These days it seems as if every corporation has tried its hand at blogging. The more corporate blogs that exist in the blogosphere, the more difficult it becomes to gain blog subscribers by creating one that’s truly unique. To ensure your corporate blog stands out from the crowd, follow these 5 tips:
1. Talk about something other than yourself. Too many corporate marketers make the mistake of creating blogs as purely another mechanism to talk about their products and services. While increased sales and improved brand visibility may be two fundamental goals of a corporate blog, there are more effective ways for achieving those goals that just pushing product.
The most successful corporate blogs leverage product and service information with relevant industry news, human interest pieces, case studies and other useful information. That balance is what keeps readers coming back time and again.
PC manufacturer Lenovo successfully mixes product information with posts about business, design and technology on its 8 different corporate blogs. For example, its .Roaring Mouse blog, a resource for small businesses, offers insight on topics such as the use of social media in small business, outsourcing tips and small business statistics. The .Roaring Mouse blog puts itself in readers’ shoes to provide the most useful, relevant and timely information—whether or not that involves Lenovo-specific product information.
2. Keep your blog focused. Whatever message you chose to deliver, stick with it. Unfortunately, some corporate blogs lack a clear message and include posts on topics all across the board. Because goals were never defined, these blogs have a difficult time gaining readership.
Blogs gain strong, consistent followings by giving readers the information they want and expect to find. A reader might visit a shoe retailer’s blog expecting to find information on the latest shoes styles and celebrity fashion news. If the readers have to sift through information on travel, home décor, and health & fitness in order to find what they’re looking for, they may not return.
For example, the GM FastLane Blog successfully sticks to its unique niche. The blog’s goal is clear: to provide readers with information needed to purchase and maintain their vehicles. The blog achieves its goal by posting company news and announcements, along with important current issues such as concept cars, alternative energy, climate change and fuel efficiency.
3. Give your blog a distinct personality. Whether you choose to feature just one blogger or multiple bloggers, let the blogger’s voice come through in the posts. Without a distinct personality, your blog will be just like every other faceless corporate blog.
Let your readers see behind the corporate and marketing jargon, and instead discover the real people behind your organization.
Look to Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ BTW blog as an example. From the tagline “Our People and Perspectives” to the author bio page and use of blogger photos, the JNJ BTW blog humanizes the corporate brand for customers. Individual authors write about the topics that best suit their expertise and interest, letting their own voice come through.
4. Have some fun. Another effective method for letting a corporate blog stand out from the rest is to infuse some humor and excitement. Granted, this technique may not be appropriate for all corporate brands. But if you’re able to, consider creating a blog that can be light-hearted, relaxed and at-times funny. It’s just another way to humanize and personalize the brand for customers.
The Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog is a prime example. Southwest employees blog about their company and the airline industry in general, but do so in a casual, humorous way. The blog also includes fun, behind-the-scenes videos, produced by the employees themselves. Its latest poll asks readers to guess the Halloween costume of CEO Gary Kelly. The choices? “Gary” Potter, Larry Bird, Ben Franklin, Statue of Liberty or Julia Child.
5. Provide readers with something they can’t get anywhere else. Use a corporate blog to announce company breaking news or highlight original research in order to make the blog truly unique. Assuming the information is interesting and useful, readers will keep coming back for more. The simply can’t get it anywhere else. Plus, your customers can form a close connection with your brand because they feel as if they’re gaining an inside look or exclusive information.
The Editors blog from BBC gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the daily happenings in BBC newsrooms. BBC News editors share their dilemmas and issues, as well as dissect news stories to provide readers with even more in-depth coverage.
For example, in a recent post, editor Mike Rudin candidly discusses being sent a video accusing him of “producing a ‘hit piece’ about 9/11” after filming the documentary “The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Truth Behind the Third Tower.” He explains to readers his response and thoughts about the video, as well as provides additional details about the making of the documentary.
The blogging technique seems to be working: Rudin’s post received more than 5,000 comments from readers!
How do you ensure your corporate blog stands out from the rest?