Individuals blog, companies blog; each for a different purpose. Some use blogs as a diary of daily musings, opinions, and experiences while others use theirs to promote or advocate a purpose. In any case, (most) people put information on the web to share them with others.
You may be a popular brand within your industry or general population but how much do people really know about you and your products? Sure, they can go onto your website and read canned information on company history, your mission statement, what products you offer, and etc. This information, however, is generally static and is only there for informational purposes. Moreover, it is difficult to give corporate websites a personal touch because they are first and foremost intended for establishing a professional presence. A web presence is the first step in getting closer to your audience but it is not enough to establish and foster interactivity and engagement. Here is where blogging can help:
- It gives your brand a voice and helps you communicate with your target audience.
- It can help set your company apart from the rest of the pack. One reason is because a blog is updated (ideally) on a regular basis and gives you the edge over companies whose websites have not been regularly maintained.
- It allows you to discuss topics that would not fit in neatly with the rest of the content on your website.
But it is not enough to just blog randomly about everything and anything under the sun – you need to identify the reason why you are blogging (hopefully not because everyone else is doing it) and what your blog should be about. By giving your blog a focus and purpose and aligning these with the qualities of your brand, you can strengthen your image and extend your reach. The focus need not be too narrow: just ensure that you always stay relevant and true to your purpose.
Take the food and beverage industry, for example – here are 3 things that restaurants can do to maximize the value of blogging:
- They should identify their intended audience and tailor their blogging style accordingly. If you want to reach out to a teen crowd, do not write pieces that sound like they belong in a business report. The medium helps get the message across.
- They should conduct some preliminary research into what their audiences like to do and what they would enjoy reading. The company may find food ingredients a fascinating topic but your audience may actually be more interested in learning about what staff do behind the scenes to create the brand’s mouth-watering products.
- They should see what their competitors are doing well and offer something more. Is Restaurant A blogging about its company roots? You can take a slightly different approach and blog about how your company history relates to your audience. Is Restaurant B posting about their newest locations? You can blog about why you picked your new branch locations and what makes these communities unique (and perhaps share a fun fact about the places).
Are there any other ways in which a restaurant can benefit from blogging? What steps should they take to understand their audience, and are these methods more suitable for the food and beverage industry than for others? I would love to see examples of restaurant blogs that you like.