What Makes A Great Corporate Blog?
The humble corporate blog may be one of the most effective forms of content marketing for your business. The authority on digital marketing; Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs found that 79% of best-in-class marketers viewed blogging as an effective digital marketing strategy. With 250 million blogs in existence today, and 19.7 billion blog pages being viewed each month, there is no excuse not to blog. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2014 report, companies that create blogs as part of their content strategy are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Whether you are a B2B business or a B2C wanting to generate more business leads, blogging should be prioritized in your content marketing. After all, you want to create fresh content that would appeal to your customer base and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry. Your corporate blogs will be the voice of your company and provide value in every post.
So, what makes a great corporate blog?
We all recognize a great business blog when we read one. The content draws us in and inform us more about the culture, philosophy and people behind the company. The corporate blog is like a PR machine that works 24 hours for a company; it engages consumers and paint the company in the best light. The components of a great business blog include: context, content, customer targeting and charisma. Some of the most outstanding company blogs have these components: General Electric, Home Depot, Microsoft, KISSmetrics, The Whole Story, Mary Kay Blog, Hubspot and The Abandoned Cart.
Recipe for a great business blog: full servings for your target audience
Creating a great business blog is just like cooking. We start from scratch, trying to get into the right mindset and getting our corporate content marketing hats on. Like cooking, we need specific ingredients for the blog; a great blog does have certain ingredients to make it engaging and valuable to the reader. What then are the ingredients to “cook” a great blog?
1 x Pillar Article- liberal quantities of value for your content marketing blog
Strong Genre-unlimited spoonfuls of genre for your content’s target audience
2 tbsp Interesting Information-sprinkle generously throughout
Building relationship-be careful to monitor the temperature
1 tbsp Useful information-decide what useful information to put in the cooking pot
Right audience-this will determine the flavor and temperature in your blog recipe
1/2 tsp Engaging and entertaining language-add according to taste and audience
Consistency-check often for consistency
Tone of blog –make sure it is consistent with the flavor
Read and research more-adjust to your taste
Instructions for a great blog
1.Create brainstorm for pillar articles that are usually written in a tutorial (informational tips) style with the intention of giving your readers the guidelines and tips on a specific matter. It can offer certain features such as detailed and complex information on how to achieve or accomplish something, bringing an enormous amount of value to your customer base and can include visuals or rich media within the content. In this step, create the outline of your pillar article for your blog.
2. Go through the outline of your blog and strike out anything that is not aligned with your content marketing goals. Your content marketing goals can be increased conversions, valuable content, brand awareness or wider readership, depending on your content strategy.
3.How insightful or useful is the information for your blog? If you run a company, then knowing your target audience is important for this step. Know your genre and industry. Do consumers have pain points that you are aware of from feedback or social media conversations? According to Forrester, the majority of B2B customers found corporate content (including blogs) to be useless.
4.Ask yourself, would your audience share the content you are about to write? Is it good enough to be shared? High quality content is shared more often and can drive traffic to your website. According to the Digital Marketing Manager of General Electric, sharing content is a key metric of their marketing.
5.Decide how you will integrate your blog with social media. Social media channels is used by 93.2% of bloggers in the US to distribute content. You can plan how you want readers to engage with your blog on social media; Twitter polls and Facebook questions can help you gain more data after publishing your blog.
6.Use engaging and appropriate language to write your company blog. The art of storytelling and relaying information in an interesting way can be a great asset. Determine the tone of your blog and how it can connect with your readers. Some bloggers are able to talk to their readers as if one on one-you can encourage conversation by allowing a comments section and replying to them.
7.Build relationship with your readers. It is a call of a deeper and meaningful communication with them. When other readers see you reciprocate with your readers, this can create more trust and open conversation. You can encourage them to ask, give comments and ask their suggestions on your content in this way they feel engaged and involved. Receive their criticism constructively and improve your content every time.
8.Flavor your blog with more research and reading. Social media, discussion forums and industry whitepapers/blogs are great sources to find inspiration. You may discover questions that are not yet being answered. Your commitment to planning and research will make your blog content even more effective.
9.Season with consistency. Keep your content schedule consistent and deliver according to your reader’s expectations. There is nothing worse than a dormant blog or inconsistent effort. There is a saying that too many chefs spoil the broth, but you may find collaborations/input from other bloggers to be helpful. Fresh, exciting content can spark more interest in your content, drive targeted traffic and conversions.
By combining and balancing these ingredients in a right way will surely manifest in a great business blog. Once you are ready to serve, your customer base or subscribers cannot resist the temptation to share, to link and to engage.
Blogging is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Through an aligned content strategy and social media distribution, you can create blogs that bring your closer to your business goals. These days, blogs cater to the needs of specific audiences and aim to resolve pain points/questions. If you are able to deliver high quality blogs on a consistent basis, then your business will fare better than a lot of your competitors. Seth Godin said, “content marketing is the only marketing left.”
One way of taking the lead is to be able to connect and engage with the reader or client through great valuable content. The question now is how to stay connected, up to date and build more bridges to inspire and provide value. Create to act, act to connect, connect to share and share to build. Good luck!