Just as responsible attorneys deplore ambulance-chasing hacks, we here at Brandsplat get our dander up when we see the art of attracting business through blogging debased with thoughtless posts. After all, our writers take great pride in their work and enjoy partnering with our clients to establish just the right tone and content necessary to increase traffic to their stores or offices. So we occasionally get little rants emailed around the office when they stumble across something especially bad.
Here are the top three types of posts that you DON’T want to have associated with your business (and which we promise never to write for you):
1. The Not-So-Humble-Brag Blog: This post is irritating in part because it has so much promise. The business has won some kind of recognition or reached a milestone and rightly wants its customers to know. So far, so good; sharing these accomplishments can help improve a company’s image with its current and prospective customers or reinforce an already good reputation. But in this case, the writer went tone deaf and belted out an egregiously self-congratulatory blog, forgetting to thank the company’s employees as well as other stakeholders. What could have been a gracious reminder of why customers choose to do business with this company instead prompts customers to ask, “Do I want to be associated with this kind of pompous behavior?” Brandsplat tip: Spread praise evenly for best results.
2. The Close-But-No-Cigar Blog: We’ll admit to geeking out a bit when a blog comes across our laptops with a Big Idea. Maybe it’s a philosophical confrontation of the nature of a company’s business a la Jerry Maguire. Maybe it’s a connect-the-dots piece that helps us write even more meaningfully about a certain topic. These types of blogs are rare and, when well done, command attention. However, the great majority get bogged down by a lack of proper execution. Some of them start out well, but the line of reasoning isn’t clearly borne out. Others have so many grammatical errors that we can’t see the argument for the typos. And nearly all need a good editor to stand back and say, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” Even your shampoo bottle knows enough to recommend that you rinse and repeat — or in this case, wait a few hours and review your work with fresh eyes. Or, even better (and this brings us to our Brandsplat tip): Have someone else look at your blogs before you hit the big button.
3. The My-Political-Opinion-Is-Better-Than-Yours Blog: Sure, most of us know that business and politics don’t mix; you’re more likely to offend someone and lose their business than you are to impress an already-like-minded individual and gain theirs. Unfortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for the politics of business to creep into a company’s blog (say, proposed tax code changes or a news story that criticizes hiring practices in a company’s industry). That’s usually when the trouble starts. This is particularly true when the business owner is handling a lot of the marketing him- or herself, as there’s no counter-check on what’s being put out there (see point 2). But let’s say the writer pulls it off and pens a post in praise of something he or she considers innocuous, like helping little old ladies cross the street. That’s when the blog’s readers take over and start commenting, adding their own two inflammatory cents. Haven’t enabled comments? That’s OK, they’ll just share your blog on Facebook with their own take — likely one you’d never want associated with your business. Brandsplat tip: Remember, it’s all too easy to start out writing about the virtues of a particular position and end up sunk in vitriol.
Interestingly, these poor choices often happen when writers feel pressured to “put something up on the blog already!” and don’t have the time to think through what they’ve written. That’s just another reason to hire a content marketing service, and we happen to know a good one. Let us know if we can help by emailing hello [at] brandsplat [dot] com or calling 800-299-5498.