Should you be blogging?
I came across an example of an excellent blog recently and wanted to share it. It also gives me the opportunity to make a few comments about why you should blog for your business – or possibly why you should not!
Blogging as outreach
It would be marvellous if our customers came knocking at our door with no apparent effort on our part. Realistically, finding new prospects usually requires a lot and you might need to experiment to see what works best. You probably have a lot of elements to your marketing strategy, such as networking, advertising, tweeting and Facebook-ing and blogging.
Among the benefits of blogging is that it is effective in reaching out to potential customers, enlivening your website and boosting your website’s rankings with search engines. It’s also a proven way of starting conversations about your products or services with an engaged audience.
Exhibit A – the blog
Today, I received an email from the good people at PODIO, asking me to read their latest blog. I’m interested in the platform, as I am beginning to use it to collaborate with clients and to manage some of the more complex projects I provide copy for. This is the kind of business blog I like. The product is almost immaterial as it concentrates on communication, in this case describing the experience of working at the company from the perspective of the people who work there.
It’s all about people
There’s an old adage, which I believe to be true, that people buy from people. Now, I’ve already said that the PODIO blog isn’t selling but telling. It provides an insight into the company from the viewpoint of young people who are newly engaged and perceptive. Nevertheless, by demonstrating that the company is rounded, cares about its people and their views and is willing to give them an opportunity to express themselves publicly, they suddenly become much more real.
So, this is the point where I tell you not to blog. Not that you shouldn’t have a blog, but it’s better to have an intriguing read than a turgid hard-sell. Look for ways to shine some light into the dark corners of your organisation, so that your readers will come to know and like it better. Note Jenny’s choice of language in the blog in my example, which she entitles “The Truth”. Naturally, you can exert some editorial control, but balanced against that is the freshness of style. The boldness of revealing your business through the eyes of enthusiastic employees is appealing.
If you already blog regularly for your company, experimenting with the tone can have interesting results. Perhaps a livelier voice will produce better engagement? Especially if you’re in recruiting mode and want to attract potential job applicants. Stories could also be gathered from long-serving members of staff, who can reinforce the company’s values by recalling team-building events and against-all-odds stories, as well as its history.
If the above seems altogether too terrifying, a compromise might be to allow a copywriter to interview employees and then compile a blog along the lines described above. By developing a good working relationship with a copywriter specialising in blogs, their insight into your company will pay dividends in the short and the longer term. You can rely on their expertise and editorial judgement to ensure that the tone is a great fit for your organisation and to correct any errors. I blog for various companies in Gloucestershire and further afield, so if I can help, please get in touch.
Did you like the blog in the example? Have you chosen to change the tone of your writing and what effect has it had? I’d appreciate your views, as always.