When does blogging for business stop sounding like a commercial and start sounding like an interesting online publication? It happens when bloggers stop acting like advertisers and start acting like writers. Great branded blog writing can express our company’s point of view while blogging about things that are entertaining and fun to read. The move from traditional brand journalism to more editorial content isn’t for every company, though. Companies with a varied assortment of topics to blog about can make the transition to online magazine fairly easily, while ones with a narrower focus could have a more difficult time coming up with things to blog about. Nevertheless, if a deodorant like Degree can come up with a dynamic online magazine, maybe your brand can, too?
While visiting Adrenalist, it’s easy to forget that you’re reading a site created by Degree deodorant. This doesn’t look like branded blogging. It looks like an extreme sports, travel and men’s lifestyle magazine. Base jumping, windsurfing videos, an article on adventure vacation spots and photos of extreme skateboarding stunts all signal that we the reader are certainly in dude territory. But a closer inspection not only finds Degree’s logos and taglines all over the place but also the company’s message of “products that won’t let you down.” The Adrenalist says it’s “Powered by Degree,” which is a clever way of saying it’s a magazine created by a brand. Yet what Degree might have done is reinvent the way we think about branded blogging by taking the overt sales messages out and replacing them with articles that followers of the brand would be interested in.
While the Adrenalist’s brand of sponsored blogging is new and not every company has moved into online magazines, the trend is an interesting one that we can all borrow from. Who’s to say you can’t also blog about current events, trends and news stories that relate to your industry? Nobody, that’s who! While you might not want to become the next Adrenalist, your brand can certainly widen its scope of topics — and widen its audience in the process.