CloudShare and Fifty Five and Five partner to create compelling content



London, UK


CloudShare and Fifty Five and Five partner to create compelling content


CloudShare has chosen London-based digital marketing agency Fifty Five and Five to deliver a wide range of ongoing monthly SEO content. This is not the first time Fifty Five and Five and CloudShare have worked together, but the return marks a strengthening of the relationship between the two organisations.


CloudShare is a business acceleration platform that allows software organizations to drive better customer acquisition and retention by creating engaging hands-on software experiences at all points of the customer journey, including virtual demos, POCs, and training environments. Headquartered in San Francisco, with R&D in Tel Aviv and offices worldwide, as well as data centres in the US, EMEA and APAC, CloudShare are a team of experts with decades of experience serving leading software organisations such as Palo Alto Networks, Atlassian, Salesforce, ForgeRock, and Motorola, while empowering hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.


CloudShare have long realised that the world of work – and software – has changed, and that many vital processes we have previously only performed in person can, and should, now be conducted remotely. In fact, in many cases, with the right virtual technology, remote experiences can be faster, cheaper, more convenient, and perhaps most importantly, more engaging.


Fifty Five and Five are delighted to play a vital role in helping CloudShare spread their message of engaging software experiences in a world where continuity, hybrid working and communication are vital to organisations of all sizes.


Naomi Stol Zamir, Head of Marketing Communications at CloudShare, says of the partnership:

“We’re delighted to partner with Fifty Five and Five to help us with consistently brilliant content that really captures the message we want to get across to our customers: the most crucial aspect of training, sales enablement, or, in fact, any area of business growth is providing great experiences for your customers. And we’re looking forward to a great experience with our new marketing agency.”


About Fifty Five and Five

Fifty Five and Five is a full service digital and content marketing agency based in London. The agency’s goal is to help B2B technology companies communicate more effectively, reach new audiences and realise their ambitions. Their services include SEO, social media management, web design and build, email marketing/automation, analytics, marketing strategy, PPC, video, design and more. The agency is also known for its annual Top 50 Inbound Marketing Excellence report, which ranks the marketing efforts of Microsoft Partners. The Top 50 has now moved online and the ranking list is updated weekly, using our own proprietary benchmarking tool. The site helps B2B technology companies track and improve their digital marketing.



Phone: +44 20 3743 7897

Blog image - Our 2020 in review

Our 2020 in review

2020 was quite a year for all kinds of reasons, but we wanted to take a light hearted look at some of the things we got up to. So have a look at clients we worked with, the work we did, and the music we listened to.

Year review infographic 2020

Life or death: how to choose the right marketing agency for your business

Did you know there are over 4 billion internet users today? If digital marketing can help you engage with even the tiniest fraction of this global audience, it will play an integral role in your company’s growth.

So, why would you ever leave something with so much potential to chance? Knowing how to choose the right marketing agency for your business is not exactly life or death, but it can have some serious ramifications for the growth of your business. And, isn’t that the same thing?

Digital marketing? I thought that was free

Digital marketing is free. What you need more than anything is time. Time to write blogs, time to post them in the right place for the right people to see. Time to monitor your results. And not just blog posts. The same goes for any content, social media, etc. You need to know what to write. And how to optimise it. And when to post so it’ll be seen by the most people. And you need to do this regularly, month after month.

Digital marketing is free. But for it to work you need time and consistency. And that’s where a good agency can help.

Choosing a marketing agency

There are plenty of ways of deciding which agency you want to work with:

  • Formal request for proposal (RFP)
  • Getting agencies to pitch for your business
  • Seeing sample/small projects up front
  • Conducting informal meetings and using an ad hoc approach
  • Getting a recommendation
  • Basing your decision on cost

Finding an agency is easy. The hard part is finding an agency that is right for your business. You should keep the following in mind when you’re trying to decide.


Digital marketing is continuously changing, so it’s natural that strategies will change over time. Do you trust your agency to keep up, while keeping you informed?

Along the way, your relationship will be tested and it’s essential that you know you can overcome difficult moments through open communication. Can you trust them when things go wrong? Will unexpected invoices hit your inbox? When deadlines are fast approaching and something’s not right, can you count on honesty, even if what they say is the last thing you want to hear?


When you choose to move forward with an agency, it’s usually because of the abundance of new marketing tactics and tools that pop up every day. You need an expert partner to stay on top of the latest trend; one who knows how to make the best use of different platforms.


Transparency plays back into trust. For example, the question of pricing must be clarified up front. It’s no secret that some companies will tell you what you want to hear just to win the contract, so be wary of this. Starting a relationship with a lie speaks to the likelihood of further deceptions down the line. You’d be working on shaky foundations.

You be the judge when choosing an agency

Size doesn’t matter

You might not want to be the biggest client, or the smallest, which is fair, but the days of judging companies on the number of desks in their office are gone. Bigger teams don’t guarantee work will be done faster or to a higher quality.

Look at the company’s expertise, calibre and culture. Does the team communicate well, work in tandem and demonstrate an understanding and dedication to your mission? Often, the people pitching to you won’t be the ones doing the work, so check who you’ll be working with. In large agencies, your projects could be handed down to less experienced or junior members. Would you want that?

You need more than a case study

Before you hire new employees, you conduct interviews and check references. But does the same happen with your marketing agency? Past work is a strong indicator of capabilities but only to a degree. Ask to speak with some of their clients who can tell you in their own words what the agency is like to work with on a practical, day to day level.

Price isn’t everything…

…but expectation is. Ask for a clear explanation of the work you can expect, the deliverables the agency will provide and what you will pay for them. Transparency and trust play a big role here, as the costs can fluctuate based on the products or services you use for your campaign. Armed with the true estimate, you can prepare accordingly.

Pay attention to the agency’s own marketing efforts

How do they market themselves? ‘Practice what you preach’ is pertinent to marketing, so look at their content and question whether it’s engaging, educational and well-edited. How effective are their ads? Does their website load quickly on all platforms? Does their social media voice their brand clearly and do they interact with comments reliably?

Of course, how agencies promote their own business will differ to how they market yours. But when choosing an agency, you want evidence they can do for themselves what they have promised to do for you.

How to choose the right marketing agency

Aimlessly running any marketing campaign without a strategy or delivering content (regardless of how impressive it is) without SEO is a recipe for failure. You’re an expert at what you do. The right marketing agency is expert at taking what you’re great at and bringing it to the right people. Repeatedly.

Fifty Five and Five is expanding to the United States

When I set up Fifty Five and Five, I’d love to say I had a plan. I want to tell you I had a business case, a set of objectives and solid targets. In reality, I had none of those things. But I did have an idea. The idea was that, as a writer, I could help tech companies better tell their stories.  

That idea, and some great clients (many of whom are still with us today), got us going. We quickly become a business – a content agency in fact. We hired writers to craft perfect prose, allowing our clients to communicate more effectively with their customers. We did pretty well and started to grow.  

In those early days I still didn’t really know were Fifty Five and Five was heading. I didn’t know we would quickly add complementary social, paid media and SEO services. I didn’t know we’d soon have our own digital designers, that we would build websites and produce awesome animations and videos.  

I also didn’t know we would change office four times (soon to be five), to house our growing team. A bit of pre-planning on that front would certainly have been helpful, for a whole bunch of reasons now filed as ‘slightly painful and expensive lessons learned’. 

full-service agency  

As we set out becoming a more fully defined digital agency, the idea of a fully formed strategy behind who we would hire, or when, was fanciful. We did it on gut instinct and by meeting great people.  

Weve hired all sorts of employees over the past five years, and I learn something new from them every day. Our staff turnover is also incredibly low, and even those who have left are still friends of the business – something that makes me very proud. We have people of all age ranges, levels of experience, nationality, skills and personalities. The mix works, for us and our clients. 

Fifty Five and Five team

It is only in the last few years that I started to define exactly the areas of the business that I wanted to grow, and how I wanted to grow them. Finally, a plan was forming. Right now, one month into our new financial year, I can tell you our revenue targets, how many people we’re looking to hire, and a whole bunch of metrics that I track and measure.  

It is only as you mature as a business that you can really begin to focus on these kinds of things. You need to build a layer of support around you (people like my PA, our accountants and law firm, the great mentors I’ve been able to work with) that gives you the space to breathe and plan a bit more. The early days are just too busy for all that.  

Finding our path  

I don’t think the lack of a clear plan has held us back. Like I say, we had an idea of what we were, and how we wanted to do things. And we ran with it.  I suspect most early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs have a similar way, when theyre building a new company, of finding the best path. 

But back to the present day. Now we do have a plan, a strategy, and we think seriously about how to better serve our current and future clients. One thing that has been on my wish list for a couple of years was to open an office in the US. For a while now 50% of our revenue has come from outside the UK, the majority of this from the US and Canada. So, in many ways an office outside of London was inevitable.  

It formally became part of our business plan last year, where it fell by the wayside for a bit. Other things got in the way, not least launching our marketing assessment tool with Microsoft (oh and doubling our headcount here in the UK!).  

A truly global step  

I am really proud to announce today that our US office opens on the 28th of May 2019. We have the bricks and mortar sorted – in sunny Bellevue, Seattle. Fifty Five and Five Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifty Five and Five Ltd, incorporated in Washington State by our lovely new US financial services team, and our various trademarks now apply in the States. 

Fifty Five and Five Bellevue, Seattle

But most important of allwe have the beginnings of a great team of employees ready to start work in Seattle. I’ll update over the next weeks and months as the team falls into place, and I can announce names. We are also hiring so if youre looking to join a leading digital agency in the Seattle region, get in touch. 

This is a big deal for Fifty Five and Five. The agency started in a basement five years ago with not much of a plan (we covered that remember?). Now were fulfilling our vision of becoming a truly global digital agency for the modern world. I look forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you 

Oh, and if you want to come and see us in Seattle for a coffee or some digital marketing expertise, please let me know. 

Looking to improve your marketing?

We can help! Talk to us about your business and the specific barriers you come up against when trying to generate leads.

Get in touch

marketing IT

New tools to help you improve your marketing IT – just in time for Christmas!

  • New Fifty Five and Five Insights research to help you with marketing IT
  • Major Maya update: videos, knowledge base and an exclusive pilot
  • Meet our new team members

It’s been a couple of months since our last company update, but like Santa’s little elves, the Fifty Five and Five team has been busy in the run up to Christmas. Top of the list, we’re excited to announce some major new research and tools which will help you with the task of marketing IT products and services for your company.

No one ever said marketing IT would be easy, but some of our latest releases will go a long way to making your department’s job that much easier. Consider it an early Christmas present from Fifty Five and Five!

Maya now provides in-depth advice for marketing IT products and services

Maya—our marketing benchmarking tool—is changing. Until now the tool has been focused on ranking the effectiveness of your marketing. As of January 2018, however, Maya will go beyond just giving you a score and analysis of your inbound activities. Now, the new Maya platform will provide blog and video content that contains tailored guidance to help you improve your marketing in specific areas where it sees you may need help.

This means the benchmarking aspect of Maya becomes even more useful for your overall marketing strategy.

marketing IT

A lot of the new Maya content will be in the form of video tutorials, which we’re very excited about. It’s no secret that video is the future of content marketing—we hope that Maya’s video hub can be the foundation on which you can build a successful strategy to support you with marketing IT products and services.

We’re still taking sign-up registrations for the new pilot program. So, if you want to test out the new Maya experience for free, before it becomes generally available, drop us an email.

Our insights and research arm launches with an exclusive new report

We are pleased to announce the launch of Fifty Five and Five Insights, a new research arm of the company. Fifty Five and Five have a unique understanding of the Microsoft Partner network, having collected vast amounts of data and first-hand insights into how technology companies go about the process of marketing IT. Our new research arm will work closely with Microsoft Partners and the B2B technology industry in general to provide unique insights to help you improve your marketing strategies.

Our new insights paper—What sets the best Microsoft Partners apart? is an analysis of the marketing activities of tens of thousands of Microsoft Partners. We compared the results, and found that the top-performing partners share a number of specific characteristics, which we detail in the paper (download your copy of the report here). Key findings include:

  • Quality content is key: the top MSPs create consistent, high-quality content on their websites and blogs that is accessible to the widest possible audience.
  • Content consumption methods have changed: the best partners have adapted to the ‘new way’ of marketing, understanding that their websites, blogs, and social channels need to be ready for incoming inquiries and inspection at any time, on any device.

To learn more about our research services – including our unique data sets and in-house market research team – get in touch today.

New team members to help you with marketing IT

The Fifty Five and Five team has grown again over the past couple of months, with another two additions to the team:

  • Miles is our new Account Executive. He works closely with our international clients to deliver campaigns to a consistently high standard.

“I’ve hit the ground running at Fifty Five and Five with a busy schedule from day one. It’s been exciting and I’ve learned a lot about the process of marketing IT, as well as the amazing tools and services our clients provide – it’s been great so far!”

  • Janar is our latest videographer, helping create internal videos for the latest Maya updates and also helping our clients with creating awesome videos (read more about how our video services can help you with marketing IT here).

“It’s early days, but I’ve really enjoyed creating the new Maya videos – I can’t wait to see how people engage with them when they’re launched”.

Here’s to 2018

It’s been a great year for Fifty Five and Five. We trust you have had an equally good year, and hope you enjoy the holiday season.

Our ongoing aim is to help Microsoft Partners improve their marketing, and we believe Fifty Five and Five Insights and the new Maya pilot scheme are testament to that. And we hope that these are areas of the company that, having started in 2017, will only grow over the coming years.

We’ll see you in the new year – here's to a great 2018!

Download your copy of our exclusive new insights report today.

Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency, dedicated to helping Microsoft Partners improve their process for marketing IT – from ideation to distribution and analytics. If you want to know more about how we can help, get in touch with us today.

You can follow us on Twitter if you liked what you have read here. Look out for our next blog series dedicated to the world of B2B marketing and Microsoft Partners, or catch up on what else we’ve been getting up to recently here.

Looking for help with marketing IT? We can help!

Fifty Five and Five

Fifty Five and Five: A quantum leap

  • What's new at Fifty Five and Five? We share what's been happening lately
  • New additions to the team
  • Attending Microsoft Ignite 2017 and getting ready for Inspire 2018

At this year’s Microsoft Ignite conference, CEO Satya Nadella opened his keynote with the company’s new focus on quantum computing. Microsoft are on track to build the first ever topological qubit, which could serve as the basis for a scalable quantum computer system fit for general purpose (i.e. a bit cheaper than current quantum models, which will set you back around $15m).

As Nadella exclaimed: “New Microsoft breakthroughs will bring general purpose quantum computing a step closer to reality.”

Quantum computer systems have the potential to completely revolutionise how we go about computing (the scientific reasoning for which I could never successfully relay back to you). Satya Nadella himself needed some help from top mathematicians, physicists and Microsoft computer scientists to explain Microsoft’s approach to quantum computing on stage at Ignite.

Don’t go expecting a quantum computer in every household, of course; the system can currently only function at 0.01 Kelvin, or around -272ºC. But Microsoft are also developing tools that can program a quantum computer—a full software stack and a new programming language will allow users to write quantum solutions and applications integrated into Visual Studio. The futuristic aspirations of quantum computing packaged into the Microsoft solutions we’re already familiar with… truly exciting stuff.

But, why are we telling you this? Well, despite the premise of quantum computing being an altogether fascinating one, Fifty Five and Five attended Microsoft Ignite this year. We’ll leave you to decide whether Microsoft’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of IT was a bigger or better surprise than the attendee celebration being held at Universal Orlando Resort, but it was certainly a great week to round off our summer.

And it certainly was an eventful summer at Fifty Five and Five. So, we thought we'd share some of the things we’ve been getting up to recently.

New faces

We’re happy to announce that the Fifty Five and Five team has grown stronger over the last couple months! We’ve had three recent additions to the team:

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Fifty Five and Five team



Caitlin is our office manager, who joined in June and does everything to keep Fifty Five and Five running smoothly. Caitlin sums up her first three months:

“Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking. But I’m clearly enjoying my new role here as I’m yet to take any of my unlimited leave!”


[one_sixth padding="0 20px 0 0"]

Fifty Five and Five team



Seb also joined in June as our newest content writer:

“My four months at Fifty Five and Five have flown by. The work is challenging, varied and always rewarding, and it has been great getting to know such a talented and friendly group of co-workers.”


[one_sixth padding="0 20px 0 0"]

Fifty Five and Five team



And Laura is the latest member of our marketing team, helping with SEO and building lasting relationships with our clients:

“I’m very happy to be working with such a talented team and hopefully it won’t be long before I can contribute to the office’s collection of silly statements and musings from the team with a quote of my own!”


We're happy that the team is continuing to grow, and even happier to have them all on board!

Microsoft Ignite 2017

After the success of Inspire in July, October was our chance to attend Microsoft’s other main event of the calendar year: Ignite. Held in Orlando, FL and with more than 25,000 business customers and IT leaders, it was a fantastic event.

Microsoft Ignite 2017

As expected, this year’s conference came with some big announcements. The new Microsoft 365, which was announced at Inspire in July, is coming to new audiences in October.

But the big highlight was Office 2019. With the newest iteration of Office, Microsoft are recognizing that moving to the cloud is a journey that requires many considerations. Office 2019 is set to be the stepping-stone upgrade for customers who feel they need to keep some (or all) of their apps and servers on-premises.

SharePoint Server 2019 was also announced, despite many believing SharePoint 2016 would be the last on-premises version of the platform. It’s good to see Microsoft are still dedicated to those who have not yet made the move to the cloud.

And when a tech conference is held next-door to “The Happiest Place On Earth”, how could it not be a success?

One of the best Web Development Projects in the UK

The Digital Entrepreneur Awards is one of the longest-standing technology awards in the UK, recognising outstanding achievements in the digital industry. The awards consider every facet of a successful online business, from leadership to creative direction and development. There are 17 awards categories in total, spread across four areas: Digital Business, e-Services, Digital Innovation, and Design & Marketing.

Fifty Five and Five

We’re happy to announce that Fifty Five and Five have been nominated as a finalist for Web Development Project of the Year at DEA 2017. We’re honoured by the accolade and can’t wait for the results to be revealed next month!

Onwards and upwards

It’s been a great few months, and a great year thus far, for Fifty Five and Five. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the year has in store and we’re very excited for Inspire 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.


Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency, guiding clients through the entirety of the content process—from ideation and creation to distribution and analytics. For more information, get in touch with us today.

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blog page is dead

The blog page is dead. Long live the blog!

  • The traditional company blog page is dead
  • Our research highlights its decline
  • Market leaders are adopting a 'media organisation' format
  • Find out how you can replicate this

It was 22 years ago that a US college student taking a leave of absence from his studies founded what is now widely regarded as the world’s first blog. With article titles like “high stylin’ on the Wurld Wyde Webb”, its author, Justin Hall, went on to become a minor celebrity with his zany and often personally revealing posts. Justin was writing at a time before the word ‘blog’ had even been coined, but with his website’s focus on linking internally and externally, tags and sharing, it was a blog in all but its name.

In the years since, any company worth its salt has started a blog page containing articles about their latest news, company updates, latest product releases, new hires, etc. The blog page helped companies advertise themselves, boost their search engine rankings and create an editorial theme to define who they were. A simple medium to connect and share timely and relevant information with potential customers; blogs were everywhere.

But in 2017, the blog died.

Fifty Five and Five’s latest research has reviewed how industry leaders are now presenting their content, and shown irrefutably that the traditional method of blogging is on its way out.

“The blog page is dead” he proclaimed... in a blog post

If it seems like we’ve written ourselves into a corner, so let's elaborate. We believe that blogging per se is doing just fine. However, the blog page—as in, the place you navigate to from a website’s navigation bar—is kaput. It’s dead and gone. Worm food. It’s pushing up daisies.

blog page is dead

The blog page (rather than blogpage) is a curious place where a very specific kind of content is uploaded. At small and medium sized companies, it’s normally the job of a marketer or someone in comms to prod their colleagues to write something: a 400-word article about anything to make it seem like the firm is still alive every couple of months. Any marketer who’s done a half-day course on SEO knows they need to keep uploading fresh content to their website to maintain some sort of ranking. And so they write articles and post them to the blog page.

But here’s the news: the blog page is dead. No major or forward-thinking company in 2017 just uses this blog page to promote their content, to tell their stories or get inbound links. The blog page is dead for them. And other companies need to start realising that a whole new type of content creation and marketing has subsumed the blog.

If not the blog page, then what?

If the blog page is dead, what exactly are companies doing to express their views, share their news and enthuse about their latest releases? At Fifty Five and Five, we’ve carried out a study of the most successful companies and their websites and compared the way these businesses present their online content with smaller firms.

As content marketers, we spend our days exploring the websites of companies of all sizes and in the last couple of years have noticed some consistent differences in the way the most successful companies market and promote material on their websites in comparison with smaller firms.

Our findings concluded: many ‘forward thinking companies’ (often those with 1,000 or more employees) do not have a ‘blog’ tucked away somewhere in the corner of their website anymore. Instead, organisations like PWC, Oxfam, BMW (to name just a few) have taken a media organisation approach to presenting themselves, modelling themselves on the methods of news providers like the BBC. They no longer have dedicated pages for specific kinds of content. Instead, they use their company home page as a central hub for any and all content they produce—blog-style articles included.

Does size matter?

We wanted to see if there was a link between bigger companies and this more forward-thinking approach. To do this research, we used LinkedIn to list companies by size and selected 20 European, North American or Australasian firms at random that were listed as employing 10,000 people or more. We then did the same for firms listed as having less than 50 employees. Once we’d collected our list of companies, we took screenshots of their website homepages and compared the kinds of content we found on the home pages and in the navigation bar.

The result? As expected, the big firms had, by and large, abandoned the traditional blog format. 75% of the big companies we reviewed were instead using their company home page as a regularly updated, multimedia news source. Most of these companies used their homepage as a place for presenting all their latest news, research, videos, promotional material and more. By contrast, only 10% of the small businesses could be described as having a ‘multimedia’ style home page. The 90% used this page as an ‘about us’ or a place to list their services. This was very different to the big brands who focused instead on telling stories.

The following demonstrates the way the homepages of some websites in our two groups compare:





blog page is dead

Chubb -

  • Policy report
  • Magazine
  • Duty of care report
  • It does not have a separate blog

blog page is dead

Idea Couture -

  • Links to thought leadership articles
  • Links to the company’s magazine
  • Links to the CEO's blog
  • Separate blogs accessed via the home page

blog page is dead

Generali -

  • Articles on the company and thought leadership
  • Latest company financial data
  • Latest research findings
  • Instagram links
  • News
  • Has no separate blog




blog page is dead


  • Homepage has a distinct ‘About us’ summary
  • Lots of information about specific services
  • Has a separate blog

blog page is dead

Verifile -

  • A summary of the firm’s services
  • Links to register for more information
  • Includes a separate news/blog page

blog page is dead

TMB Events -

  • A paragraph of ‘about us’ messaging
  • A separate news and updates blog


Clearly, this random selection of companies are hardly comparable in terms of what they do. However, just focusing on how content is presented on the home page, we notice a stark difference. Big firms are undeniably phasing out the traditional blog sub-page from their websites and instead are opting for a homepage which feels more like the front page of a multimedia news website. A single page of more versatile, curated content.

If we take a couple more examples of major ‘thought leaders’ here and compare their homepages to those of leading media organisations, the direction is even clearer:





blog page is dead

Ipos MORI -

They go for Images accompanying various articles with ‘read more’ links.

blog page is dead

Microsoft - is an image heavy website with various headlines attached to articles in a grid.

blog page is dead

Hitachi  - 

Again a very image heavy homepage, boxes on a grid with links to news stories.

blog page is dead

McKinsey -

Greater use of whitespace, use of listed news, as well as large images accompanying news.




blog page is dead

The Guardian -

The Guardian goes for a grid style layout, images accompanying read-more links.

blog page is dead

The BBC -

The BBC use varied shape lead images based on a grid, with headlines.

blog page is dead

The Independent  -

Image and video-heavy, uses different sized boxes on a grid.

blog page is dead


Lists of news story links, plus varied size boxes, heavy use of images with links to news on a grid.




What is striking in this comparison is how similar the homepages of the large firms are to those of major media organisations. Not only do they use their homepage as a constantly updated content feed, they also lay out their content in a very similar manner, using grids with lots of images of varying sizes.

What can you take away from this brief comparison?

The immediate conclusion to draw from this comparison is that, for large companies at least, the notion of using the website homepage as a kind of ‘about us’ with a list of services is dead (along with the blog page). Very few produce blogs (and other content) in the way smaller companies continue to do so. While they still write blog posts, eBooks, reports and other typical marketing content, large firms are not hiding this content away somewhere in the navigation menu. Instead, we see these companies using their homepage as a content hub, where a lot interesting and relevant material is placed front and centre.

So how can you use these findings to improve your content strategy and engage visitors more effectively?

For smaller firms who see content marketing as a key part of their strategy, there are some important lessons to learn from the research

  1. Don’t hide great content. Blogs should not be placed somewhere in the back end of your website, only accessible via the navigation bar or a link on your homepage. Instead, every new piece of content you upload should be made clearly visible and accessible on your home page.
  2. As with blogs, the same point goes for any other content you produce. Place all your latest research findings, your new eBooks and whitepapers right at the front of your website.
  3. Avoid the temptation to use your homepage as an ‘about us’. One big lesson we can learn from reviewing these major companies is that they show rather than tell. By producing great content, the likes of McKinsey show right away that they are thought leaders and experts in their field—they don’t have to define that up front with a bland statement or a description of their products.
  4. Rejig your design. Of course, the goal isn’t to wantonly copy industry leaders, but there’s undeniably a lot of value in imitating what works. At present, it seems the trend is for varied size boxes on a grid, with video, news stories and integrated newsfeeds all built in neatly together. Take inspiration from both industry leaders and media organisations.

A new vision for the blog

While we've only shared a small sample size, our research does strongly support the notion that the blog—at least in its traditional form, tucked away somewhere in your website’s navigation—is dead. Industry leaders are irrefutably moving away from the traditional approach of presenting their content. No longer do they have separate web pages for videos, downloadable resources or blogs. Rather, they are now using their homepages as a kind of central, media-style hub for all their different kinds of content, regardless of format.

This makes sense in many ways. For visitors, it shows them who you are, rather than tells them. Visitors can more easily get a taste of what you do, and browse in a way that they are now used to thanks to the format popularised by major news websites. Finally, killing off the blog and integrating your content into your company website’s homepage simply looks more professional and modern.

[mks_pullquote align="centre" width="800px" size="24" bg_color="rgba(96, 188, 226, 0.53)" txt_color="#ffffff"]"As we move into 2017, we believe the blog page is dead. So go ahead, kill yours today."[/mks_pullquote]

At Fifty Five and Five, we practice what we preach. Our research strongly suggests that in 2017, firms of any size should be reappraising how they present their content on their websites. We believe that bringing all your content right to the front and centre, in a similar way to media organisations, will increasingly become the preferred way of businesses to present themselves, and is already the preferred way for visitors to investigate companies they’re interested in. And this is why we are launching our new multimedia style website, killing off our separate blog and content pages, and bringing all that information direct to you, the reader, where you want it.

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