This is one of the most difficult things for business owners when it comes to blogging.
Definitely not all, but a good number of business owners want to publish posts that discuss their product or service.
I totally get the temptation. You’ll also see it on social media.
A business will write a very nice post going into detail about their product and it will sound wonderful. The problem is that people aren’t interested. At least not when they’re in the mood to read blog posts or social media posts.
The reality is that people are only in a buying mode about 3% of the time. The rest of the time they’re looking for entertainment or education information. When they search on Google they’re looking for entertainment or education. When they’re on social media it’s the same thing.
Think of a blog like television. Or radio. If you turn on a station you’ll typically get about ~90% educational or entertaining content. The rest is selling. But for some reason with blogging, many businesses go with about 100% selling.
Nobody would pay attention to a television or radio station that was 100% ads. And that’s why nobody reads most business blogs.
The Attorney With A Golf Blog
I wish I could remember the exact name of the attorney, but several years ago there was an attorney with a great reputation in the online world. He wanted to get more attention for his service and he wanted to do it with a blog.
So he did some research on his current and past clients. He looked for common threads and one thing he found was that a high percentage of his clients were golfers.
So he did something very unique…he started a blog that was 100% about golf. Right on the same website that he used for his legal services. He would provide his own golfing stories. He would review courses that he had played. He would interview golf pros and have them share tips. All kinds of things.
Golfers would search for golf-related entertainment and educational content and find his blog. They would love it. The profile of the attorney rose and rose and his brand reputation grew resulting in more business.
The Will It Blend Series
Around the same time as that golf blog there was a very popular video series called Will It Blend on YouTube. The Blendtec company wanted to find a way to raise awareness so they decided to put all kinds of things in their blender and post the videos on YouTube.
Entertaining and also a little educational.
This was actually a little risky because it’s close to selling, but instead of having someone up there talking about motors and power and all the boring stuff, they just had the host put iPhones and remote controls and all kinds of stuff in the blender.
Most companies would have created the infomercial-type of content talking about the blender. That would have missed out on the entertainment aspect that Blendtec focused on.
The Future Of Branded Content
The podcasting world was buzzing when the first season of Serial came out. The podcast was very good and kind of a throwback to old radio serials. Millions tuned in and every week they would hear that the podcast was sponsored by Squarespace.
This is the future of content. Squarespace understood that the attention was going to be on the Serial podcast. But instead of forcing tons of ads and discussion about their product, they just paid for the sponsorship and let the content be entertaining.
But you can bet that many people started searching for Squarespace during that time.
And that’s how it works. Brands with products and services need the attention of people. But in order to do that they need to create or sponsor educational and/or entertaining content.
A business blog should be the television show, not the ads. The attorney that created a golfing blog got it. Squarespace got it. They didn’t create a podcast that talked about their software. They sponsored a podcast that had nothing to do with websites.
Do some digging to figure out what content your customers are interested in and create that content. With a blog. With a podcast or with a video series. Educate and entertain them. You’ll reach many more people and as a result your brand reputation will grow and your sales will increase.