As more companies and businesses enter the blogging waters, it's
becoming easier to identify the characteristics of an outstanding
company blog. Next week at the Small Business Marketing Unleashed
conference in Houston, I'll be presenting on the topic of Blogging for
. Part of my presentation will cover the elements of a great
company blog, and I thought it would be a good idea to cover those
areas here as well.
So today will be the first of a five-part series this week examining the elements of a successful company blog. Let's first look at the content.
When a business starts blogging, many aren't sure what they should be blogging about. So they begin writing about what they know best, themselves. Unfortunately, the last thing a business blog should be, is a tool to promote that business.
Instead, companies should use their blog to provide value for their readers, and to give them information that they can find use in. Note what Patagonia states is the purpose of its blog, The Cleanest Line
"The goal of The Cleanest Line is to further Patagonia's mission by
encouraging dialogue about the products we build, the sports we love
and the environmental issues we're concerned about. By talking openly
about the products we build, Patagonia users can help us achieve ever
greater standards of quality and functionality. By spreading the word
about specific environmental issues, we can increase awareness and take
action as quickly as possible. By sharing field reports, we can inspire
one another to keep experiencing the natural wonders of our precious
planet. And like any good conversation, there's always the possibility
for pranksters and poets to direct the conversation towards territories
lacking any seriousness whatsoever."
Patagonia understands how to position its blog as a place to discuss topics that are of interest to their current and potential customers. Instead of going overboard with self-promotion, they instead promote the values and ideals that are at the heart of their brand. Which is what their customers relate to.
Before you begin creating content for your blog, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Why would a person want to come to your blog? What would they be looking for? If someone arrived at your blog via a Google search, what would they be searching for?
While some promotion on your blog is fine, don't go overboard. Visitors to your blog will become readers only if you give them content that they find value in.
Tomorrow I'll look at how a great company blog sets its posting schedule.
Be sure and read each of the posts in this series:
What Makes a Great Company Blog?
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Posting Schedule
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Comments
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Sidebars
Examples of Great Company Blogs
Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.
His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.
Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.
You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.
Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.