Companies Use Blog Content Writing to Get Real

blogging

 

Just why do companies blog? Susan Gunelius, author of Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, offers a list of reasons:

  • to build brand awareness
  • to network with other businesses and experts
  • to build relationships with existing and potential customers
  • to boost sales
  • to communicate marketing messages
  • to learn more about their customers
  • to manage reputation
  • to set up expectations for the customer experience

    My favorite on the Gunelius list was this one:
    “To seem real and human in the consumer’s eye rather than as an untouchable entity”

As a blog writer and blogging consultant, I find that “getting real” through online content is the real goal – and the real challenge. I explain to business owners that putting up fresh blog posts about new products or recent accomplishments tells people that you are in the game. Blog posts help demonstrate that you care about quality in all dimensions of your business.

One interesting perspective on the work we do as professional bloggers is that we are interpreters, translating clients’ corporate message into human, people-to-people terms.  That’s the reason I prefer first and second person writing in business blog posts over third person “reporting”. I think people tend to buy when they see themselves in the picture and when can they relate emotionally to the person bringing them the message.

“Do you want a tone (for your blog) that is professional? Humorous? Journalistic? Personal diary? Choose one and then inject your own personality into that style,” Gunelius advises.

Getting down and human” in business blogs is so important that it becomes a good idea for a business owner and professional to actually write about past mistakes and struggles. And, I tell entrepreneurs, whether you propose to do the blog writing yourself or collaborate with a professional blog content writing partner, the very process of deciding what to put in the blog is one of self-discovery. In a sense, blogging is a way to “get real” with yourself!

To be sure, marketing, boosting sales, and reputation management are all worthy goals.  The over-riding goal, as Susan Gunelus so aptly puts it, is “to seem real and human in the consumer’s eye!”

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Companies Use Blog Content Writing to Get Real

blogging

 

Just why do companies blog? Susan Gunelius, author of Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, offers a list of reasons:

  • to build brand awareness
  • to network with other businesses and experts
  • to build relationships with existing and potential customers
  • to boost sales
  • to communicate marketing messages
  • to learn more about their customers
  • to manage reputation
  • to set up expectations for the customer experience

    My favorite on the Gunelius list was this one:
    “To seem real and human in the consumer’s eye rather than as an untouchable entity”

As a blog writer and blogging consultant, I find that “getting real” through online content is the real goal – and the real challenge. I explain to business owners that putting up fresh blog posts about new products or recent accomplishments tells people that you are in the game. Blog posts help demonstrate that you care about quality in all dimensions of your business.

One interesting perspective on the work we do as professional bloggers is that we are interpreters, translating clients’ corporate message into human, people-to-people terms.  That’s the reason I prefer first and second person writing in business blog posts over third person “reporting”. I think people tend to buy when they see themselves in the picture and when can they relate emotionally to the person bringing them the message.

“Do you want a tone (for your blog) that is professional? Humorous? Journalistic? Personal diary? Choose one and then inject your own personality into that style,” Gunelius advises.

Getting down and human” in business blogs is so important that it becomes a good idea for a business owner and professional to actually write about past mistakes and struggles. And, I tell entrepreneurs, whether you propose to do the blog writing yourself or collaborate with a professional blog content writing partner, the very process of deciding what to put in the blog is one of self-discovery. In a sense, blogging is a way to “get real” with yourself!

To be sure, marketing, boosting sales, and reputation management are all worthy goals.  The over-riding goal, as Susan Gunelus so aptly puts it, is “to seem real and human in the consumer’s eye!”

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Business Blogs – the Importance of Being Real – and Specific

be specific in blog posts

 

Business blog content writers today can take the title (if not the content) of a satirical play written 125 years ago, The Importance of Being Earnest, well, seriously. Sincerity in social media and self-promotion matters, as Katherine Erllikh so eloquently points out in the redbubble blog. “Optimizing things, getting followers, getting subscribers, advertising…those things are just half the puzzle,” Erlikh states. “It’s about sincerity.” You should be as real as possible, is the advice.

Jayson DeMers, writing in Forbes, agrees. “Your blog posts give you a unique opportunity to share your voice and personality, building up trust and increasing your brand’s likeability quotient.”  “As you build up authority in your niche,” DeMers adds,  “this breeds trust and familiarity, keeping you top-of-mind when your prospects are ready to buy.”

One way content writers can “get real” is to post blogs with history-of-our-company background stories.  Those personal anecdotes can have a humanizing effect, engaging readers and creating feelings of empathy and admiration for the business owners or professional practitioners who overcame adversity. As a corporate blogging trainer, I remind newbie writers that there’s no lack of information sources available to our readers. In our blogs, therefore, we need to go beyond presenting facts, statistics, features and benefits.

In addition to being real – in fact, a way to be real – is to be specific. One concern business owners and practitioners express to me is that they don’t want to come across as boastful in their blog.  At the same time, they need to convey the reasons prospects ought to choose them over their competition. This is where being specific comes in – let the facts do the boasting, I explain.

As the first of “Seven Easy Ways to Write Better Titles for Your Blog Posts”, Ali Luke of problogger.com lists “Be Specific, Not General”. While some bloggers believe vague titles intrigue readers, who will click to find out what the title means, Luke says, the truth is readers have too many calls on their time and attention – they need to know what to expect.

“Details, specifics, and granularity can take otherwise generic writing and instantly make it shine,” asserts Hurley Write, Inc.  Imprecise business messages sound like double-talk. Good writers think hard about their goals and the direction they want to give others.”

Playwright Oscar Wilde knew “the importance of being earnest”, but business blog content writers need to understand the importance of being real – and specific!

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Blogging for Business B2B or B2C – the Basics Remain the Same

Earlier this week, I discussed personal, “Can’t-Leave-the-House-Without-It” – type blog content writing, inviting readers’ personal involvement in the subject. The question is: does that very personalized type of content work as well in business-to-business marketing?

Is business-to-business marketing really different from business-to-consumer? Masterful Marketing.com’s  blogger Debra Murphy certainly thinks so, listing at least four key differences:

  • B2B has a longer sales cycle
  • B2B is multi-step selling
  • B2B depends on awareness-building educational activities
  • B2B buyers make more “rational” decisions based on business value

As more and more businesses are beginning to call on Say It For You to help them get their message out to business buyers, I don’t perceive that the differences between B2B and B2C are all that great. After all, the process involved for the provider of products and services is the same – understanding your target market, bringing readers to the website, engaging them, and converting them into buyers. The basics remain the same – building trust and offering valuable information.

If anything, the longer and multi-step sales cycle in business-to-business blogging makes the frequent posting of new and relevant content even more important to the marketing effort. Also, in the case of  business-to-business blog writing, the blog content itself needs to contain opinion and insight, not only information and products. Our readers need even more from business blogs than competitive pricing and expertise, I’m convinced. In addition to valuable subject matter, but we must offer guidance in processing that material.

That People Magazine personal interview format could definitely be adapted for B2B online marketing, inviting readers to “complete the sentences”, recalling their own business’ experiences and their own needs.

What is it that your company should “not leave the office/plant/workplace without”?

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