Why Your Business Should Be Blogging
The following process or strategy for making the most out of written word content, like a blog, is something I’ve been thinking about-- and helping clients write for a while now. While I may be a tad biased towards consuming media by reading and listening, I feel it’s a safe bet to acknowledge that reading quick articles that appear throughout a person’s natural progression through their media feeds has many opportune windows before, during, and just after the workday.
Act Like Your Company is a Magazine
This perspective is great for breaking the ice to get over that initial slump of ”what should we even write about?. Once you widen your scope on relative subjects I’m sure it’ll become more natural to write brand-adjacent content… or my favorite idea, which is to write content around the interests of your customers/clients rather than filtering your focus only to your own industry. Of course, you’ll have to actually be knowledgeable on the subject; but even that can be compensated for if you approach the project from the right angle.
You work in a service industry, providing your skilled and trained expertise to the general public. Write articles about how to service, maintain, or troubleshoot common issues so readers gain some knowledge and don’t have to call you up for an issue if it can be easily fixed.
You find that a majority of your customers fit into specific demographics that have a universal common denominator… let’s say you fun a food stand that’s very close to the local bike path. Start publishing written pieces about bikes, roller skates, running, skateboards, and all of the accessories and techniques that relate to it.
As an owner/operator you take a tremendous pride in looking after your employees, and the community you have a presence in. As issues, events, and concerns with daily life progress through the grapevine, take a personal approach and have content written that describes your point of view.
This idea can be expanded to focus on anything you’re passionate about. Maybe before you hit your career stride as a business owner you used to spend weeks out of the year following Phish on tour. A band with a multi-generational following, by publishing content that has you reminisce about that time in your life you’ll draw in empathy and emotional engagement from readers that have similar experiences-- and it also humanizes you as the face of your brand.
A simple analog to this would be the quintessential real estate agent that is always out on the town networking and speaking with the public, local shop owners, and the community at large. By being the mascot of their town, it supercharges their word-of-mouth power when someone asks for a recommendation when it’s time to buy or sell property.
While delivering written articles directly to someone's feed on a browser or mobile app can scale way better than shaking the hands of whomever you’re likely to meet daily, you still need the content (creative) to mesh well with the reader… meaning you need to get it in front of the people who are most likely to care.
Natively posting your written piece on each of the apps, sites, and your own blog is great… but for your efforts to be the most effective, you should also promote them with paid targeted advertisements. Each platform has its own method of doing this, and targeting your audience with filters like age, location, occupation, interests, etc.
Be as specific and narrow as possible with your targeting. The goal isn’t to get as much potential reach possible, but rather to make sure each one of those interactions, clicks, and reads is by a person that can get value, knowledge, or entertainment out of the post.
Humans Have Opinions.
Only ice cream should be vanilla. But even then, the coolest creameries have tons of flavor choices that are so bizarre and eclectic you’d think only a handful of people would order them-- but those people that do love those flavors end up fanatical about their new favorite ice cream shop.
The point is that in general, people like dealing with organizations that think the way they do. And we are all primed to understand human interaction. So, by being human as a company, and publishing content that speaks to real people with real opinions, you’ll go a long way in establishing brand loyalty. The beauty of targeted placement when promoting your publications is that you can guide your distribution so only the eyes of those each piece is written for are the ones seeing it.
This doesn’t mean you can be unethical. That bit about people liking the brands that hold similar ideals is something that works from the top down. Don’t lie or pander to specific demographics with your promoted publications just because you think you’ll resonate. Sooner or later once those readers start developing an interest in your brand they’ll see more and more of what you publish… and if you really aren’t aligned with how they feel, you’ll lose that connection.
Your content has to be honest, legitimate, and entertaining as well. If your creative sucks, and is bland or uninteresting… no amount of paid advertisement is going to help you out. That means the source material needs to come from the heart. So write it yourself, or hire a content writer, but always deliver your truth.