Go deep, not wide: Substack for businesses

Having your business featured in a high-profile print publication or website is a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers. But your message must align with editorial policy first and perhaps needs to appeal to a wider audience than you’d like. Introducing another string to your marketing bow: Substack. Here Zafar Jamati, head of content at technical PR agency, Stone Junction, explores the benefits of running a Substack blog and gives some advice on making yours a must-read for industry professionals, clients and prospects.

Substack is a publishing platform for any writer or business looking to publish e-mail newsletters. Its focus is on independent, in-depth content, which is free from social media noise and ads. It provides creators with a direct relationship with their audience, creative freedom and even a potential new revenue stream.

Go deep, not wide

Think of running a Substack as owning your own media channel. It’s another platform for your message and, unlike traditional forms of media, Substack allows companies to bypass gatekeepers and connect directly with their target audience, building stronger relationships and deeper loyalty.

This owned-media platform gives organisations a direct line to their customers, helping them build brand loyalty and community. Granting customers lifetime access to premium content on the platform could help you improve retention. Offering them exclusive, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the business, early access to product launches and Q&A sessions could increase customer satisfaction and encourage further investment in your company’s offerings.

Likewise, insightful comment on industry news and trends establishes the company as a thought leader and could boost customer engagement.

There are other benefits too. Encouraging staff to share their behind-the-scenes insights in narrative form, along with embedded images and video, allows them to express their ideas. This creates more meaningful engagement with the audience and could help to attract new talent too.

Turn insight into income

In addition to new business and talent, Substack is also a potential revenue stream. The platform offers the option of paid subscriptions, where users pay to gain access to exclusive content. The most successful creators have tens of thousands of paid subscribers. That might seem a lofty goal, especially for very niche fields, but if your content is genuinely useful to people, they’ll pay for it.

Tips for success

Naturally, a platform that users regularly go to in search of quality content needs to produce just that, and regularly. Substack recommends weekly updates, so build up a bank of engaging material to keep readers interested.

Find your company’s tone, striking the right balance between informative and promotional, professional and casual. You can then vary the type of content you publish. Go beyond text with podcasts, videos, infographics, how-to guides and product updates to diversify your channel and appeal to various learning styles.

For help identifying your brand’s voice, planning a campaign strategy or creating any of the content forms I mentioned, drop me a message at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 1785 225416.