Kings of the Jungle – Niche Ecommerce Blogs

10 February, 2014

Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples

Each month we pick an online marketing topic and sort out the chimps from the chumps. Our gorillas traverse far and wide throughout the wilds of the online jungle to bring you the brand elite, so that you can learn from the best.

This month, we show you the Kings of the Jungle in Niche Ecommerce Blogs.

If you work in a specific niche, you may be finding it hard to produce interesting content. Don’t target the masses, hone in on your diehard fans. No matter how specific your product, you can create compelling blog content that your customers will love you for.

Cell Bikes – The Cycling Kings


Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Great mix of content driving regular engagement with readers, pushing them to social media to continue the conversation
  • Highly visual blog with quality, original graphics including fans and customers to make them highly shareable
  • Contests are irresistible to their lycra-clad cycling-crazed niche, sparking comments and sharing with friends to increase reach and brand loyalty
  • Varied post types include how-to’s, customer stories, contests, store news, education and promotions

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • More prominent Call To Actions to subscribe for updates will draw in more users to the email list, allowing for ongoing communication and lasting relationships
  • Get even more in touch with what your niche does for kicks and share your brand personality – cyclists love coffee and clogging up cafes with their bicycles (hey cycling enthusiasts, you’re alright, just having a laugh), why not release a guide to the most bike friendly brunch spots in Sydney?

Orvis Dogs – The Pooch Product Kings

Orvis Dogs Niche Blog Examples

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Profile customers and their fans stories, putting the Orvis spotlight on different dogs every week – this prompts socially active parents to share their pooch’s ten minutes of fame with a whole new bunch of potential Orvis fans
  • Fun mix of content keeps users engaged with how-to’s, news, social media shares, contests and curated articles from other sources
  • Content pulls readers through a calculated sales funnel drawing people to the blog through snappy, sales-free social media shares before progressively offering more and more advanced information (Orvis content takes reader’s mindsets from interest to education to proof of quality to checkout!)
  • Almost irresistible call to action buttons beside each and every blog post makes sure no dog lovers have an excuse not to subscribe, follow, tweet, Instagram, enter or buy – Orvis even gives you a chance to learn more specific info about online products with a linked how-to vid that further educates and encourages sale

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Create a prominent email sign-up call to action graphic and place it in a highly visible position either beside each post in the right hand side menu or beneath each post to capture interested fans who have read an entire article – then you can keep communicating on a regular basis
  • Partner with related companies to co-produce content for a larger, combined audience – Orvis could work with vets, organic pet food suppliers, dog training companies or animal support providers to develop long form guides (you could even use a dog training how-to ebook as a free incentive to sign up for email updates)

Bauble Bar – The Jewellery Kings

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Gushingly pretty visual design with clean white space, no clutter and rich graphics laden with don’t-even-need-an-SLR-anymore effects
  • Use series posts to force writer’s block into extinction, with ‘tips and tricks’, ‘top 10 links of the week’, ‘other blogger’s style’ and ‘stuff you love’ giving you easy, entertaining and memorable content each and every week
  • Showcase other influential blogs to share each other’s audience and pull in a large chunk of new potential customers with similar interests to your target market
  • Celebrities are interesting, use them in context (this is important, a blog post on Lady Gaga’s gorgeous new bracelet is less suited to a software retailer) to spark interest, establish conversation and score some Google ranking lovin’

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Create a clear pathway from your blog to your store that doesn’t invade on your blog reader’s experience, but makes it easy for visitors to find your goodies if your content tickles their purchasing fancy (a clearer call to action in the right hand side menu column might work)
  • An incentive offer to sign up for email makes any gorilla happy, but hiding it away is like burying delicious bananas in case they might not be tasty – show the world, delight your customers and start a little somethin’. They’ll be stoked on your giveaway and you’ll be stoked on your sale and their email address

Dollar Shave Club – The Razor Kings

Dollarshaveclub Niche Blog Examples

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Co create your content with your customer’s help, talk about your niche’s interest outside your product, slip in a sneaky sales prompt while you’re at it– We bow down to you DSC, true niche royalty
  • Hashtags help measure your success, attach them to blog posts and social shares then ask your readers to use your # and start a conversation
  • Create a legendary brand character, (it doesn’t even have to be a gorilla) like DSC’s ‘Chairman’ to personify the brand and deepen personal connections
  • Don’t be scared to mix in promotions with your content, just make it relevant, useful or entertaining (the 4:1 ratio of soft content : sales content is a good guide)

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Show off your best work, particularly when you have one of the best ‘about-us’ videos in internet history, (you must, no, MUST watch this one) make sure you have a visual link or a ‘best of section’ within clicking reach for any new readers
  • Start a competition between your intra-niche groups, and use your customers as content creators to get them even more parochial about your brand (why not call for a 15 second Instagram video from fans in each country DSC operates in to prove who is the manliest)

Simply Hike – The Hiking Kings

Simply Hike Niche Blog Examples

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Jaw droppingly helpful how to videos, perfectly nail their niche’s sweet spot and sharing across social channels brings in newfans over and over
  • Hyper targeted niche vids seem mind numbingly boring to outsiders, only making them more mouth-watering for Simply Hike’s crazy hiking nuts (c’mon, shoe tying techniques are not for adults right? Evidently the hiking folk are right into it)
  • Super easy reading with short paragraphs and lots of subheadings
  • A+ Call To Action to shop the store which could be even moretactically royal with an email subscription prompt to grab readers details for regular updates

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Share vids of staff or customers hiking or camping (or dominating your niche) to increase your audience’s personal connection to the brand
  • Start a contest, give a customer free gear and a video camera and get them to chronicle their holiday, letting your audience follow their journey and sparking engagement with a build-up of excitement for the next contest
  • Learn from other content kings like, who captivate their niche with forums, communities, in store and outdoor classes, family trip planners and hike trails, all designed to make your fans feel like they’re cheating if you buy from another brand (emotional blackmail is okay sometimes right?)

Field Notes – The Notebook Kings

Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples Field Notes

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • If your blog has great content, make the most of it! Field Notes’ blog doubles up as their homepage, drawing (see what we did there) all of their visitors to their super content, while still offering clear pathways for shoppers to buy
  • Blog content provides proof, communicating the Field Notes brand to customers so they know the brand’s values, they get a feel for the stunning aesthetic, they feel good about being seen with a Field Notes Book
  • Understand their customer’s personality, interests and hobbies, co-creating content with companies related to beer, travel, shaving and North Pole Expeditions to delight current readers and open up a huge new bunch of possible fans from the collaborator’s audience

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Use link overlays in your videos and add a call to action to the end of your clip, allowing viewers to shop your store or view related content – Field Notes can use Vimeo Plus to add a link to the new editions profiled in each clip, and YouTube has a similar feature as well
  • If you get so big in your niche that you have a fan page, celebrate it! The Field Nuts group love Field Notes so much they have a forum for club members – Field Notes should share the member’s stories, include them in decision making, engage on social media and maybe even release an exclusive ‘Field Nuts’ only edition

Frank Body – The Body Scrub Kings

Frank Body Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Clean, contemporary visual interface perfect for the young, hipster, feminine-skewed target audience and the aesthetically driven beauty industry (make your blog look like your niche)
  • Bang on voice with niche-delighting language like ‘bod’, ‘3:30itis’ and ‘selfie’ help to engage with readers in a personal, conversational manner, sparking a genuine relationship with the brand
  • Brilliant typeface, fonts say so much about a brand to the reader, but make sure your body text is 16 point size or so it’s nice and easy to skim read
  • Talking about your reader’s interests like yoga, almond oil and not wearing pants (I’m sure we all like at least one of those three) that have little direct relevance to your specific product, aligning your brand with your reader’s lifestyle so they feel comfortable hanging out and making friends in an online blogging kind of way

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Use your drop-dead gorgeous blog images to create shareable social media pics to link your huge social media following back to your blog (then sign them up for email updates!)
  • Maintain regular contact with your Facebuds and Instafriends by drawing them back to your blog, then offering an incentive to sign up for regular email updates and tips – why not offer a free guide with tips to make your skin positively glow for every new email subscriber to start your new friendship off with a sizzle

Warby Parker – The Eyewear Kings

Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples Warby Parker

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Where do we start! These guys are killing it with awe-inducing design, try-not-to-share-it imagery that makes a hipster feel old hat, and subtle integration of product shots into genuinely entertaining content
  • Turning dull, existing content into a masterpiece, just look at Warby Parker’s Annual Report for a lesson in using creativity to produce fun, humorous and entertaining content from the remnants of old material
  • Using employees and their experiences to create phenomenal content, Warby’s Class Trip is a super concept, maximising events by giving staff the autonomy to share their stories and live the brand’s dream on behalf of their fans
  • Partnering up with other industry leaders to create interesting content gives Warby access to new potential blog readers with similar characteristics to their target customers – the Warby/Beck campaign is a good example

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Be more like Warby Parker, let’s be honest, they’re winning at the internet
  • Set up a clear email subscriber sign up box on every page of your blog, giving readers the opportunity to receive regular weekly updates of your most popular posts, allowing you to communicate regularly with your prospects, developing personal relationships, trust and hopefully sales!
  • Show your community how you change lives for the better to make it clear that your brand stands for something – Warby Parker’s Do Good sustainability program is inspirational, why not share the personal stories of the people who’s lives they have changed on the Warby Parker blog?

Lifx – The Light Bulb Kings

Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples Lifx

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Building an audience way before the first product is sold – Lifx started blogging and Facebooking as soon as their business idea was hatched, taking followers on a 12 month journey through the product’s development, building excitement, buzz and even $1million financial support through Kickstarter
  • Development of rock solid relationships with followers by calling for advice on product decisions, taking readers behind the scenes, telling stories of business trips and speaking to readers on a personal level.
  • Use of exclusivity makes readers feel special, like they are part of the brand’s extended family because they have seen the business grow from the ground up, leaving them banging down the door to get their hands on the first run of products (and you can guarantee they will tell their friends all about it)
  • Storytelling with a conversational tone makes blog readers feel like they are getting an email update from a buddy (the simple pics and vids of the team resonate with these long time fans)

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Minimise industry jargon and technical language in your blog posts unless your target market is highly educated in your niche – in this case, the audience for light bulbs is vast with varying levels of product knowledge
  • Make sure it’s easy for readers to find your blog, particularly when your niche product is highly complex as readers will want to look for education and information – Lifx need to place a blog link in their homepage header menu
  • Reward your most passionate fans with exclusivity, Lifx should encourage their original fans to join a ‘turn on the lights’ club, offering first access to products, contest prizes for sharing their own stories of using the Lifx bulbs across social media and the opportunity to vote on product specs or packaging design

Goulet Pens – The Fountain Pen Kings

Niche Ecommerce Blog Examples Goulet Pens

Why they are part of the primate elite

  • Genuine interaction and super levels of engagement with the niche writing community fits perfectly with the brand’s image – buying a pen from another company would feel like cheating for a Goulet fan
  • Goulet have a Content Mission that allows all employees and external contractors to understand the strategy behind the team’s content marketing “provide product education with a bit of entertainment to bring together pen enthusiasts from around the world to share in a common passion”
  • FAQ’s, How-To vids, Reviews, Comparisons and Helpful Tips establish trust and prove Goulet’s thought leadership standing in their niche – as a result, customers know Goulet’s products are high quality, so the brand becomes the ‘go-to’ whenever readers look for some new writing inspiration
  • 4 posts a week for 4 years of consistently amazing content makes sure Google sends its love and new customers keep flooding through streams of archived articles
  • Simple, cheap and hyper-targeted videos keep fans highly engaged (this clip showing how a fountain pen works has a staggering 38,000 views alone – that’s some niche lovin’ right there)

Gorilla tactics to grow your tribe even more

  • Make sure you have an obvious subscribe button on every post – if you’re not driving users to sign up for email, make sure they can keep in touch with your blog
  • Keep your social media icons prominent to get as many readers as possible on board for regular communication outside of the blog

These blogs may not be the top 10 best of all time, but each brand is using an effective content strategy to dominate their niche. Each brand is doing content a little differently to stand out from the crowd in their own online jungle. Cherry pick the best ideas to suit your niche and get cracking!

Thank us later… Or better yet, thank us now and share these content lessons with your social media tribe.

Have we missed any amazing niche ecommerce blogs that you love? Please let us know – we’re always on the lookout for great examples

Good luck online, gorilla out.

By James Dillon
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