Every month, Croud Australia’s content team will round-up notable and #iconic content from around the web, and provide insight as to why these pieces are worth sharing.
For this round-up, we’ve explored the endless supply of content around the internet to find some of the most inspiring content hubs. Check out why these blogs come out on top, and how you can have your audience oohing and aahing in no time.
Created and managed by two product designers, the content hub at Growth.Design is probably one of the coolest on the internet. The content found here has been written for designers, product leaders, and marketers who are interested in learning the secret growth and design strategies used by the world’s best product companies. From Google and TikTok to Tinder and Tesla, this content hub is full of case studies that dive deep into user experience (UX) strategies, outlining exactly why these companies quickly became a global phenomenon.
It’s clear that Grow.Design knows a thing or two about UX. Whilst the web design is minimalistic, dark and sleek, the overall user journey is still fun. The two writers are represented by their personal bitmojis which guide you on your journey – but that’s not even the coolest part. The case studies are presented in a comic book format for a completely immersive experience. On the first page of each case study, it presents you with the story duration, most of which are around two minutes long – how could you say no to two minutes? Light on word count, the case studies are presented through a number of visual designs, which makes the whole experience highly engaging. Some case studies are even marked with ‘New’ or ‘Popular’ to show readers what’s been trending.
To be fair, not all businesses have the resources to make their content hub as visually-driven as this one, but this could quite possibly be the future of digital content, and we are so here for it.
Key takeaways: Consider the UX of every content piece. Try to think outside of the ‘Blog + Blog post’ box and design a memorable experience that users want to share. Many content hubs today have some form of interactivity. Can you turn any of your existing blogs or case studies into hero pages, digital e-books or even infographics?
If you’ve heard of Pinterest, you’ve probably heard of Etsy. Etsy started out as a marketplace focusing on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies, but has grown in popularity over the last few years. Many ex-eBay users made the switch to Etsy, in favour of a platform that supports small businesses as opposed to big factories. A lot of the inventory on Etsy is artisan and handmade by specialised sole traders; thus, the audience it attracts is much smaller and niche.
The name of the platform’s content hub is ‘Etsy Journal’. As a third-party agent, purely offering a platform for other businesses to sell from, why would they need to run a content hub? To build and nurture a social community – that’s why! The content on Etsy Journal is written perfectly for those shoppers who want to find vintage and bespoke pieces, and would typically search for hours to find the perfect gift.
Etsy knows their audience well, so they’ve created a haven of home styling tips, video tutorials, how to’s, recipes, influencer interviews and shopping guides. From self-care routines to banana bread recipes, the Etsy Journal was created based on the wider-interests of their shoppers, as opposed to the conversions they’re looking for. While content highlighting Etsy shops and trending products are still sprinkled throughout their blog, most of the content aligns with the interests of their ideal customers.
Etsy’s content hub is a place that their target audience would visit everyday – not to buy products, but to learn, feel inspired or be entertained.
Key takeaways: Your content hub can expand beyond your product or service, and display other aspects of your brand. By taking a deep dive into your target audience – who they are and what they love – you create a content hub that is much more likely to build a cult following (or returning visitors). Ultimately, this type of content hub builds trust, positions you as a thought-leader, and gets your visitors returning to the point of conversion.
With its cultural commentary and designs that turn heads, this stunning online publication is more than just an editorial masterpiece. The Recreationalist is actually the blog of the environmentally-conscious, activewear enthusiasts, Outdoor Voices. This platform expands beyond the traditional definition of a blog, providing readers with motivation and inspiration in the form of guides, playlists and A-list interviews (well, A-listers of the athleisure world).
The goal here isn’t just to increase traffic or conversions for the shop – in fact, there are barely any call-to-actions (CTAs) in the blogs themselves that direct users to Outdoor Voices. The Recreationalist’s actual goal is to build an online community, in which they can position themselves as a resource for individuals passionate about getting off the couch on a nice day. At Croud, we live and breathe blogs, and we’re definitely fangirl-ing right now.
Check out The Recreationalist for just about anything and everything. Whether it’s the latest city guides (written by locals around the US), forums on everything from awkward physical education (PE) class memories to the meaning of real strength, a playlist for your Hot Girl Summer™️ or an article on baking bread or intersectional environmentalism, The Recreationalist has it all.
Key takeaways: Your blog shouldn’t always be driven by conversion and traffic key performance indicators (KPIs). Respect the power of brand awareness and becoming an authentic voice in your industry. You want your blog and brand to be spoken about at dinner parties, and quality content is the way to get there.
Buffer’s Resource Centre
Social media enthusiasts, Buffer, have opted to be on the right side of content history by curating a resource centre that is genuinely useful for their audience. We all know that social media is the primary way that brands, old and new, are connecting to their customers, and this reality doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
With this booming industry, there are several different platforms that businesses can rely on to manage their online presence. From the get-go, Buffer sets themselves apart from other social media tools by having their blog in their primary navigation – you’d be surprised by how many brands hide their blog in the footer of their home page…
But what really sets Buffer apart from the rest of the pack is the different types of content they provide based on each of their unique audience groups. Tailored content for the win!
Whether you’re a marketer keeping up with the latest trends, the founder of a startup researching what makes for a successful business strategy, a social media enthusiast looking for a new podcast, or an engineer keen on hearing about innovative work from a creative team, there’s something here for everyone.
On top of these segmented categories, the content strategists over at Buffer have also separated the resource centre into ‘guides’, ‘trends’, ‘news,’ and ‘work culture,’ giving the blog a chance to rank for several different category terms.
Key takeaways: Identifying your audience isn’t just important for your business strategy, but it’s also where every content strategy begins. Your audience determines your blog categories, tags, CTAs and tone of voice. Make sure you’re putting the time in to building those personas.
That’s a wrap!
Before you go, remember our key takeaways from this wrap-up to help you boost your traffic, improve brand awareness, engage with your audience, increase your conversions or meet any other business objectives you’ve set.
- Consider how design and visuals can play a part in creating content that will make the digital experience engaging and memorable.
- Go beyond your product or service, and consider the general interests of your audience.
- Regardless of where you are in your businesses life cycle, building your brand name should be a priority. Strong brands are built through quality content, and customers believe in strong brands. It’s simple math! 💁🏻
- Audience segmentation is an important stepping stone. Know your audience, and you’ll know how to keep ‘em interested!
If you have a piece of content you’d like to share with us, send it through and we’d love to take a look. Alternatively, if you need assistance creating aspirational content as seen in the examples above, we’d love to help! Get in touch.