7 Golden Rules for Corporate Bloggers
March 13, 2015 - Marketing
The rise of corporate blogs certainly has a lot to do with the growth of digital marketing and the increased importance of building online presence. Different surveys have shown that companies that blog 20 times a month generate five times more traffic than businesses that publish less than four posts a month. However, despite the fact that many companies understand the potential benefits of having a blog, the number of those that succeed in engaging their readers is worryingly small.
However, corporate blogging can still be an engaging activity if companies adopt a strategic approach. This means that rather than generating large amounts of content, companies should focus on creating posts that matter to their consumers and motivate them to deepen their relationship with the brand. Of course, each corporate blog must come up with its own distinguishing properties, but there are certain guidelines that can help in this process.
1. Find your company’s voice to avoid generic posts.
The primary difference between corporate and personal blogs is reflected in the voice used to talk to the audience. Developing a distinctive, personalized voice when talking on behalf of the whole company is certainly one the greatest challenges corporate bloggers need to face. Therefore, this is at the same time one of the most common reasons such blogs fail at building stable relationships with readers.
To make articles impactful, corporate bloggers need to realize one thing – they are people above all, and as such, they have the ability to produce opinionated content that reflects general ideas and values of the company. Some examples of corporate blogs that have hit the mark are listed in this SocialFresh article. As illustrated in these examples, the right combination of personalized content and industry expertise is the key to creating an engaging corporate blog.
2. Understand the purpose of a corporate blog.
If you aren’t seeing any engagement on your blog, chances are you’ve misjudged its purpose. Many corporate website owners still see this space as yet another channel for promoting their company, whereupon a blogger is expected to write solely about the products or services it offers. In reality, however, this shouldn’t be the case, at least not if you want to see some real benefits from this activity.
Different ecosystem as it is, corporate blogging requires a specific approach to both writing and content promotion, and this is essentially what determines its success. A research by the University of Twente gives some general definition of a corporate blog, summarizing that it:
- is an interactive, two-way communication medium;
- is written in an authentic and transparent voice;
- refers and links to each other;
- invites comments;
- is mostly created on an instant publishing software, with no IT expertise required;
- provides an efficient tool to alert interested readers when a new article is published without using traditional methods such as email;
- is a very effective tool to climb higher in search rankings, if frequently updated;
- is a type of viral marketing.
Therefore, you need to understand how the corporate blogging ecosystem functions in order to be able to make the best blogging strategy. These guidelines should equip you with the general knowledge you can afterwards use in practice.
3. Offer industry expertise instead of product/service promotion.
The greatest value a corporate blog can offer is their industry expertise, which should be the number one guideline when it comes to content. This means that the articles on a corporate blog should be heavily focused on problem-solving and sharing expert information about the field. The benefits of this approach are multiple: the audience will see both the blogger and the company as a credible source of relevant information, which translates into greater trust and increased company/brand loyalty.
A study by WP Engine fielded by TNS revealed some interesting data related to the types of content consumers seek out from brands directly. Namely, 62% of Americans now want to see content that is delivered through a brand’s official channels. When it comes to blog articles, survey respondents believe that they should:
- Provide consumers with the most up to date information (32%)
- Give consumers a more personal connection with the company (16%)
- Give brands a voice (15%)
Looking at these responses, it is clear that defining voice, sharing relevant expertise and staying on-top of the trends will give readers a reason to subscribe to your blog. Brainstorming and researching what your targeted audience likes to hear about is a good start.
4. Come up with engaging topics.
Once the general idea is defined, blog topics should follow the defined goal. Therefore, if you’ve set out to sharing industry expertise, your articles should explore what it is about your industry that people most frequently ask. It is important, however, too look at what you write from the readers point of view and not become too technical about these things because you need to reach the widest possible readership, after all.
While industry expertise is a good subject to share, it shouldn’t be the only type of content your company’s blog features. In addition to opinionated articles drawn from one’s experience, you can occasionally include product-related tips applicable to your reader’s everyday lives. Coupled with some actionable advice, such pieces of content are more likely to benefit your audience in terms of both improved lifestyle and engagement with your brand.
5. Choose the right blogger.
The study by Twente University classifies corporate blogs into several categories: CEO Blog, internal blog, executive blog, group blog, etc. Depending on the type you think would reflect your corporate vision the best way, you should choose the right person to do the job. However, this is by no means an easy decision since not everyone is made to be a blogger. Typically, a corporate blog is run by a CEO or another notable company representative, but the truth is they may lack both writing skills and a natural tone. On the other hand, an average blogger may lack some industry expertise or opinion on the most important trends, meaning that he or she may not be a good choice either.
In many cases, the best possible choice is to hire an experienced blogger who has just enough knowledge of the general industry and is greatly interested in the company’s mission. Such bloggers are more likely to understand what it is that the audience wants to hear about and would be able to offer them the right type of content.
6. Promote, talk, share
You’ve heard this many times before, but presence on social networks is certainly a must for all corporate blogs, regardless if they’re business or consumer oriented. However, another thing you should avoid in terms of social media presence is stuffing your profiles with generic, uninteresting and/or irrelevant content. This means that you should resist sharing only links to your blog and rather follow some of the well-established corporate social media strategies such as 70/20/10 posting rule.
As noted in the study mentioned above, a corporate blog may be seen as the backbone of company’s social media strategy because “it provides an ideal communication platform for knowledge-intensive companies to discuss their expertise and gather thought leadership, while bypassing the traditional media.” To achieve the most impactful social media results, you need to identify the strategies that can make your post more appealing to the target audience and drive maximum engagement. This is why your social media and blog content should be planned in relation to each other and work together to achieve several goals.
7. Understand the SEO benefits.
Although corporate websites may have other ways of driving traffic, corporate blogs too offer some SEO benefits. With constant additions of fresh and interesting content, your website would certainly be one of Google’s favorites since its algorithms pay enough attention to the frequency of posting. Furthermore, a blog can be a useful space for additional content optimization, especially if it’s connected to a one-page or otherwise small site.
Social media and SEO overlap in many instances, by engaging in corporate blogging, you are also expanding the opportunity for content sharing. Also, guest posting on other sites and accepting guest posts on your own opens new communication channels which helps in referral traffic. While with guest posting you can generate relevant backlinks to your website, by connecting with people from the industry, you can also increase your authority both in the eyes of your users and in the eyes of Google.
Even though there isn’t a unique step-by-step guide to corporate blogging, these rules should help you better understand the way you should approach this task. After all, each of the guidelines outlined above requires nothing but your own creativity to be put to work the way your company needs. Coupled with some work and dedication, your blog is quite likely to become a successful tool for generating leads from the industry and establishing a stable image for your brand.