Blogging in the UK: A Review of UK Business Blogs

Blogging was embraced by many companies long before content was king.

Many businesses discovered the benefit of sharing information, opinions and knowledge with their customers was that it was returned with loyalty, sharing and engagement. Now as content is king, more people than ever are blogging as part of content market strategies. In this article I want to take a look at a few blogs by UK businesses, highlighting what they are doing right in order to be as successful as they are.

The following position map demonstrates the posting objectives of five business blogs. The challenge is finding the right balance between advice and sales; industry news and company news. Here’s how I positioned the blogs based on the map.  

Evonomie News

As a veteran digital marketing consultancy, Evonomie has got the balance just right between advice and sales, as the digital marketing industry and its audiences tend to much prefer heavily informative and advisory content, which they can learn from and share. Sales is not something that needs to be pushed, in a digital marketing industry blog, but proof of knowledge and expertise is, and this is something I feel we demonstrate very well!

Our blog started six years’ ago and contains a rich stream of marketing content. From marketing models to marketing advice, use of marketing tools and good ideas as we post little news about the company itself, with most updates being about the digital marketing industry and how this impacts marketing managers. This, again, is something digital marketing companies should be focusing on, as the audience will get to know your company’s story and exploits in time, but to gain and hold their interest you need to post something that they find genuinely interesting, hence regular news updates from the industry in general being the best posting objective for Evonomie.

Boots  Beauty Blog

Being the leading health and beauty retailer in the UK, it is not surprising that Boots has a great beauty blog. The advice is flowing fast and free, with the expected weight on sales thrown in by creating beauty tutorials and product comparison posts where products from suppliers that they sell in store are used or compared. I don’t think this takes away from the advice at all though, as a hint of sales is to be expected from business blogs and consumers understand this. But the informative content, both in written and video formats, is interesting and engaging stuff which is the key to gaining the perfect balance between sales and advice in posts for retail blogs.

There is a lack of industry news, and the only company news is related to new products in store, which I think is a shame. But this doesn't take away from the quality of the blog, as I think a health and beauty blog can get away with less news as the main feature as the audience is drawn to the advice. It would be interesting to see more posts about the beauty industry and more about what Boots as a company have been up to rather than just what new products are launching, but all in all a great beauty blog from the retailer.

Mercian Labels blog

This self adhesive label manufacturer has got the balance for both advice-sales and industry news-company news down to an almost perfect 50-50 split, which I think benefits the company greatly. The fact that they have performed and posted about a comparative trial of ink used on labels, as well as showcasing some of their work to demonstrates their expertise and skill is a great balance of sales and advice.

They have also discussed news pertaining to labeling in industries, such as news on wine labels starting to carry QR codes, which is interesting and relevant, as well as news on their own company’s exploits, which creates a perfect balance between industry and company news. Overall, the Merican Labels blog is a prime example of an interesting and well balanced blog, written with the audience in mind, but without having to sacrifice the sales push.

Jaguar News

The UK based luxury car manufacturer show self adoration on their website’s news section, but it works. The company post mainly about their own achievements, from awards and honours to their brand and products featuring at events. They do however link it back to industry news, for example talking about Sir Chris Hoy at the London Bike Show and the launch of the Velo-Jaguar Cycling event. They talked both about an event of general interest and about their own involvement in it, meaning that although the balance remained tipped more towards company news than industry news, it doesn’t become boring because it’s not all about Jaguar.

Another way they gain some balance and reach a wider audience with interests other than in just their cars is by posting about Lana Del Ray’s release of her new music video, for the song which happens to be the title track for a new Jaguar ‘Desire Film’. Cleverly linking such simple and generic news together this way allows them to reach two very different audiences, and plug their new release as well as offering news.

Waitrose ‘Inspiration’

One of the UK’s leading supermarkets, Waitrose’s ‘inspiration’ page replaces the typical styled blog, but has the same purpose.  The balance between company news and industry news is very much tipped towards their own news, which is expected of a supermarket blog.

The way in which Waitrose stood out to me above other supermarket blogs is that they are one of the few that actually post anything advisory. In the way I expect blog plenty of advice and tutorials with a hint of sales from Boots, I expect the same from major supermarkets. But Waitrose seem to be the only brand that have actually carried this out, posting seasonal recipes and cooking tips, with their own products recommended for use. For me, and I am sure I speak for a lot of other supermarket customers, this advice is valuable and sought after, meaning Waitrose blog has the perfect hook, and just the right balance for both news and sales-advice.

If you like this story, do share and tweet me @annmariehanlon, and if you have any favourite UK business blogs of your own, please do share them with me! 

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