When David Cancel founded Drift, he intentionally went after a competitive industry: website chat. Dave has an unorthodox view on starting companies: He prefers to go into industries that have plenty of competition because that means there actually is a market there.
The company was able to differentiate itself by focusing on brand before everything else. In their book This Won’t Scale, Drift’s marketing team talks about how their first task was to build a brand. That’s not something that many companies try to do right off the bat.
One of the things they’ve done to build their brand is focus on creating 10x content or, as Drift calls it, “six star content.” No matter what you call it, their overall approach is clear: Create better content than anyone else. The problem is that the word “better” is ambiguous.
That’s why we wanted to know, what does “better” mean to Drift? We used SpyFu to reverse engineer Drift’s content strategy so you can see what makes their content better than anyone else’s.
The Central Piece to Drift’s Content Strategy: Their Blog
Although all of the content formats Drift uses are important to their overall content strategy, the blog is the foundation for each type of content. Each podcast they publish, webinar they perform, and video they film is reformatted for Drift’s blog.
That’s why we’re focusing on the blog to breakdown their content strategy.
Our first step in examining Drift’s blog was to look at their top 100 blog posts, based on the traffic numbers of each post.
Case-study posts, on the other hand, are the smallest segment, with just 8%. That’s not a bad thing. Case-study posts are typically considered the bottom of the marketing funnel, meaning those are the posts that will get the most conversions to free trials or customers. You usually want to have fewer case studies but make them as strong as possible. Drift is good at this.
What’s really interesting is the fact that branded, case-study, and product posts make up 35% of Drift’s top blog posts. That means that over one-third of Drift’s blog posts are about themselves. This is slightly unusual, but, when done right, it can be a good thing.
Typically, you wouldn’t want to focus on yourself so much in your blog. It’s a turnoff to readers. No one wants to read a blog about how great your company is. Drift, though, manages to focus on themselves without bragging or showing off. It’s incredibly difficult to pull this off, but it seems like they’ve done it.
Podcasts are a big part of Drift’s blog strategy. Every time they publish a new podcast, they create a blog post to embed the podcast into. This strategy seems to be working well since 14% of Drift’s top blog posts are about one of their podcasts.
Where is the traffic coming from?
Traffic is great, but a more important question is: Where is this traffic coming from? Drift has shown that they have the ability to drive traffic to their blog posts, but if it’s all paid traffic, that’s much less impressive.
That means 99 out of 100 of Drift’s top blog posts get the majority of their traffic from an unpaid source — whether that’s organic search, organic social, email, or backlinks on other websites.
Drift’s content is helpful
The reason Drift’s content works above everything else is that all of their content is aimed at helping their audience. Even product-update blog posts provide more value than just talking about the product.
That’s the biggest thing you should take away from this post. Focus on creating helpful, high-quality content and the other metrics will fall into line.
Drift has shown that you can create a brand on the back of great content, even if you operate in a really competitive industry.