What are some tips for creating really interesting company blogs even in my dry, boring old industry?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.
Even in a “dry, boring old industry,” your blog readers will be fascinated to see the hidden, behind-the-scenes vantage point of the company. Incorporate photos or video to enhance plain text blog posts, and use a variety of writers to bring in diverse perspectives from the team. And of course, post regularly to keep your audience engaged.
Using pop culture references can be a great refresher. For example, my company blog focuses on the subject of presentation and video. When Coachella featured a Tupac hologram earlier this year, the web went abuzz with questions asking if this was a new feature of presentations. Of course, we jumped on the discussion, explained some costs, and our opinions on the matter.
We liven up our blog by periodically creating a video-based post. Just use the webcam on your computer to speak openly about a specific subject that’s relevant to your audience. Our readers feel more connected to us when we create video posts, and the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.
4. Stock Up on Case Studies
I learned the importance of stories through the book, Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath. Even when a topic is boring, people love to hear about the emotional struggles that people faced when implementing something new. For example, if you are in the concrete industry, talk about the joy your customer had when they got their driveway paved. Think about both the product and the people behind it.
5. Showcase Your Clients
Interview your best clients for their stories about how your company gave them value, and inject some personality into the blog. Ask these clients to explain how their perception changed from boring and stuffy after working together. Even if the process is boring, get them excited about the results and share those with perspective clients on the blog.
6. Become the Industry Expert
My target market for RewardMe was restaurant and franchise owners. We were in a dry and boring industry — the customer loyalty space. Instead of exclusively blogging about customer loyalty, I decided to become an expert in local marketing. We wrote about local social marketing, restaurant hardware, and customer loyalty. We were so good that we now rank very high on search engines.
7. Shake Up Your Industry!
If you think your industry is dry and boring, you need to shake things up by coming up with ways to make it worth paying attention to. Why does it matter to you? Get personal, share success stories of people in your industry or your clients, and don’t be afraid to turn what you’re “supposed” to sound like upside down.
8. Create Internal Excitement
Get employees to blog about something that excites them. We created the “Prolific Innovation Fund” which allows everyone to purchase a mobile accessory and write a review on it. It is creating team excitement, innovation and a lot of great relevant content for our company blog.
No matter what your company does, there’s information, inspiration, and/or entertainment customers are looking for in the space. Provide something consistently valuable — and something people passionate about this space couldn’t get elsewhere — and you’ll engage your current users while finding new ones.
For the average American, the crowdfunding industry and the JOBS Act may seem like an alien concepts filled with complicated, dry details. We’re currently working on an infographic to feature on our blog that will detail the impact of the JOBS Act and the widespread change the implementation of the act will bring. The visual representation of the change makes it approachable and engaging.
Tie your business into the hottest trends. For example, anyone in any industry can blog about, ‘What Fall TV Previews Teach Us About [your industry]‘ since you can take elements of fall TV previews — promotion strategy, engagement, specific show themes — and spin it for your own business. It’s all relative!
12. Make Others Better
A counter-intuitive approach is to invite the other “dry, boring” players to participate in your fun. Get them excited at what you’re doing in the industry, and encourage them to participate in your blog. Feature your competitors! Be the source. Great players make the players around them better. (At my first company, I had the job of blogging in the vending machine industry. Yes, it can be done.)