Maintaining an active blog is an important part of running a business today; it provides an SEO advantage, offers a deeper look at your company’s commitments, and helps build an ongoing relationship between brands and their clients. Many companies, however, make an error when developing content for their sites. While there’s certainly a place for instructional posts and internal company news on your site, these types of posts – especially when they seem to outright brag about your brand – aren’t the sort of content that wins new customers.
Rather than focusing on dry, brand narratives on your blog, it’s time more companies consider the power of storytelling. Expanding the types of writing that find a home on your blog will make it more engaging and build a readership that’s ready for conversion or open to upselling.
Not sure where to start? Here are three ways to insert powerful narratives into your business’s blog:
One thing that regularly draws attention – and often praise – to business blogs is a good story about companies participating in local charity work. Whether you’ve assembled a team for a local walk-a-thon or volunteered together at the local food shelter, customers quickly develop positive feelings toward companies that contribute to good causes. Such posts often draw attention from people interested in non-profit work and volunteering who might never have encountered your brand otherwise.
Consider the work of Park West Gallery and their contribution to the Turnaround Arts program. A program that brings professional artists into underserved schools, Turnaround Arts is reaching students who otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to this type of beneficial programming. This article about students’ experiences working with painter Autumn de Forest highlights the organization’s good work while telling a touching story. The focus may not appear to be on your company in such posts, but the positive feedback you receive will tell a different tale.
Think Big Picture
No matter what your business does, you’ve probably fleshed out a vision of your audience that includes more than just name, industry and purchasing industry. The people you sell to have values and interests; and those have, in some way, played a role in how they came to engage with your company. Your blog is a great way to draw those connections more clearly and attract customers with similar traits.
Stonyfield Farm has done this effectively by approaching their blog from a lifestyle perspective. In their case, a commitment to selling organic food translates to content about raising healthy families, and your brand can do the same thing. Do you sell corporate scheduling software? Blogging about work-life balance or writing an engaging retrospective on planners and calendars may seem a little off-topic at first, but you’d be surprised at how these subtle connections draw an audience.
Sometimes, when trying to come up with new content for your business blog seems difficult, the best solution is to let someone else give it a try. One way to do this, without giving up too much control to a guest blogger or other outsider, is to interview someone in a related field, in your office, or who uses your products. Prepare some questions and let that individual spin the story. It provides good variety and takes some of the pressure off you as the content producer. When you interview an outsider, you also improve the odds that new readers will come to your site.
Even though your company’s blog is a professional space, it’s worth remembering that blogs have always been an informal venue. Keep the tone light and engaging and keep the stories short – there is no reason to write a novel about what’s new at your company.