Company blogs are like online megaphones.
Over time, they can transmit information that (1) gets your company noticed (2) converts readers into brand adherents and (3) transforms brand adherents into clients.
One of my earlier posts offers simple techniques to help make blog articles more attractive to roaming reader eyeballs.
Now I want to talk about thinking and writing strategies that will help your posts stand out in the media oversaturated environment of the Internet.
Tip #1: Focus on creating connections
Think of your company blog as a bridge between potential clients and your company/brand.
This makes you a guide who will lead them across that bridge your solution happy place. To do that, you always need to bear in mind that the members of your audience of flesh-and-blood people with problems that cause flesh-and-blood pain.
Tell relatable stories about your product or service. Offer persuasive arguments why readers should come along for the ride and how they’ll benefit from your solutions.
But don’t see yourself as just a content provider. Fall into that mindset and you’ll create perfunctory posts your readers will ignore. Or —if they bother to read any part of what you’ve written — that they’ll forget as soon as they hit the next website.
Tip #2: Look for the purple cow angle
In his bestselling book, Purple Cow (2003), entrepreneurial guru Seth Godin reminds readers of marketing Ps that include: product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity, packaging, pass-along and permission.
Then he adds one more: purple cow.
The essence of a purple cow is that it must be something “remarkable” (2).
“[And] something remarkable,” he goes on to say,” is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.” (3)
What Godin implies about the need to “think different” is easily applicable to your blog posts. It’s also how you can escape the catching the last train to dullsville in your writing.
Maybe you’ll decide to tell a story so unusual or outrageous people will want to read your post just to see how you connect the dots. Or maybe you’ll decide to show them a new — and useful — way of looking at their problem(s).
Aware that his audience would be entrepreneurs seeking insight into twenty-first century marketing, Godin turns to the purple cow, a metaphor that seems to make no sense within a business context.
But within the first two pages of his book, Godin successfully shows how it absolutely makes sense…while leaving a lasting impression on the minds of his target audience.
Tip #3: Bring on the details
The details you put into your posts need to be lively and compelling. They should also resonate with your target audience.
With this in mind, don’t just tell your audience “my product/service is great.” Actively show your audience that what you sell is the best.
Say you own bakery that specializes in pastries.
If you talk about your gourmet green apple tarts, tell your readers about the how the smell is to die for. And that the melt-in-your mouth butter crust and fruity filling are so explosively rich, it’s scandalous.
In other words: appeal to their senses.
It’s the details that will do your selling. They are the secret ingredients that induce the emotional states that make readers more receptive to your product or service.
So: make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them crave your words like they would a gourmet fruit tart.
A case study
One of my clients, a restaurant that specializes in barbecue-style meals, wanted a blog post that showcased why they were so popular.
I could have created a “brown cow” blog post that began like this:
“Billy Bob’s BBQ (not the company’s real name) is a crowd-pleasing, family-style restaurant.”
Then I could have added a few more lines that briefly demonstrate how Billy Bob’s pleases its family-loving patrons.
Instead, I used data from satisfied customers to do the talking for me:
“Billy Bob’s BBQ looks ordinary on the outside. But inside? That’s something else entirely. As José S. from Dallas said in his February 27, 2017 Yelp review, “[it’s] a great spot…for Coca-Cola nostalgia.” Debby H. from Fort Worth seconded José on March 6 with a remark (complete with pics!) about how much she just “love[d] the Coca Cola stuff” that hangs from our walls and “rustic décor.” It’s all part of the wholesome, family-friendly atmosphere that Billy Bob’s takes pride in creating for all our guests. When you walk off the street, we want you to feel like you’ve come home.”
This second example not only highlights what’s exceptional about Billy Bob’s — the purple cow angle. It also uses concrete details like:
- names (of the restaurant and actual clients)
- where client reviews appear/when they were posted
- unique interior features
- how the ambience makes visitors feel
A people-friendly focus also helps maximize interest in your blog. My case study, for example, uses reactions from real patrons to make the point that eating at Billy Bob’s is like dining in the comfort of your own home.
Can’t eat at home because you’re too busy or tired? Or are you just looking for a down-home place to chow down with the family? Billy Bob’s understands and has you covered.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to make your words come alive. BUT: you do need to pay attention to convincing readers that you (1) care about them (2) know what you’re talking about and (3) want to help.
And don’t forget that purple cow.