STARTUP, CONTENT MARKETING
The editor window is your mouthpiece, the blog a loudspeaker
That’s how you need to treat your company’s blog. As if it is the medium you use to interact with your audience.
Better still. Think of it as an audiobook.
Even better, think of your blog as a chapter from the next LARPing session. That’s right. I want you to make your audience (your users, your consumers) feel as if they are a part of the story you are trying to tell. That’s the only way it makes sense.
There are far too many companies out there that treat their blogs the way many treat press releases — as a means to disseminate information about their recent accomplishments. You will never find such companies putting in additional resources to their content team. Why? Because the blog doesn’t bring in results. And this, this is where the whole chicken egg situation starts.
They don’t add further resources to the blog because it doesn’t bring in value for the company, and the blog needs further resources (and/or change in mindset and strategy) for it to add value to the life of its audiences. And unless that happens, it will never be able to drive value for the business.
Try reading that fast — three times.
One less likely, but not entirely implausible, scenario is where your user is fascinated by you — as a company. He/She wants to know more about you, and the best way to do that is to give a persona to the company. Actually, instead of just going ahead with personification of your company, anthropomorphise it. You have my blessings.
Yes. I want you to treat your company as a living breathing human being. That’s why we created Ana — a face for our company. Something the audiences will be able to relate to. A simple and friendly name, a relatable and likeable character. And Ana (and I) will be talking to our consumers about everything — ranging from what we do, how we do it and why… to what challenges we face along the way, and how we overcame them. We would talk about it all the way we would in the company of friends. We want our customers to relate to us, trust us, so we need to open up to them as well.
We did not just give Ana a personality. We went as far ahead as giving Ana a face.
Look at some of the best blogs out there. Hubspot and the likes of them. Their products are defined by the blogs they maintain, and the number of leads and $$ of revenue that these blogs bring to the products they represent is simply mind-boggling. So why not learn from the best and have a blog that’s just better?
WHY WOULD YOUR CONSUMERS GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS?
Running a startup is hard. Every day, its a new challenge. Actually every day, its like going 12 rounds — before breakfast.
Today its about the product, tomorrow its the inability to find the resources the business needs, then there are the operational nightmares. Oh. And let us not forget about the perpetual dance we need to do with the VCs. Raising capital and wining and dining those VCs who are fascinated by what you do seems to be a never ending process. A process you got no time for, but need to do.
And in the middle of all that chaos — updating your company blog? Seems like a futile task, isn’t it? Why would your consumer even care about your petty problems?
You are right. They wouldn’t.
At the same time, your customers are human. And if you put a face to the company and own up to your shortcomings, they are more forgiving than you would think.
Product launch is delayed? Tough, but be honest. Most of your consumers would understand.
Saying sorry, and letting them know of the unavoidable circumstances surrounding the delay is always a better play than hiding behind the curtains.
Yeah. Consumers would understand and forgive most shortcomings. That doesn’t mean you should expect them to walk it off if you mow over their cats. Pro tip: Don’t run down their cats.
YOU THINK YOUR PRODUCT IS THE BEST OUT THERE…. SO??
Consumers don’t care about your product. They don’t care about how good or bad your tech is. The only thing they care about is themselves. As harsh as it may sound, it is true, and there is nothing wrong with that outlook. They have every right not to care for anything but themselves.
So unless you, as a company or a product, are adding value to their lives, they don’t care if you shoot rainbows out of your ass.
And this is where being a relatable persona helps again (as compared to being a wordy corporate drone). When you have established the image of being a company that communicates, shares and facilitates conversations with the consumers, your consumers would automatically come to expect empathy out of you. The chances of them turning over to you seeking help with their issue is much higher than stewing over in the anger and hate and then spewing it all over twitter and your support email/phone-line.
There may be a better product out there. There may not be one. But consumers don’t go for the best product, they go for the best service. They go with the brand they can trust. They go with the brand they know will take care of them.
Be that brand. Build that trust. Show that empathy.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT’S ALL BUSINESS
It’s as simple as that. No matter what I do, as long as I am doing it for the business, I am doing it with the best interests of the business at the absolute front and center. It just so happens that you have the opportunity to align the best interests of the business with what’s good for the consumer.
Look at it this way.
What happens when you do what’s in the best interest of the consumer
→ Your consumer starts trusting you
→ He starts valuing you when it comes to the space you are operating in
→ When he is faced with a problem, he comes to you (or the resource segment on your website/blog) looking for a solution
→ Amazing brand recall
→ He purchases your product/services
→ Remains loyal to your business because of the amazing experience he has had with you all this time (even when he was paying you $0)
→ Churn rate is low
→ The LTV keeps on going up and further up
And it all begins with a conversation!
That’s what you should ensure your blog is. Conversational.