A blog is an essential component to any company’s marketing strategy. But posting daily itemizations of your corporate offerings or details from the most current reports on the “industry” and its “trends” can become awfully … corporate. The average internet user is far more interested in something fun and clever than something heavily informative and standardized.
Not only that, but potential leads want to know you, not just your product, before they make a buying decision. If they can’t get a sense of you or your company as real people, then they won’t trust you with their business.
Your blog is the perfect place to help customers learn about your company and its culture. It’s a corporate blog, but it doesn’t have to feel “corporate.” To add fun and individuality (and therefore, value) to your readers without ignoring the ultimate goal of your blog (to convert visitors to leads and customers), follow these tips for bringing out your company culture in your corporate blog.
Let Your Employees Write for the Blog
One of the easiest ways to add culture to your corporate blog is to let your employees become authors. When you vary the writers of your blog, you create a more diverse experience for the visitor, who can get a sense of the company culture from its individuals.
It doesn’t have to be a free-for-all, with Lenny from engineering posting a three-thousand-word ode to canned ham before you can stop him. Develop relevant topics for employees to write about, and they’ll add their individual style and tone to the information.
And if you have developed a strong internal brand culture, then your employees’ posts will naturally reflect the company culture you seek to encourage. They’ll promote the business in a refreshing way that readers can engage with and not feel like they’re reading a long advertisement.
Use Real Office and Employee Photos
Few blogs today can be truly successful without images. Photos, videos, gifs and even cartoons make blogs more readable and more engaging to readers. Use images of your own office and your real employees in your blog posts, not just generic stock images.
Talk about what your employees are doing, show the work they’re creating for your company. When you give individuals faces and names, it brings readers in and makes them feel like they know you and your culture. They feel connected to your brand when they can see the people who work at the company, and they’re more likely to become advocates for you.
Focus Your Imagery
Develop a standard “look” for all the imagery on your site to further hone a “personality” for your blog and show off the company’s aesthetic. One of my favorite bloggers, Nubby Twiglet, does a fantastic job at using a variety of color and composition in her imagery while keeping a clear, central aesthetic that ties in the visual look of her blog. Her website — while technically a personal blog — is one of her strongest marketing tools for her design agency.
Introduce a Recurring Column That Has Personality
A cardinal rule of blogging for business is that the blog is NOT the place to continuously plug your product. Every post shouldn’t be the same thing: “here’s a product we offer, and here is why you need it.”
Introducing a recurring blog post that focuses solely on something related to your company’s culture will force you to break the cycle and introduce fresh, engaging content that lets people get to know you and your company, not just your products.
Maybe you spotlight an employee each week and they describe their favorite office supply (obviously mine would be my pink coffee mug with a skull and crossbones on it)(yes, coffee mugs are office supplies). Or you could make short videos that showcase how your employees find inspiration in their work. Highlight some part of your company culture, whether that’s quirky desk spaces or how employees act out the company’s core values, but take a break from product- or industry-only material.
[Tweet “People like people. So show your people, and let them make connections with your readers.”]
At the end of the day, it’s crucial to balance business with personality. No one will read a blog without personality, but no one will make a purchase without knowing what the products are. The use of a corporate blog to engage visitors with interesting content can become much more powerful when you use the blog as a window into the company culture and personality of your business. People like people. So show your people, and let them make connections with your readers. The products will become part of the package, and customers will buy into both you AND your company.