7 Clever Ways Your Blog Can Disrupt Your Industry

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7 Clever Ways Your Blog Can Disrupt Your IndustryBusiness marketing  is evolving in profound ways.  Incremental, step-by-step optimization is getting run over by disruptive marketing innovation.  Every marketing tool is being gutted, examined, and rebuilt to attract customers and topple market leaders in the process.

Your blog is a key player in this drama.  In fact, it’s the most important weapon you have in the race to attract and lock-in customers.  However, you can’t rely on the traditional tactics.  Simply writing “great content” isn’t enough.

Your blog has to displace competitors by appealing to readers and customers in new ways.  The landscape is still changing but here are 7 ways to use your blog to disrupt and win a place on your customer’s short-list:

1. Solve Hidden Problems

Every industry has common problems that businesses try to solve for customers.  Blogs often reflect the common pursuit of a well-known challenges.  For example, in social media, potential clients want to learn how to use social platforms.  Social Media blogs scramble to solve the obvious problems, leading to content that says basically the same thing.

I’m sure the same situation occurs in your industry.

Disruptive blogs publish content that solves the “real” problem that consumers have.  In social media, the hidden problem is that customers need to justify spending money on a new and untested marketing tactic.  Pinterest How-To’s are interesting but don’t solve the hidden problem.

Gary Vaynerchuck realized that wine “rookies” were intimidated by the “snob” factor of wine tasting.  He created WineLibrary.tv to make wine approachable and fun. (Note: Sadly Gary no longer publishes new episodes) Freelance Switch recognized that Freelancers hated marketing themselves because they didn’t know how!  Their blog has grown in popularity because they pump out amazing how-to content that freelancers can’t find anywhere else.  Michael Stelzner saw that businesses needed a high-quality source for social media tactics and strategies.  SocialMediaExaminer leads the space with incredible editorial and reputable content.

Take a moment to think about the problems that your customers can’t describe but wrestle with everyday.  Separate from the pack and build a blog around solving those not-so-obvious problems.

2. Give the “How” Away

“Give away the why and what but sell the how” is a school of thought that is slowly going obsolete.  The internet is packed with basic information on just about every topic imaginable.  Creating and hoarding this easy-to-access information isn’t going to make you rich.

Instead, experts give away as much content as they sell.  This is wise because readers need to “sample” your expertise.  The blog that is generous with “How to” information will earn converts and future customers.

3. Turn Your Employees into Ambassadors

Employees are the hidden “difference makers” for any business.  Organizations that can empower their employees by making it easy for them to create content will dominate their industries. Innovative companies are scouring their talent base to find employees with a knack for telling brand stories.  These employees are incentivized to unleash their unique perspective.  Creating innovative content is becoming everyones responsibility.

4. Act Is If Your Reader is Already A Customer

As a rule, I act as if my readers are already VIP partners.  I try to offer the same level of insight and access as blog review and PS+You clients.  Why?

Readers will use your blog as evidence of your commitment and expertise.  Your blog posts are pieces of a puzzle that form the picture of your value.  Begrudgingly throwing intellectual scraps to your readers will kill sells in the future.

5. Respect but Ignore Your Competitors

Over the last year, I’ve weaned myself from reading competitive blogs.  Don’t misunderstand me.  My competitors are brilliant and have much to offer.  However, I’m solving a totally different set of problems for my readers.  If I focused on them, I would be writing the wrong content and developing the wrong products.

You are in the same situation.  Your competitors can quickly become a distraction if you aren’t careful.  Your blog needs to be an extension of your businesses unique value.

Benchmarking yourself against competitive blogs drives mediocrity not innovation. (Tweet This)

6. Fascinate

We’re genetically programmed to pay attention to novelty.  Novelty offers the opportunity to learn something new.  In nature, novelty either signals danger (rustling grass on a calm day may hide a predator) or presents a new tool for survival. The human animal is still tuned to revere unique circumstances, people, and technology.

Your blog is your opportunity to fascinate and intrigue your readers. I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Fascinate by Sally Hogshead to get an easy and powerful lesson on your ability to fascinate readers.

7.  Create a Marketing Skunkworks

The Skunkworks is a secretive development division of Lockheed-Martin, a successful defense manufacturer. The Skunkworks were experts at building the impossible.  The division rapidly prototyped tested and manufactured iconic planes like the U2 spy plane and the SR71 Blackbird a supersonic that still holds numerous speed records.

Use your blog as your own personal marketing skunkworks.  Test headlines to find combinations that can be used for Pay per click, email subject lines, and print ads.  Prototype new products and solicit feedback from blog readers.  Take their feedback, revise your product, and solicit more feedback

Your blog is much more than a container for 700 word essays.  It’s where you can create something truly unique.

Time to Disrupt

Which one of these tactics will you use to disrupt your industry?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

11 thoughts on “7 Clever Ways Your Blog Can Disrupt Your Industry

  1. Pingback: How to Write Your First 10 Small Business Blog Posts – EviePost

  2. Steve Kavetsky

    Good point Steven. But…paying attention to critics and reviews of your book is different than paying attention to your competitors. In other words WE agree that best selling novel authors & entertainers tend not to want to pay attention to their critics [with good reason] but they do tend to pay attention to what their competitors are doing [like other authors in the same genre, in the authors’ case and other singers, actors, directors in the entertainers’ case]. You need to pay attention just to stay [or get] ahead of them.

    But yes, as you mentioned, we must not let it get to our heads to such a point that it limits our abilities.

  3. Melonie Dodaro

    Yes, definitely true that it’s always about making a difference and setting yourself apart from your competitors. Offering something that the readers have been thinking about but “can’t describe but wrestle with every day” is surely blazing trails rather than following a tried and tested path.

  4. Pingback: Pushing Social Digest: Marketing Articles You Should Read Twice - Pushing Social

  5. Berniejmitchell

    I wholeheartedly agree with number 2 – Lazy Lazy Lazy business people “hang on to what they have” or make it out to be a “dark art”. Sharing with people the “how” around your product / service is very healthy for both yourself and your business, it creates advocacy and keeps you on your toes!

  6. Jon Buscall

    Point 5 is excellent. I try to follow this as much as possible. Although it’s important to see what leading voices are doing, you have to forge your own way. You need a healthy balance.

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  8. steven wright

    George Martin author of Game of Thrones series of books literally ignores even many comments on his own work.

    The problem is not that we should ignore other information that’s good for us. The problem is that in very subtle ways, when we read other peoples ideas, they prime our brains in an unconscious direction and before we know it we find our selves limited by the same problems and paradigms.

    If you were to spend 4 days on vacation, and you were going to then come back and write a serious book… I would hope you would not even begin to think about anything else before hand.

  9. Stanford Post author

    Excellent point. It looks like you understand the “spirit” of my statement :)

  10. Steve Kavetsky

    Hi Stanford. Another great article.

    WE would utilize every one of your tips. However, I respect but can’t ignore my competitors. You need to pay close attention to your competitors but you need to do it strategically. Make sure you prioritize your time so that [as you stated] you don’t get distracted and spiral down the road to mediocrity.

    Thanks Stanford – WE tweeted your quote about benchmarking.

    Steve Kavetsky
    AgooBiz.com // The Social Commerce Network
    “WE work greater than me”

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