Sep 24, 2012

A Blog About Blogging: Your Next Great PR Tool

Blogging. It’s become quite the fad recently. Everyone from do-it-yourselfers redecorating their homes to new moms to top, Fortune 500 CEOs are buying into blogging these days. And as a brand, you should be, too.

Developing a brand blog can be a great tool for not only search engine optimization, but for public relations as well. How so?

A brand or corporate blog can become the voice of your brand. Uninhibited by character limits (like most social media sites are), blogs can help your company or brand boost its perception in its competitive space by positioning it as a subject matter expert, an advocate of its consumer, or, frankly, just a cool company to identify with. And when you couple your brand blog and the power of social media, your regular, engaging blog can become another key piece of your overall digital marketing and public relations strategy.

Here are some tips we have to make your brand blog break through the clutter, and talk to your customer base like never before:

Realize your blog is not a place for a hard sales pitch. You want your blog to be the voice of your brand to your customer; something the can relate to, be interested in, or feel compelled to share. A blog that is always trying to hard sell will go no where. Fast. So avoid topics like promotion posts, new product launches, or sales. Leave those for your traditional advertising spend or press releases. Instead, opt for blog entries that will give you brand life. A great example of this is Coca-Cola’s Conversations blogs. Conversations feature it all, video, photos, and, best of all, great writing and content. And while their blog isn’t a hard sell, I have a hard time not loving the brand more when I read it.

Best of all, right on the blog homepage, they share their goal for the blog: The blog only works if there is a two-way dialogue. We look forward to chatting with you!

Nailed it.

Find your voice. Informative yet casual? Humorous and light-hearted? What will your blog voice be? Make sure that how you are talking to your audience relates, somehow, to how you want your overall brand perceived in the public. Finding your voice and tone can be something that takes some exploration, and you may not get it on the first try. Just like with any other marketing medium, though, adjustment is key in blog writing. If something is not working or your customers aren’t responding, try another route.

If you have a brand with a very defined target consumer, say, for instance, a teen’s clothing retailer, don’t shy away from more informal or, even, jargon including “cords” in lieu of corduroys or “minis” instead of short skirts. It’s all about talking with (and sometimes like) your customer. But it is a balancing act. Make sure your target-market language doesn’t alienate the general consumer who may just happen to stumble upon your blog. (No pun intended).

Finally, think like a reporter. Be timely. Be relevant. When writing your brand blog, think, “What do my readers want to know?” And while you may not be covering high-stakes Wall Street stories, you brand’s blog is a place to talk to your audience about new topics in your industry. And being the first to talk about a new technology or trend will help position your brand as a go-to source of information for interested consumers.

Also, just because a blog is a rather casual format to talk to consumers, be sure to do your research. Honesty, clarity, and accuracy are still key, even in the blogosphere.

Brands: Don’t be intimidated by a blog. Blogging can be a great way to not only drive traffic to your site, but it can be a prime way to engage with your consumers.

So go ahead, get your keyboard ready.