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Social Media Marketing for Business

Sujan Patel


October 27, 2015

6 Companies Doing Content Marketing Right

October 27, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

Content Marketing

It’s nice to have an example to emulate. People are often coming to me, struggle to find their content marketing niche—they’re struggling to find and grow an audience, and they don’t have a clue about what strategy is. As a first step, I often like to point out companies that are doing it well.

All of the tools that you need to do content marketing right are out there. There’s no secret code, no “one weird trick,” it’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting sh*t done. These six companies that I’m about to outline are ones that I respect for their ingenuity and output.

They’re not afraid to take risks, and they’re certainly not afraid of high volumes. I’ve also come up with 10 lessons that you can takeaway from their examples. I hope they inspire you to get out there and make the most of your blog today.


What They Do:

One piece of advice I often find myself giving to folks is to be transparent. Buffer, the social media and growth app, has created a blog called bufferopen, and it does exactly that. Their blog discusses everything from company statistics, to salary info, and even HR decisions.

Why They’re So Awesome At It:

They have come to encourage a “culture of openness” that’s become contagious. It works for them because they’re heavy numbers guys. With deep pockets of information, they create content that becomes a teaching tool based on their own business (how to hire, determining pay scale, etc.).

They also have an extremely organic approach to guest blogging and relationship building. They’re not just attracting influencers, but future employees as well.

You can check out an example post from their blog here.


What They Do:

Something I always try to stress is that you need fresh content on your blog constant. I produce at least 25 to 30 posts a month myself., and that’s above and beyond my week’s work.

KISSmetrics, and certainly the man at the helm Neil Patel, understand this well. Really well. They’re popping out infographics, webinars and marketing guides like rabbits. Their whole goal with the blog is to be a consistently fresh resource for content marketing.

Why They’re So Awesome At It:

One reason is works so well? They played the numbers game and won. Good content isn’t just about free time: sometimes you have to pay to play. Neil disclosed the monetary costs (and the huge benefits) for KISSmetrics’ fresh content:

Over a 2 year period, Patel spent $28,200 on 47 infographics (about $600 per post). Now, get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor and drop it all over again. As a result, he saw:

  • 2,512,596 visitors
  • 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains
  • 41,359 twitter interactions
  • 20,859 Likes on Facebook

By his own estimation, those numbers would have cost $800,000 in marketing dollars. So rather than blowing it on promotion, he saved more than 96% of that and spent his money on content creation.

Check out one of their many posts here.


What They Do:

Something you’ll read from me a lot is that you need to make yourself a part of the conversation. HubSpot has started to do this extraordinarily well. They have an enormous blog, modeled after the facets of their own software.

It’s broken up into three categories: marketing, sales and advertising. They provide insights in each of these three worlds, not necessarily related to whatthey’re doing. They’re just talking about those general spheres.

Why They’re So Awesome At It:

Because they produce software, they were able to quickly establish a massive readership based around practical tips, borne out of solutions created by their own product. They’re not embarrassed that they’re a software company, and it helps to increase their credibility based when they talk about new strategies in these three realms

Here’s a practical example of what that looks like for them.


What They Do:

Beyond having a fresh blog and regular content, I always push people to have a strong social game. You need to be reaching out and communicating with other influencers if you want to become a relevant part of the discussion.Mention understands that.

They have guest blogs, podcasts, and webinars, all based around making yourself more relevant in the content marketing world and blogosphere—something everyone is talking about (or at least trying to).

Why They’re So Awesome At It:

Mention is a tool designed for increasing conversations and engagement, which means that they have incredible data at the ready for what people are talking about—and where.

They can bring in cutting-edge influencers for guest blogs and podcasts, and be at the forefront of conversations, simply by using their own tools. They prove the worth of their product by using them to be media monitoring pros themselves.

Check out one of their posts here.

When I Work

What They Do:

Full disclosure: both Rob and I work for this company. I’m the VP of Marketing. But hey, we’re damn good at what we do, and I really believe it’s an example you can benefit from. In short, When I Work has a comprehensive blog that targets small business practices as well as universal tips for content marketing growth.

A part of that comes in the form of regular fresh content. They also use a Dripemail campaign: the so-called “Crash Course To Better Scheduling,” and Q&As with industry experts.
Why They’re So Awesome At It:
As a tool that targets small business owners, as well as employees, they have a broad swathe when it comes to potential audiences. And because the blog is also about content marketing, they have the opportunity to appeal to young business owners who are looking to grow their businesses physically and online—with their employees and their site’s reach.

When I Work is a part of several broad discussions, whether it’s creating great content for a blog, or raising the minimum wage and the direct effect that will have on customers of ours. It’s got targeted mass appeal.

Check out one of those posts here.


What They Do:

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an influencer, your blog can have valuable content by engaging with influencers. SEMRush, while being a pretty influential site itself, invites other SEO professionals and influencers to their blog to do just that. They host twitter chats, and produce weekly and monthly roundups for content.

They’re engaging the broader SEO culture at large, giving people a resource to find its best stuff—all on their site.

Why They’re So Awesome At It:

Their product attracts people who are looking to be on the cutting edge of a trend, and who are data heavy. People are looking to using SEMRush to learn about the next move. By having influencers come on board, they’re giving customers a “live” opportunity to hear about the next trend and how to get ahead of it.

Here’s a great example of a post like that.



10 Tips For Repeating Their Tactics

So in light of that handful of great examples, what are your immediate takeaways? For one, there’s no excuse to not be producing great, fresh content all the time. Here are 10 ways you can be thinking critically about that for your own site:

Learn From The Greats: Read Up

It wasn’t until Buffer’s Leo Widrich read Rand Fishkin’s Content marketing manifesto that he understood the concept of reaching the influencers—not just the customers.

Reading this blog post is a great start, and don’t be afraid to read more posts like this one. Dig deep into influencer’s stories and the way that they think. If nothing else, it can inspire you to think outside the Box Yourself

Make Love, Not Links

For the Buffer Guys, the biggest period of initial growth was 100,000 users over the course of a year. They did that by publishing 150 Guest posts on other sites. It wasn’t that they were getting links out of it, it was that they made great relationships with the people for whom they blogged. Those people then actually wanted to promote their content.

Leave It to the Pros

It’s OK to rely on influencers for content. People want to hear from them. Make your site a platform for that. Q&A’s are a great way to get exclusive, expert content. Reach out, and you’ll be surprised who’s willing to give you a sound bite or exclusive interview.

Embrace the Data

These sites derive a lot of their strength from capitalizing on hard data. Learn how to produce metrics that are all your own and you’ll have your weight in gold.

Don’t Be Afraid of Investment

Neil Patel of KISSmetrics spent $48,000 on his QuickSprout University. And he estimates that the $28K+ that he spent would have been $800K in traditional marketing expenditures for the same yield. It’s more worth it to pay for promotion, software, and good writing.

Be Honest and Transparent

If you’re afraid to talk about who you are as a company, people are generally going to see right through that. It’s true for HubSpot’s strategy, and it’s true for what the folks at Buffer did, too.

Engage the Culture at Large

HubSpot is doing a great job of putting their world’s spin on real world events. Whether it’s marketing strategies centered around an NYPD controversy, or a “History of Emojis” when talking about branding.

When I Work is talking about relatable issues for their clients, and people simply in the small business realm—without everything become a pitch—whether it’s sensing an employee’s departure, or appealing to Millennials.

Promote Your Company’s Culture Through Your Blog

You don’t have to spend a long time on any of these companies’ blogs to get a sense for what working there might be like—and you have to admit, it’s attractive. That’s not an accident.

Get your employees talking on your blog. Inject as much of your team’s personality as possible. After launching their “open” blog, buffer saw 900 applications in one month.

Have a niche without getting stuck on one topic

When I Work has small business related articles as well as content marketing related articles. Rather than just writing about brick and mortar business issues, they’re touching on the broader category of startups—which can have a broad spectrum of sub-topics.

Force Yourself Into the Conversation

Whether it’s guest posts, mentions, or other avenues, make sure that your blog is a part of the larger conversation. Each of these sites also provides a service or tool that’s relevant to building your business or website. That means that if done right, their content and product has have significance in the worlds for which they create content.

Make sure that people aren’t just visiting your site, you want them to be talking and writing about it.


Republished with permission from

Sujan Patel


Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Content Marketer &, tools to help you scale and automate your social media and content marketing efforts. Sujan has over 12 years of Internet marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Sales Force, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.