This is the third in our series of – hopefully! – inspiring posts to feed you new ideas that will keep your blogs fresh, compelling and appealing (feel free to take a look back at the first and second posts too.)
And although much of the blog wisdom you’ll ever read talks about the importance of writing material that is useful, helpful and informative (all very important), there’s still room here and there for something that blows your own trumpet!
Don’t think of this (or indeed write it) as advertising copy. Instead, approach it as the ‘proof in the pudding’ – incontrovertible evidence of your business’s uniqueness, achievements and performance.
Here are a few pointers that might help.
Blog about what’s different – and better!
In essence, this is about writing a omparison post, although rather than simply comparing your product or service directly with a competitor’s, you should focus on some particular feature or benefit that your offering delivers but your competitors can’t match.
So, for example, if you sell home accessories and one of your lines is beeswax candles, create a post around why you sell a product that is so much better than the paraffin alternative your competitors sell (just look at the eloquent thumbs-up / thumbs-down format these guys have used).
See too how this wholefoods organisation credibly champions rye over wheat by citing evidence from learned journals.
If you’re selling services rather than product, focus on the particulars of how do you do things differently from your competitors (remember, this is about evidence, not empty claims).
For inspiration, check out the Why do our clients love us? section on our own website – every point is one that trounces our typical competitors, and the ensemble could easily be converted into a blog post. Why not try doing something similar!
Tell the world how well you’re doing
A company update post can deliver a ‘triple whammy’, enabling you to ‘break’ stories that you want your competitors to see sooner rather than later, impart information that is of genuine interest to your audience (including investors), and stick a few feathers in your cap!
New employee hires, partnerships and strategic alliances, acquisitions and major contracts are all good traditional material for these kinds of posts, but if you’re a smaller business it’s unlikely you’ll be reporting many of these, so you’ll have to think outside the box a little.
How many users has your product or service now got, for instance? How has that grown? What about your website traffic, is that on the up?
Can you point to any impressive financials (regulations and confidentiality permitting)? Has your business or anyone in it won any awards, or been accepted into any industry institutions?
By breaking these up into mini-bulletins within one post, using subheads, you can easily communicate everything positive that’s worth an update – as this now famous post from Buffer shows.
On the other hand, if you want to see an example of how not to do it, take a look at this block of dense, rambling prose from Tesla… Yep, sometimes the big guys get it badly wrong!
Do product porn
Yes, it’s a horrible term, but it captures the reality well enough: if your products or services already have an established ‘fan base’ (either existing users or individuals who subscribe to your marketing channels) then reporting the latest improvements to features and functions will arouse – ahem – their interest.
Images and videos, embedded in your blog text, work extremely well for this, of course (if you need guidance on how best to do this, this Google search brings up some good articles).
Alternatively, you could do the whole thing as a vlog, as long as you have a voice, or subtitles, or both, to articulate the benefits that the feature improvements deliver. Many of those watching will be prospects rather than converts, and need to be convinced rather than simply gratified!
Product tips and tricks also sit naturally in this kind of environment, too, and help fuel interest in it.
Showcase and present
Nothing inspires confidence in a brand more than evidence of a project well managed, punctually delivered, and profitably completed.
A showcase blog enables you to outline a specific project you or your organisation is working on currently or has delivered, as long as it has two basic ingredients: showing the process and sharing the results.
This is where you can potentially make use of a neat shortcut. Your colleagues will certainly have a wealth of presentations (PowerPoint or the like) that were used both internally and externally to accompany the different stages of the project (including the process and results elements we mention above).
Edit the best parts of each presentation together to make a summary presentation of not more than ten slides, sanitise to remove any confidential or personally identifiable information (think GDPR!), and post as a blog.
What comes next in this series?
Next time, we’ll be looking at how the controlled application of controversy can give a blog some teeth – useful when you want to ratchet up the debate around a topic for your own purposes, but without biting the hand that feeds you!