blog authenticity and provide a personal touch that many corporate blogs lack.
Savvy web surfers may initially be put off by the lack of layout and design tropes provided by this blog. It’s not very exciting, visually speaking.
But when you think about the audience for a metrics site (i.e., business analysts seeking speedy access to accurate information), you’ll find that the minimalist layout and direct, unembellished content are right on target. Most corporate blogs would have a difficult time with such a simplistic and minimal design, but KissMetrics has such amazing and engaging content that they can easily pull it off.
Take Note: Knowing your audience can save you a lot of time and trouble, and there’s no point in creating a blog that is unnecessarily complicated and will only end up alienating serious and devoted readers.
If you haven’t heard of the money-management mobile app Mint, you’re missing out on a fantastic resource for tracking and planning your finances. In addition to developing an extremely useful app, they’ve also crafted one of the most informative and engaging corporate blogs. Guest bloggers keep content fresh while how-to blog posts and titles that link finance to trending topics ensure that readers always have timely and relevant subject matter to peruse.
The layout is fairly classic, featuring article teases paired with related graphics in a scrolling list, and the color scheme is a sophisticated, simple combination of robin’s-egg-blue and white — complemented by bold, black print. Social media buttons are located right at the top of the page, where they’re easy to find. And many blog posts answer queries posted by readers, enhancing the social experience and encouraging interaction.
Take Note: Mint is squarely focused on the wants and needs of its users, and its blog supports that stance. The layout is alluring in a mild and unobtrusive manner, making the actual written content the highlight of the experience.
7. Bigelow Tea
What you may not notice as you scroll through this selection of blog entries is that every single post not only remains loyal to the brand, but the name “Bigelow” is actually present in every title. Whether they’re recommending ways to add tea to your Cinco de Mayo celebration or expounding upon their social, environmental, and ethical initiatives, their topics all relate to their product. Talk about branding!
Take Note: Don’t get so caught up in trying to diversify and bring in readers that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of all your efforts is to increase profits and promote brand loyalty.
Toms is known worldwide as the company that donates a pair of shoes to underprivileged people in need for every pair that is purchased from them. Its social and ethical spirit is on full display on its blog, which it uses to tout the many initiatives they launch and/or support. And the front page is fairly littered with photos of people, whether they are employees out doing good or the communities that benefit from Toms’ efforts.
Every blog post also features social media buttons, which is apropos considering they rely heavily on building both online and real-world communities. The layout is constructed with offset boxes of various sizes, forcing the eyes of viewers to move in a pattern that leads them from image to text to image to text in a cycle that promotes further perusal.
Take Note: Charity is not an easy sell for most corporate blogs, but Toms isn’t just asking for financial support. The writers want you to be part of their feel-good community, and they use their blog to give you a taste of what that camaraderie means by forging a visceral link to readers through their use of images and language. All of us want to be part of something and experience that feeling of inclusion — this is what Toms offers.
Deemed a pioneer in the period underwear game, Thinx has grown exponentially in recent years. Not only in sales and distribution (with their products now in big box retailers like Target and Walmart) but also in terms of word-of-mouth referrals and straight-up respect. This has become increasingly true as more people upend the national conversation about menstruation.
Thinx’s corporate blog is a huge part of its appeal. Read a single post by this courageous company, and you can see the importance of brand consistency. Its posts are authentic, informative, clever, and fascinating. Most of all, it discusses issues that in previous generations were kept tightly under wraps — and they’re remarkably real about it all and back up their claims with airtight research.
Why is Thinx scoring ink everywhere, from Women’s Health to Seventeen to WebMD to Healthline? It’s because they honor several of the biggest issues for consumers, including:
Thinx’s posts are also zeroed in on their target audience. As such, their posts are filled with contemporary language and even emojis. The result? In 2020 alone, the company brought in $80 million in sales and is only expected to continue to dominate the period underwear industry.
Take Note: Get to know your target audience and speak in their vernacular — and as if you were a slightly older, authoritative (but warm) friend. And if you happen to have a brand that highlights some of the largest and most often-discussed issues in society, by all means, be vocal about it.
The difference between the Southwest airline-centric blog and Virgin America’s is like night and day.
From a purely visual standpoint, Virgin America features magazine-quality images on its front page, whereas Southwest uses inky blues and blacks, punctuated to excellent effect with white and light blue boxes for their blog entries. Graphics are not prominently displayed, with mere thumbnails accompanying each blog post tease. Text boxes are arranged in a single, vertical column, and as you scroll, prior blog entries continue to populate further down the page so that you don’t have to do as much clicking to see more offerings.
In addition, the content is related to both industry and company news items, and articles are written by Southwest employees, whose photos and names accompany each blog post tease (as well as full blog entries). This strategy keeps copy relevant and adds a human face to the equation.
Take Note: Bright colors and bold graphics aren’t the end-all, be-all of great corporate blogs. Flash may work for some corporate blogs, but others want to put their employees, content, and company front and center without added distractions. This, too, builds authenticity — and bear in mind that a whopping 90% of consumers claim that authenticity is one of the key traits they search for when choosing to support a brand.
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