A corporate blog is a blog which is published by a company. There can be 2 types of corporate blogs: internal (generally accessed through the corporation’s Intranet) or external (publicly available). External blogs can be used to announce new products, services or general information about the company. Over 346 million people read blogs throughout the world (equals to 77% of total Internet users) which means that adding a blog to your website can attract many of these readers. More and more companies these days turn to writing blog posts to provide their audience with significant information. In fact, 65% of companies planned to increase their use of blogging in 2017. Keeping up with content and publishing posts regularly can make you stand out in the eyes of your key public as a trustworthy source of information. On top of that, corporate blogging can also serve multiple potential marketing goals:
- Driving awareness
- Providing the information prospective buyers need across their journey
- Engage various target audiences, including journalists, for instance
- Branding (all touch points have an important branding dimension)
- Generating leads (and managing them)
- Relationship building
- PR, be it in a non-traditional sense
- Influencer marketing
- Feedback and listening
- Community marketing
- Driving traffic, subscriptions, and registrations
Blogs are a great way to improve communication between the company and its audience. Frequent blogging establishes connections that foster trust and positive avenues of communication. On top of that, companies who blog regularly have a better chance of building a stronger relationship with their audience.
As opposed to traditional corporate websites, blog posts are linked to actual authors and the audience can build a deeper relationship and trust the specific author. Everything becomes more personal which results in a better bond within the community.
Another point is that corporate blogging is, in fact, a traditional PR in a new package. What do we mean by that? Well, companies have an opportunity to show how great they are, to build their reputation amongst their audience. Should you replace your traditional PR for corporate blogging? Well, it is not advised to do so. PR should contain formal communication and has specific subjects that are talked about, while corporate blogging – as it was mentioned before – is there to create a more personal relationship with an audience and can also provide people with not just the company’s news. However, that doesn’t mean you should rule out blogging! On the contrary, the best solution would be to incorporate those two strategies – traditional PR and blogging – into one.
A good strategy would be, when writing and submitting a PR article, to connect it with your blog. That would help the person reading it to get to know the whole story or maybe broaden their horizons on some topic. Another good thing would be to share your employees’ blog posts with each other. That way they can be included and they would get to know other’s people way of thinking which would result in a better working environment.
Who should be writing blog posts within the company? Would that be the CEO, employees, team leaders or maybe even customers? Many types of research show that a CEO represents half their organization’s reputation, which just shows the power of the role. That’s one of the main reasons CEOs should also be writing blog posts. The audience expects the CEO to talk in a friendly and approachable way that reveals insights into their own character and company. What happens very often is that CEOs don’t really have time to write posts themselves so they hire ‘ghost writers’ to write for them. That is not a good approach as people are not fools and they can notice that the post hasn’t been written by the CEO and that makes the whole thing a bit counterproductive if it’s not handled carefully. Employee’s opinions are also very important in building a reputation so it’s only natural that they also have a say in that. With that in mind, you need to have a person you trust who is going to be responsible for going through all the written posts by them. That is only to check that they don’t share some confidential information. What is important here is that companies should have a ‘how-to blog’ guide and distribute it to the employees that want to contribute to writing posts. Another good thing would be to share positive customer experience on your blog which would just help you get the company’s reputation on point – other people are more likely to believe customer experience than the CEOs.
There are 5 major types of corporate blogs:
1. Founder, CEO
As we mentioned it before, this is a blog where the CEO/Founder of the organization is providing most of the perspective and voice for the blog and the company. CEO Blogs are a tremendously powerful tool on many levels beyond the insights. Having a CEO Blog builds ongoing loyalty, gets people to pay attention and creates a better relationship between the audience and company.
2. General Company Blog, Multi-Author
This is the next most typical type of blog where you have one general blog with one or more contributors. This is the most common type of corporate blog and can be helpful in providing a well-rounded perspective of the business.
3. Specific Team or Department Blog
If your company is large enough to have department specific blogs that focus their content on what that specific department is responsible for (for example, the Social Media team having a blog sharing their thoughts on content management etc.). On the other hand, a department blog is very popular and ultimately essential for large companies. These can be multi-authored thus providing a multitude of perspectives from within one department.
4. Product, Service, Marketing Blog
Most businesses would take this type of blog and roll it into one of the other types as a sub-type, but some business blogs strategically focus their content on talking about one of their products, most likely their flagship product.
5. Employee Blog
These blogs are powered by individuals. Having this type of blog can work well if employees who are writing it understand their responsibility to the organization. They need to understand that they are representing the company and therefore they have some obligations and rules they need to follow.
To conclude, should a company have a blog? Yes, both internal and external. All types of blogs are a great way to familiarize people with your business, so which one you choose is ultimately up to you. How often should you post? Frequent blogging establishes connections that foster trust and positive avenues of communication and builds a stronger relationship with customers. Should you replace traditional PR with corporate blogging? No, but you should combine the two. Who should be the one that writes blog posts on behalf of your company? The best bet would be to have different type posts – those written by the CEO, employees, team leaders, customers and so on.