A colleague asked me last week about advice for promotional products companies on blogging. Let’s look at how promotional products businesses use their blogs.
A Google search on [promotional products blog] gets us this. Good job, Inkhead! Especially as two of the other top search results are from ASI (a promo products industry association whose page with links to industry blogs shows up) and an industry magazine.
I do another quick search for recently updated blogs and we’re good to go.
Let’s look at Inkhead first. A quick look at the home page doesn’t disappoint: there are marketing ideas for various situations, all tying in to the business but not outrightly promotional.
The blog is updated frequently: once or twice a week.The posts look good, with an eye-catching image (with a call to action on top to buy relevant products) with well-formatted, interesting tips.
The only thing they don’t seem to be doing well is promoting their content: there are barely any social media shares or comments. They don’t even seem to be sharing their blog posts on their own Facebook page (which is sad, because the Facebook page is active and has some good engagement).
Now for the Denver Promotional Products Blog. Lots and lots of products photos and descriptions. That’s it. Obviously, they’re doing a good job of SEO (the blog appears near the top on Google for [promotional products blog]), but some actual tips that their customers could use would help engagement, in my opinion.
The Talbot Promo blog showcases promotional products as a whole while featuring photos of the company’s own products. It focuses on one product set at a time, and offers ideas on how to use them. It mixes this up with company news. Overall, it’s a nice blog, but the grand claim of the tagline — “the only Promotional Products blog worth reading” — isn’t justified.
I didn’t find the CTS Creative blog on Google: I just stumbled across it on Tumblr. What I love is the very brief but descriptive tagline that really says everything: “We put your logo and artwork on stuff.” And the slightly longer description on the right. If you want a blog that’s mostly photos and is easy to manage, this is a great model to follow.
I have a quibble though: there’s no link to the company site from the blog — or vice versa. Ideally, each image on the blog should also have a link to the product page on the site, so anyone interested can look at details and buy directly.
The Quality Logo Products blog is prolific and well-managed, with a bunch of authors and a post every weekday. No wonder it shows up on the first page of Google for both [promotional products blog] and [promo products]. They also do a good job of explaining what the blog is about and what to expect.
The content itself is a nice mix of marketing advice, interviews with employees, and promotional products tips. I especially liked this post on finding blog post ideas.
The ePromos blog gets a lot of things right. One recent post is an account of a volunteer effort by employees, with tons of photos of the team hard at work at rebuilding homes. In a post of this kind, photos are key: these photos made me want to jump in and help.
Other posts focus on industry news, case studies about how customers use their products (again, with photos that illustrate the point very well).
And one completely adorable post focusing on pets of employees. Look at Monkeybear with his paws firmly on a pile of papers and a map of embroiderers behind him. I want him as my co-worker! Look at King, all dressed up to go to work. (I bet he’d be friends with Markitty.) Look how adorable they all are!
Okay, that’s it. I’m done. Nothing can beat that. Lesson? Adorable photos of adorable pets beats everything.
- Post frequently. I know I keep saying this, but the active blogs are more likely to show up in search.
- Offer tips. Don’t just post about your products: offer advice your readers can use. Even when you do post about your products, make it interesting.
- Be social. Promote your posts on social media; ask colleagues in the industry to share and comment.
- Use interesting visuals. Even for someone who reads a lot (me), interesting images help to catch the eye and draw attention to what you want to highlight.
- Set expectations. Tell readers what your blog is about and why they should read it. Mentioning how often you post is also a good idea.
- Reveal yourself: Don’t be scared to show personality. Whether it’s photos of your community efforts or your employees’ adorable pets (did I say adorable yet?), show that you’re cool people to hang out with.
What else? Any promo products blogs you like?