When launching your company, the messaging is always a central point of focus. What is the story? What value proposition does this product possess? How is this service going to make customers’ quality of life better? Then all the executives (and sometimes the entire company) work to craft a message that will answer these questions and resonate with the industry and potential buyers. This messaging gets refined more and more until it’s sharp and on point. Then this is the story that’s told time and again through myriad channels.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. This is how it works in most businesses and it’s a beneficial process for keeping your story consistent. But once you have that message, the work shouldn’t end. Your company blog is an integral piece of your marketing puzzle, and deserves some messaging love of its own.
To properly tell your business’ story, you need to be relatable in order to reach buyers. There’s hardly a better place than a company blog to do exactly this. Here are three ways to effectively communicate with your customers on your blog and tell your company story along the way.
Be a Best Friend
When prospective (or current) customers want to understand your product, they’ll look at the product FAQs. If they want to see your pricing model, they’ll check out your pricing page. But when they head to your company’s blog, it’s usually to get a feel for the type of people they’ll encounter if they work with you. Will the customer service be up to snuff? Does this brand have a sense of humor? Does anyone care about my wants and needs? Your blog is the premier place to answer all of these questions, as well as to share some of your personality.
If you’re a software company, maybe your blog is where you can let loose a little bit and be comical. If you’re a fitness business, your blog could be where you highlight seasonal physical activities your customers may enjoy. It doesn’t matter what you focus on, but the tone you use matters. Choose a voice and stick with it. That doesn’t mean your posts can’t vary—they can and should—it just means your customers will know what they’re getting when they go to their friend (you) for advice or a laugh.
A great example of a company that achieves this is the BabyCenter blog. Not only can moms stop by there for advice and parenting insight, but they can also relish in the real, raw stories from other moms like them and feel a little less alone. They’ll keep coming back for the actionable takeaways and the refreshing dose of moral support.
Create a Community
Beyond merely looking for a virtual pal and trying to understand your company culture, your blog is where customers want to find resources. Work to establish a true community here. Think of it as the neighborhood block party, where all your customers can gather to bounce ideas off of one another, ask questions, or (with any luck) tout your product or service.
A solid example of this is the community section on the BikeBandit website. The company has a blog that delivers helpful information on motorcycle riding, funny tidbits like terms that bikers use, interesting facts and pieces on the culture of all things motorcycle. It’s a one-stop shop for anything a biker (or future biker) could want to know about the company. But the community page doesn’t stop there. It also includes an area on industry news, product reviews and helpful guides.
Aim to make a community like this. Do you own a toy shop? Your community should encompass your blog, and also think broader, like including a page on DIY games for kids, national toy news and maybe even something seasonal like Santa’s Corner where you give ideas for unique holiday gifts. All of this will reinforce your company’s story while giving your customer what they’re seeking.
Offer a Listening Ear
When people engage with other human beings, they want to listen, but they also want to talk. The same applies with customers and businesses. As much as your financial clients want to soak up whatever tips you have about budgeting for the holidays, they want you to hear them out too. Make sure your blog is equipped with a space where customers can leave comments or questions. A good example of this is the Marriott blog, where posts are engaging and comments are facilitated and encouraged.
Also be sure to enable each blog post with easy sharing buttons, so customers can pass on your posts to their Twitter followers and Facebook friends. And don’t stop there; respond to what your customers say or favorite their Tweet when they applaud your latest post publicly. Being a listener will turn your blog into a safe haven for customers who want to air a grievance, pay a compliment or simply join in the fun. Opening up your blog and community for contributions from those you’re aiming to reach transforms your page from one-dimensional musings into a three-dimensional forum. People will respond more favorably to you if you listen.
While it’s important to stay true to your company’s core messages on your blog, it’s even more crucial to be deliberate in how you tell those messages. Find a voice that resonates with your buyers and shape your posts from there. Focus on being a friend to your customers and building a community they can come to for help, education or an enjoyable time. And most of all, let them respond to you. Create a two-way street and your customers will hear your company messages loud and clear.
Put these tips to work and you'll know how to convey your company story online.