What Do Coke, Pepsi, Pampers, Dominos, Google and Facebook Have in Common?


This article was originally published in HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog

Are audiences more interested in understanding what the big brands are doing? Do we look up to Coke and Pepsi and other great brands for inspiration?

At HubSpot, we love to measure everything, and recently we completed a short study on how the use of brand name (including CokePepsiDominosGooglePampers,Facebook,etc.) in article titles had an impact on blog article performance.

The results were astounding.  Out of the approximately 100 articles published over a period of 50 days, just over 20% of them had major brand names in the title.

As you can see in the graph below, the articles that had a major brand name in the title generated 60% more page views on average than articles without them.

describe the image

Also, we published 6 articles with Google in the title, and on average they performed 50% better than articles without brand names in their titles.

Surprisingly, while the use of brand names appeared to have an impact on page views and readership, it had little or no impact on comments (or conversation) and what appears to be a negative impact on inbound links.  The brand name articles got 3 fewer inbound links on average than their counterparts.

blog article performance links comments

If you’re wondering why we used such a short time frame for the study, it’s because blog articles are like annuities. Over longer periods of time, articles continue to amass more and more page views, which would skew the study.  The top-performing articles in all groups were spread pretty evenly across the time frame used for the study!

Thoughts,  Observations and Takeaways

  • Timing Your Article Publication is Key — There was definitely a “news” factor to articles with brand names in their titles, and the timeliness of the publication coincided with the conversation about the brand on the Internet and in media.  (e.g. theDominos and Pepsi articles).
  • Visible Brands Serve as Case Studies — People and marketers in general love hearing what major brands are doing and how they are conducting their business.  A lot of companies like to emulate and learn from big brands.
  • Familiarity Has an Impact on Viral Effect — People become bigger “sneezers” (perSeth Godin’s idea virus) when it comes to bigger brands because they are more familiar with them and their products.

Have you noticed any interesting trends in how your blog articles perform?  Please share your thoughts in the comments by clicking here.

Photo credit: Nikita Kashner

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