The effectiveness of blogging is transparent, no matter what your business. While many hotels are doing an excellent job with the practice, other industries are also setting a great example from which the hospitality industry can learn.
Earlier this year, SpareFoot, the world’s largest online marketplace connecting consumers to self-storage facilities, launched a campaign called “Supply Memories,” which focused on using social media for a school supply drive for a Texas nonprofit focused on dropout-prevention.
Now, the innovative startup has rolled out a new blog design that focuses on providing enhanced readability on any web enabled device. The project was piloted by senior software developer Steve Cherewaty and features a new simplistic layout, designed with optimal user experience in mind.
The SpareFoot Blog is an open-ended, high-quality editorial catchall. They currently publish 1-3 times weekly and promote content through various online channels. The primary focus is on SpareFoot company news, and they’re opening that up to include updates from specific departments (tech, sales, support, etc). They also publish self-storage advice for various types of renters.
SpareFoot’s plan for the rest of 2012 is to focus on quality over quantity. They publish and promote well-researched articles that effectively broaden the relevance of self-storage to audiences such as wine enthusiasts, home stagers, green building construction professionals- interesting industries that can potentially relate to self-storage. The redesign will lend credibility to the content while reflecting the casual, modern, fun brand.
“Our central design goal was to provide a great reading experience on all web-enabled devices. The layout is responsive—the elements on the page shift around and resize according to the size of your screen. We want our content to be accessible and legible on phones, tablets, desktops, and new devices we don’t even know about yet,” said Cherewaty.
Here is a brief interview between a SpareFoot associate, John, and Steve, in which he explains his rationale behind the recent blog renovation.
John: So what’s up with this blog redesign?
Steve: Our blog has really reflected our growth as a startup. We started out with something kind of raw, and over time we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. In our redesign we tried to update the look to match how we’ve evolved the brand. Visually we used fewer gradients and drop shadows, incorporated the latest thinking in web fonts, and boiled our iconic tape measure motif down to its simplest form. I think the end result is a more timeless look that is unquestionably modern without resorting to trite “Web 2.0″ techniques.
John: Nice, and what would you say was your main goal?
Steve: Our central design goal was to provide a great reading experience on all web-enabled devices. The layout is responsive—the elements on the page shift around and resize according to the size of your screen. We want our content to be accessible and legible on phones, tablets, desktops, and new devices we don’t even know about yet. Going with a responsive design lets the content take center stage. With more and more of our readership accessing the internet via mobile devices and tablets, I think it was definitely wise to incorporate such a responsive design.
Have you seen any other non-hospitality pros using blogging effectively?