Normally when we look at companies with blogs for the Blog Analysis series we look at B2B companies. I think that’s just been the nature of GBW being a B2B and working with other B2Bs.
But we do work with some B2C companies as well and blogs can work really well for B2Cs.
The other day I was introduced to Parachute. I had never heard of the company, but my wife was looking around and really admired their website and design (my wife is a web designer).
So I checked out Parachute’s site and liked it as well. And then I saw that they had a great blog so I thought we would take a little deeper look and see what lessons we can pull from what they’re doing.
1. Beautiful Design
The first thing you’ll notice on the Parachute Blog is the design. Throughout the site you’ll get a sense for the company’s style and it’s obvious that they care about design in every sense of the word. It comes through in their products, photos, overall website and with the blog.
It’s a little different on their blog. Instead of the usual vertical list, which works great, they did it a little different. They have a horizontal design with the latest posts. It’s that way on the computer and probably vertical on a phone, but it’s something a little different.
The images are great. You can see that the photos don’t have to be crazy original or expensive to stand out and make a blog look great.
But also note the simplicity of the blog. There aren’t sidebars all over the place. The focus is on the images and the titles. And that’s what the reader wants at this point.
Also in that image above you’ll see that Parachute has the categories listed out at the top. I love their categories:
- Sleep + Wellness
- How Tos
- Behind The Seams
- Bedtime Routines
- How Dreamy
Each category has a purpose and it relates to the target customer. They all don’t have exactly something to do with bedding, but they have to do with people and sleep.
How Dreamy gets a little into loving and enjoying life in general. They have posts on how to help people enjoy life and that goes to the style of the brand, its personality. They’re about helping people enjoy sleep and enjoy life so that’s where the tie-in comes from there.
How Tos always make for good blog content. People are searching for something because they have a question. The person or brand that provides the answer also provides value.
Behind The Seams is a clever name and a great use of the blog to share company news.
Bedtime Routines is really cool. Those are stories from all kinds of people on what to do when going to sleep.
And Sleep + Wellness is all about getting good sleep and how that relates to wellness. I like the one on The Science Of Dreaming.
Setting up categories is a great way to approach your blogging strategy. You could copy what Parachute has done and adjust it to your company and industry and customer. They’ve done a wonderful job. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Keep it simple.
3. Repeating Topics
A question we get at GBW sometimes from clients is whether we should come back to the same topic more than once or with more than one post.
The answer is usually that you can come back to the same topic again.
Here is one example from Parachute. They have a recent post called Declutter Your Bedroom for Better Sleep.
The topic of “better sleep” is obviously a major topic for this kind of blog. You could write one post about decluttering and leave the topic alone, but there are obviously many more things that can lead to better sleep.
And I’m sure Parachute has gone to this topic many times over the lifetime of their blog. I’m sure there are always new studies coming out with insight into helping people sleep better.
Just a little while ago they had a post on how herbs can help people sleep.
Go back to the big and important topics from your industry. Don’t be afraid to help people in any way you can.
4. Cross-Posting Videos
Here’s a video that Parachute created for putting duvet covers. That’s probably something where a video would make sense. Don’t get me started on how many times I’ve struggled with the duvet covers. One time my solution was to go to the store and buy a quilt to replace the duvet and its cover.
Anyway, the blog is a great place to re-post or cross-post this video. That’s the cool thing with video is that you can put it on your company YouTube or Vimeo page or wherever and also embed it in a blog post or on an FAQ page or wherever it makes sense.
Some companies will post full transcriptions on the blog post so it’s not just the video with an intro. Others will just include summaries or in a step-by-step video like this some will take screenshots and explain each step in the process so people can figure it out that way instead of watching and re-watching the video.
5. Outbound & Inbound Links
Throughout the Parachute blog you’ll notice that they link to other sites and to their own site. Great strategy.
Here’s one post that shows this off really well.
One of the questions I get quite often from clients is in reference to including outbound links to posts; links that go off the company’s blog or website to other sites.
The initial reaction is that these links are bad because they’re sending readers somewhere else. Why would you want a reader to leave your site when you work so hard to get them on your site in the first place?
I get it. I really do. That’s the initial reaction.
But adding outbound links adds support to what you’re talking about. Linking to studies, articles and other kinds of material makes your content more believable and provides more value to your reader. And that’s what you have to remember when you’re blogging. You’re trying to add value to other people’s lives.
If you add value you’ll earn trust and respect and that leads to sales.
I’m really impressed with the Parachute blog. I’m glad my wife shared their website and blog with me. I think they’re doing some great things on the blog from their categories to the way they use images to the way they focus on helping their target readers/customers.
It’s a great example of a B2C company using a blog to build value, attract customers and grow their business with online marketing and a blog.