Case study #1 this semester focuses on business blogging best practices.
I was careful to design the first two weeks of the course around the concepts of brand journalism, storytelling and content marketing.
This screen shot of a post at Alabama Chanin Journal, is a great example of brand storytelling through a blog and social media content:
I also wanted to instill in students the notion that social channels are constantly evolving so it’s important to make the business website the centerpiece. As with the Roman Empire in the same way all roads pointed toward Rome, all social paths lead back to the website.
Finally, I wanted to emphasize the role of fresh, useful content in effective search rankings and the role that blogging plays in SEO.
For the first case study assignment, I spent several hours researching the best, current examples of corporate business blogging.
Criteria for Selecting Business Blogs
The criteria I used to evaluate business blogging examples:
- Frequency and recency of updates
- Nature of the content included in the blog posts
- I was looking for content that told a brand story and/or provided something of value to a reader.
- I also wanted blogging that seemed to relate to an overall digital marketing strategy.
- How often the brand’s blog has been called out as a great example
- This was a lesser criteria. I used some blogs referenced by others as a starting point, but I mainly relied on my professional judgment.
- About half of the blogs aren’t on the radar of many people, yet are excellent examples of business blogging.
- Industry sector: I wanted a mix of B2C and B2C companies. And I also wanted a variety of industries to have something to appeal to most students’ career interests.
My List of Great Examples of Business Blogs
My list is in no particular order:
General Electric on Tumblr http://generalelectric.tumblr.com
Virgin America’s Flyer Feed http://blog.virginamerica.com/blog/
Turkey Hill Dairy Ice Cream Journal Blog http://icecreamjournal.turkeyhill.com
Ann Taylor: Look Both Ways http://blog.anntaylor.com/
Billy Reid Journal http://journal.billyreid.com/
Alabama Chanin Journal http://www.alabamachanin.com/journal/
Marriott on the Move http://www.blogs.marriott.com
Voyager Outward Bound School http://www.vobs.org/blog/
Boeing: Randy’s Blog http://www.boeingblogs.com/randy/
The Whole Foods Blog http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story
Xero (Cloud Accounting) http://www.xero.com/blog/
The Daily South – Southern Living http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com
Disney Parks Blog http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/
Socially Stacked: The Blog for ShortStack http://www.sociallystacked.com
American Express Open Forum for Small Business https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/explore/
Mayo Clinic Sharing http://sharing.mayoclinic.org/
Information about this assignment is available in a separate post.
Examples of the students’ reports are available at http://socialmediapractices.wordpress.com.