How three companies are controlling their narratives through bloggingJanuary 26, 2011
“Your blog posts are lifeless and dull, and add nothing to the industry dialogue. You are relying on lazy writing that uses vague generalities instead of facts. You take no stand. Deliver no new information. You fail to frame the topic in a way that engages me as a reader. If that’s what you want to publish, I can’t help you. But if you’re serious about engaging new audiences online, and want to learn how, then we’d be delighted to help.”
That’s what I told a prospective client last week. It rocked the CMO back on his heels. He believed in his online content, and needed education on what makes it compelling. I put it to him this way.
First, would you ever see an article like yours — one with tired information and hollow conclusions — ever appear in a respected publication? Then why would you think it would be appropriate for your own?
And second, would any editor who follows your industry ever pay a freelance writer for the content of that post? Then you know it’s not worthwhile.
I continually work with clients to improve their online content in order to break through the clutter and attract new audiences. Some actually listen! 🙂 Here are three of our of clients’ blogs I am particularly proud of, and why they work so well.
The Seamless Workforce. The Seamless Workforce has been a constant collaborative process between Gregory FCA and Yoh, the talent solutions arm of Day & Zimmermann. I like it because it’s loaded with employment and workplace statistics, and plays to big, broad themes.
This month, for instance, The Seamless Workforce looked at the impact the iPhone, iPad, and other consumer technologies are having on corporations, and the grim job market for new college grads.
The posts are short and punchy, loaded with facts and how-tos for employers and employees alike. Joel Capperella at Yoh is the driving force behind the publication, and it does well to weave a host of Yoh subject-matter experts throughout it to keep the voice fresh and interesting.
Alpha Software. Sure, it’s a geeky, insider thing. But notice the blog’s chatty, ingratiating tone. It pulls in hard-core software developers with a blend of practical posts for improving their use of Alpha Software’s technology, along with articles featuring the very human side of the company.
Richard Rabins, an effervescent South African and owner of the firm, blogs about everything from his love of cricket to a developer’s vanity license plate, which reads “I love Alpha5.”
The blog is counter-programming to the company’s biggest rival, Microsoft, and its evil empire persona. Alpha Software comes off as real people interested mainly in their customers’ success.
And the company’s blogging success can be documented. Google Alpha’s main search term, “Codeless Ajax,” and the company dominates the first page of results due to the amount of press coverage and optimized content it generates (with help from us here at Gregory FCA).
On her blog, Peggy injects her sunny, maternal personality into topics that range from finding the perfect dumpling in China to expert travel advice pulled from her years of globetrotting experience.
Her blog is also a great sales tool. It unabashedly promotes Friendly Planet Travel’s tours and deals her readers want to know about. And her weekly cartoons are the stuff of viral genius.
The blog itself is always a work in progress, and continues to evolve (as every blog should). It has succeeded in building personality around the Friendly Planet Travel brand, and puts a personal touch on perhaps the most human of all products: visiting exotic places around the world to gain a broader understanding of the people who populate our Friendly Planet.
How about your company? Has it defined and continually refined its online persona? Perhaps these three examples can help you understand a little better how companies, large and small, are telling their stories and controlling their narratives in the new digital era of communications.