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Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.

Even seasoned content professionals can sometimes lose track of this fact – a common side-effect of sifting through hundreds of keywords and metrics daily. However, luckily for me, using Elevate for my research keeps my finger on the pulse of content marketing and its importance in business growth.

 

 

Elevate is our agency’s in-house digital performance analysis tool that scores companies across key digital metrics like Content and SEO. It evaluates our list of Top 50 companies across 12 different sectors, as well as ranks and compares them based on their performance.

And what do all the top-performing companies in our ranks have in common?

They all score fantastically across both Content and SEO.

Why is content strategy important?

Content is everywhere. It’s the building block of any kind of digital presence. Simply being on the internet requires some form of content. So how exactly can a brand benefit from it?

The answer is simple: strategy.

However, creating an effective strategy is a different story. This article delves into the successful content strategies of five top-performing companies – Coutts, FactSet, NCR Voyix, Splunk, and Blackstone. By examining key SEO metrics and auditing website content, I uncovered actionable insights that can enhance your strategy. Understanding these elements is essential for leveraging content marketing effectively.

But before getting into the five case studies, let’s quickly look at these elements which have guided my assessment.

Understanding SEO metrics and tools

Domain authority, search intent, keyword ranking – these are pivotal metrics that quantitively measure the success of your content strategy. They are essential for understanding the impact of your efforts. Here are the key metrics the case studies in this article analyse:

  1. Domain authority (DA): This metric predicts a website’s ability to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). It scores websites on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating greater ability to rank. Domain Authority is influenced by factors such as the number of linking root domains and total number of links.
  2. Search traffic: This refers to the number of visitors that land on a website from search engine results alone. It’s a critical indicator of how well a website attracts organic visitors. There are two primary types of search traffic:
    • Branded: Visitors who search for the company or brand name directly.
    • Non-branded: Visitors who find the website through keywords that do not include the brand name. This type of traffic is essential for reaching a broader audience unfamiliar with the brand.
  3. Search intent: This metric categorises keywords based on why people look them up. The main types of search intent include:
    • Informational: Users looking for information or answers to specific questions.
    • Navigational: Users intending to find a particular website or page.
    • Commercial: Users researching products or services before making a purchase.
    • Transactional: Users ready to make a purchase or take a specific action.
  4. Keyword ranking: The position a website holds on SERPs for specific keywords. High-ranking keywords drive significant organic traffic and are a key component of a successful SEO strategy.

For this article, I examined the domains of these top-performing companies by running them through using SEMRush, an industry-leading tool for SEO and competitive analysis. SEMRush provides comprehensive performance insights and guides most of our content efforts here at Dusted

Now, let’s explore how Coutts, FactSet, NCR Voyix, Splunk, and Blackstone have leveraged these metrics to craft successful content strategies.

Content marketing strategy case studies

Coutts: Leveraging a rich heritage to attract exclusive clientele

Overview

One of the oldest financial institutions in the world, Coutts is a UK-based private bank and wealth manager serving high-net-worth individuals, including the British Royal Family and other members of the aristocracy. With such a prestigious image to uphold, it’s no wonder that they have a firm grasp on their content strategy, with an 89% and 93% Elevate SEO and Content score respectively. Because, as we know, content plays a pivotal role in brand identity and positioning when done right.

Strategy break-down

Coutts’ content strategy leverages their rich heritage to attract and retain their exclusive clients. It relies on high-quality content such as research reports, case studies, webinars and infographics that provide valuable insights to their prospects. Additionally, Coutts employs a strongly branded SEO tactic to enhance its online visibility and attract organic traffic to its website.
Indeed, with a 46 authority score, they have a good and niche-relevant domain. Given their highly targeted clientele — both within the UK and among high-net-worth individuals globally — their estimated monthly organic traffic of 142K visitors underscores the effectiveness of their SEO efforts.

Coutts' Insights page featuring an image of an old bookcase and an image of a young woman embracing an old woman

Coutts’ Insights page positions them as a “renowned authority in the dynamics of wealth”

Successful elements

  • Content types: Varied content types including insight articles, podcasts and text-rich FAQ pages not only showcase their expertise but also boost their visitors’ experience with the brand, making their website a go-to for on-the-go information.
  • Specialist focus: From guides on selling your company to cautionary interviews with financial crime experts, their content addresses the specific needs of their clients, which helps fortify their relationship with users.
  • Targeted imagery: At first glance, their visual content might come off as underwhelming to a young internet surfer like myself who is used to the quirky illustrations and attention-grabbing visuals of creative platforms. By contrast, their imagery displays a demure aesthetic that exudes an air of quiet luxury. A field of lavender, an old mahogany bookcase or a classic British roadster – all these luxurious props and settings align with the lifestyle and aspirations of their clientele.

Walkthrough Coutts' text-rich FAQ page

Their text-rich FAQ page is one of the main drivers of search traffic, ranking for several high-volume keywords

Opportunity for improvement: keyword variety

While Coutts has a strong SEO strategy, there is still potential to expand their reach across search. Currently, they heavily focus on branded traffic, with non-branded traffic at only 5.3%. This means that most queries they rank for directly mention them by name, underscoring an audience well accustomed to Coutts. Increasing the focus on non-branded topics through relevant, more top-of-the-funnel content will likely further boost their discoverability.

FactSet’s deep understanding of data to attract qualified traffic

Overview

Founded in 1978, FactSet is a leading provider of integrated financial information and analytical applications, operating in major financial hubs worldwide. Offering a range of products and services – from financial data and analytics to research and trading solutions – their clientele includes investment professionals, asset managers, hedge funds, investment bankers, and other financial services firms. Known for their technological innovation, FactSet competes with major firms like Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters (Refinitiv), and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Strategy

Observing FactSet, I couldn’t help but admire how this tech-savvy company utilises its deep understanding of data to attract highly qualified traffic to its website.

With an entire sub-domain dedicated to their Insights, FactSet garners roughly 15K monthly unique visitors just through this avenue alone. What’s even more impressive, however, is that a whopping 93.7% of this traffic is pulled in through non-branded niche-relevant keywords. Unlike branded keywords, non-branded ones attract a broader audience that may not be familiar with FactSet. Expanding their reach this way, they consistently introduce new users to their platform.

Building such an impressive keyword profile takes time. It requires distinctive content that targets users at every stage of the funnel. And FactSet’s long-term dedication to content strategy has indeed shown great results. Their website pages rank first for highly relevant financial topics, with blog excerpts featuring on SERPS directly answering their audience’s questions. So, FactSet provides tangible value to their readership, positioning themselves as both authority and educator in the financial sector.

This strategy is reflected in their 95% Elevate SEO score and domain authority of 48, signifying a strong online presence and credibility. FactSet’s overall estimated monthly organic traffic is 101.9K visitors, once again proving the effectiveness of their content strategy.

Walkthrough FactSet's Insights page, showing their breadth of topics

FactSet’s insights cover a breadth of topics. Most notably, their Market Synopsis” section (right) offers real-time coverage of the latest in global economies and markets.

Successful elements

  • Keyword strategy: Their robust keyword strategy focuses on both branded and non-branded keywords, strategically optimising their thought leadership and educational articles around queries with Informational intent.
  • Topic range: FactSet covers an array of topics, from educational articles on data-centric decision-making processes to benefit-focused follow-ups promoting their own AI service, this diversity ensures that different user needs are met, catering to various stages of the customer journey.
  • Effective use of CTAs: Strategic placement of CTAs throughout the website guides users towards desired actions, such as signing up for webinars, downloading reports, or contacting sales representatives. This tactic helps in converting engaged users into leads.

FactSet's Insights sub-menu, showing their range of content formats

FactSet’s Insights library shows their range of content formats.

Opportunities for improvement: Search intent diversity

With 63.2% Informational content and 16.8% Navigational, there is room to expand further into content with Commercial and Transactional intent. Creating landing pages and lead magnets targeting users ready to take the final step can significantly drive conversions.

NCR Voyix offers diverse content formats

Overview

NCR Voyix is a global leader in digital commerce, providing innovative solutions across retail, restaurants, and digital banking. Founded in 1884, the company has evolved from manufacturing cash registers to offering advanced digital and electronic products, including ATMs, POS systems, and retail management software. Now, NCR Voyix operates in over 100 countries, serving a diverse client base including banks, retailers, restaurants, and telecom companies.

Strategy

With such a diverse service offering and clientele, NCR employs a comprehensive content strategy that combines high-quality written and visual content underpinned by strong SEO practices that have led to an impressive 50 authority score.

With 53.20% of their keywords having Informational intent, their content effectively addresses searchers seeking educational content. Additionally, NCR also maintains a strong online brand presence, with 92.2% of its top organic keywords being branded. This indicates strong recognition and loyalty among users, whom they delight with diverse content formats, including blog posts, case studies, and thought leadership. These help maintain user interest, driving continuous traffic to their site amounting to 154.5K monthly visitors worldwide.

NCR's Resources page, showing the bold headline "Resources to help you run your business"

Through this bold headline on their Resources page, they firmly position themselves as the go-to for C-Suite professionals seeking expert guidance.

Successful elements

  • Backlink performance: NCR has an extensive backlink profile of 9.1 million, including mentions from high-authority sites. This boosts their search engine rankings and online visibility.
  • Content quality and relevance: The company excels in creating high-quality, relevant content that addresses the needs and queries of its audience. Their blog posts cover hot topics like optimising technology costs and AI in restaurants and provide inside viewpoints backed by both research and expertise. Through this distinctive mix, NCR provides real value to their readership.
  • User engagement: NCR Voyix periodically engages its audience through diverse content formats, including blog posts, case studies, and resource guides.

A scroll through NCR's Resources page, showing how their topics are neatly categorised in a sector-based system

NCR’s array of topics is neatly categorised in a sector-based system.

Opportunities for improvement: Content focus shift

Like FactSet, NCR also has a strong presence in Informational content. But, despite their range of formats, there is an opportunity to also enhance content focus to target keywords with Commercial or Transactional intent. This can help in capturing users closer to the purchasing stage by creating more product and service-specific content.

Splunk’s robust and multifaceted strategy

Overview

Splunk is a leading software provider for searching, monitoring and analysing machine-generated data. Founded in 2003, Splunk has grown to become a key player in big data analytics and SIEM (security information and event management). The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and went public in April 2012. Over the years, Splunk has expanded its product portfolio through strategic acquisitions, including SignalFx, VictorOps, Phantom, Streamlio, and Omnition.

Strategy

Splunk’s content strategy is robust and multifaceted. Unlike the previous examples, theirs is designed to cater to a wide range of user interests, with a key focus on educational content. Indeed, a significant portion of their material is aimed at explaining complex technical topics through blog posts, whitepapers, and webinars, all showcasing expert knowledge from personal perspectives.

Their SEO efforts are strong, reflected in an Elevate SEO Score of 87% and a domain authority of 61. They capture traffic through niche-relevant keywords like “telemetry data examples,” “cyber hygiene,” and “what are distributed systems”. Ranking first for all these proves their status as go-to resource hub for people seeking an understanding of highly specialised topics. This can only be achieved by a strong content library that explores all subjects related to their expertise.

Additionally, Splunk places a significant emphasis on community engagement by hosting events such as .conf24, and offering training programs and certification courses, indicating a highly involved audience. This comprehensive approach ensures they cater to users at various stages of the funnel, leveraging both content depth and SEO performance to maintain their leadership in machine data analytics and SIEM.

Splunk's media library showing an array of content formats like Resources, Events and Blogs.

Splunk’s diverse content library shows their dedication to educating their readership.

Successful elements

  • Informational depth: Splunk’s Blog and Resource Center drive substantial traffic by addressing complex technical concepts in a user-friendly manner. The focus on educational content helps build trust and authority among users, making Splunk a go-to resource for machine data analytics and SIEM.
  • Strong brand presence: 73.9% of their traffic comes from branded searches, showing strong brand recognition and loyalty. But with both branded and non-branded ranking keywords, they come up in searches for an array of queries, indicating a well-balanced keyword strategy.
  • Balanced keyword intent: Splunk’s content addresses various search intents, from Informational to Transactional, ensuring a well-rounded approach that caters to users at different stages of the buyer’s journey. This expands their reach across diverse audience segments, demonstrated by the high traffic to pages across both insights, vacancies and services. So, Splunk successfully engages many types of users, from potential buyers to professionals looking to advance their skills. With many blogs tagged as “Learn” and “DevOps”, this comes as no surprise.

A scroll through Splunk's Blogs page, with articles covering a diverse array of topics.

Splunk’s Blogs page has an entire section dedicated to the upcoming event .conf24, signalling their engagement with the larger community

Opportunities for improvement: Broader audience capture

Even though Splunk already attracts highly qualified traffic through their insights and resources, their ranking keywords remain overwhelmingly non-branded, sitting at 72.5%. So, while Splunk has a strong branded traffic presence, enhancing content aimed at non-branded searches could help attract a broader audience.

Blackstone

Overview

Blackstone is one of the largest and most prominent investment management firms globally. Headquartered in New York City, Blackstone specialises in a wide range of financial services, including private equity, real estate, credit, and hedge fund solutions. With an impressive Elevate SEO score of 95%, Blackstone boasts substantial organic traffic and a robust domain authority, reflecting its significant online presence.

Strategy

Blackstone’s content strategy leverages their established position in the investment management industry to drive organic and paid traffic. They attract 514.9K monthly visitors worldwide through primarily Informational queries by providing well-researched articles, market insights, and educational content. These cater to both industry professionals and potential investors, positioning Blackstone as a well-rounded authority in investment finance.

With 55.4% branded traffic, Blackstone walks the fine line between strong brand recognition and wide prospecting. Even so, they further enhance brand loyalty by prominently featuring content related to key personnel, major business areas, and investor relations. The effective use of paid search (estimated to bring in 2.2K monthly visitors) targets high-value keywords such as “private equity firms” and “alternative investments,” ensuring that paid traffic is highly relevant and cost-effective.

Additionally, Blackstone benefits from 1.6 M backlinks, mostly from reputable sources, ultimately boosting their domain authority and organic search rankings. Their content strategy also includes a variety of engaging formats, such as market views, portfolio insights, and educational articles, supplemented by visual content like graphs and infographics, making complex information more digestible for their wide user profiles.

Video on Blackstone's homepage, positioning them as a central player in global investment.

Blackstone uses strongly branded video content to position themselves as a central player in the global investment landscape.

Successful elements

  • Thought leadership: By focusing on high-quality, informational content, Blackstone establishes itself as an authority in the financial industry. This drives a significant portion of their traffic (54.3%) and helps build trust with their audience.
  • Strong brand presence: The high percentage of branded traffic (89.4%) indicates that Blackstone’s content strategy effectively reinforces their brand identity and maintains customer loyalty. This strong brand presence is crucial in the competitive financial services sector.
  • Diverse content formats: Blackstone uses a range of content formats to engage their audience, including videos, images, and text-based articles. This diverse approach ensures they can effectively communicate complex information and insights, catering to different preferences and improving overall user experience.

Blackstone's Insights page, showing many educational articles

Blackstone has a separate Education category with in-depth articles from expert viewpoints.

Opportunities for improvement: Traffic source diversity

Currently, a significant portion of traffic is directed to the homepage (73.35%), indicating that other high-potential content areas might be under-optimised. Blackstone could benefit from diversifying its traffic sources by creating more engaging content across different sections of the site. This would not only attract a broader audience but also improve user engagement and retention.

Future trends in content strategy

I’m a firm believer that no strategy is complete without foresight. It’s essential. Keeping an eye on emerging trends shaping the trajectory of content will help you stay ahead of the curve. Because, as we’ve seen, content is no longer just a matter of churning out as many blogs as possible. It’s a much more refined field at the forefront of major advancements in digital technologies.

Here are four key trends to watch:

  • Voice search optimisation: Voice search is revolutionising how we access information, making it crucial for businesses to optimise their content for this growing trend. The accessibility aspect of voice search is particularly significant, as it allows users, including those with disabilities or those who prefer hands-free interactions, to easily find what they need. So, one thing to consider as content professionals is pivoting our SEO towards conversational keywords and natural language queries more likely to resemble full sentences rather than a jumble of phrases.
  • Video SEO: Video content continues to dominate online engagement, and optimising it for search engines is becoming increasingly important. If you look at how you interact with major video platforms like YouTube, you’ll soon realise that it’s no different to how you would with a search engine. The basics of video SEO include relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Taking it a step further, you can also include transcripts for better indexing. And remember, as ML models learn to analyse voice and image, including queries in your thumbnails, captions and speech will also become increasingly important.
  • Zero-click searches: These occur when users find the information they need directly on the SERP without clicking through to a website. Having FAQs above the ranking pages has reshaped users’ behaviour around search as it enables fast access to their desired information. Optimising your content for featured snippets and other rich results will become increasingly essential.
  • AI Overview: Taking it a step further, Google has recently announced their plans to integrate AI into Search. The result: AI Overview, a system that pieces all the information needed for a base-level understanding of any subject, with the option to learn more by linking relevant sources. So, rather than functioning on a keyword basis, the queries will take a conversational form, with users able to chat back and forth with the engine. This will most likely impact domains relying on SEO for traffic, as users will get the answers to their questions directly from these snippets.

By embracing these, you can enhance your content marketing efforts to drive greater engagement…

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In conclusion

As we’ve seen from the success of top-performing companies, a well-crafted content strategy is essential for driving engagement. By understanding your brand’s place in the wider industry, you can leverage content and search optimisation to establish your position. Wise educator, the community staple, the authoritative leader – the possibilities are endless.

Not sure where to start?

At Dusted, we deliver strategic solutions for ambitious clients across a range of B2B and B2C sectors. Whether it’s a fresh pair of eyes on your content, insight to inform your strategy or a much needed lead-gen boost, we can help. From digital performance audits and strategic planning to content creation, we offer help tailored to your business’s specific needs.

So get in touch now to explore what options meet your organisational needs. We can’t wait to hear from you!