At GBW, we obviously believe in the power of online content. Our world is all about blog posts, but blog posts are only part of the online content world.
There is much more and one of the big areas has been visual content. People have been uploading all kinds of visual content to the web the last few years.
Instagram is on fire with unique photos that people share all the time with friends, family and complete strangers. The same is true with video also on Instagram and other services like Vine. And you have always been able to share visual content on the most popular network, Facebook.
Companies are looking to figure out how to become part of all that visual content activity. It’s difficult for companies to create tons of content. That’s why GBW is around to help with blog posts. And it’s why companies like Chute are around to help with visual content.
Chute actually helps brands interact with the user-generated content on the visual web. They help brands use photos, videos and more that fans of those brands are using. There is more detail and it’s worth looking into what Chute is doing, but for now I’m going to focus on their blogging strategy.
Just about any company can benefit from a blog, but Chute seems to be in a good situation. Many business owners, directors and managers read blogs looking for tips on how to reach more potential customers. So Chute has the right idea with their blog.
Here are some of my thoughts.
1. Recapping Events And Commenting On Trends
One type of post that always seems to do well for businesses is to comment on industry trends. A great way to do that is to blog about the trends experts discuss at industry events.
Not all of your followers are able to attend every industry event. Maybe you’re able to attend a few. Help out your potential clients by sharing the insight from the event.
Then take it a step further by sharing your perspective on the trends. You work in the industry every day. You’re an insider. You have valuable insight that your clients can use to make decisions.
Chute does this well. Here is a post as an example.
2. Examples In Posts
Using examples in blog posts is a great strategy for a few reasons.
Here is just one example of how Chute uses examples. There are many more great examples on their blog as well.
A few things I like about this post:
First, they link to all the brand’s mentioned items. For REI, they link to the Instagram and YouTube. They link to other profiles for the other brands mentioned. They could probably link to the company websites, but that’s a nitpick.
Second, they include the images and examples from those profiles. This adds a great visual aspect to the post. That’s not surprising since Chute is the expert on visual content.
Third, the variety of different content is great. Everything is embedded from tweets to Instagram, video and more. It’s great.
When you talk about other brands you’re doing two main things:
First, you’re giving proof to your readers. You’re telling them something, but then you’re backing it up with examples. That’s valuable to the reader. They can take action on that.
Second, you’re giving a little compliment to the brands and people you use as examples. That can make them want to share the post. And if you pick your examples correctly they’ll share your target client and when they share your post they’ll be sharing it your potential clients.
3. Awkward Family Reunions And Turkeys
I love reading some personality in corporate blog posts. The way this post begins is great. The information is valuable, but throughout the post you get a feeling for who the author is and as a result, who the company is.
If companies are doing things right they’re focusing on the personality of the people they hire. Those personalities ultimately make up what the brand becomes.
You always kind of look to hire people that share the same values as you. It’s not perfect, but that’s hopefully how it works out and each person on your team helps to build the perception of your brand.
And it’s good to let everyone be themselves and share their personality because that’s attractive to potential clients. People will read posts like this one and they’ll want to be part of it. They’ll feel like they know the brand. They’ll be comfortable hiring the brand.
4. Blog Calls-To-Action
I wanted to mention blog calls-to-action. There are three things Chute does really well on their blog.
First, the blog shares the same top navigation as the rest of the site. I always think this is a good idea. Top navigations really aren’t intrusive on the blog experience, but they’re there when people are curious to find more information.
Second, Chute has strategically placed their email newsletter signups throughout their blog. There is a signup in the sidebar and also throughout the archive pages between posts. The email signup is one of the best calls-to-action you can have on a blog. Readers are often visiting your site for the first time. They may not be ready to read about your company, but they are usually ready to see more content in the future.
Also on the archive page are calls to action for Chute case studies. I think this is a really good way to capture attention. It drives a reader a little deep into the sales funnel, but I thought the call was appropriate and intriguing.
Other types of actions a reader can take on a blog include leaving a comment, reading more articles and a few other things. Chute has both of those all with the right amount of prominence. I think a reader would get what they want from the post and have a good idea of what to do next.
5. Action Steps
Something we see doing well with blog posts is action steps. This post has the right idea. It’s something the target reader can find an instantly take action on.
This works especially well in the B2B world where owners and managers are always looking for action steps. They might see something on a trend or study, but then they’re looking for what they should do with that information.
The more specific you can be with the post the better. Let’s say your post is about mobile websites. You share a study with stats on smartphone use. Then you give exact steps the reader can take to make their websites responsive or smartphone-friendly.
There is not much to dislike about the Chute Blog. They’re doing all kinds of great things. Normally I’ll add in a couple things I would suggest the blog could do to go above and beyond, but all the things I would have for Chute would be little nitpicks so I’m going to skip that part for today’s analysis. It’s a great example of how well a company blog can work to attract new clients.