So, your company has decided to start a corporate blog. This is a win-win situation in today’s environment, where high-quality content is worth its weight in bitcoin. Needless to say, you have something to say to your customers, but at the very beginning a few logical questions arise: how do you start? What do you write in your blog? Which format is best for your readers?
We’ve prepared a list of steps that will help you plan your blog. We hope it’ll help you out.
What is the difference between a corporate blog and a corporate website?
To get started, let’s figure out what the main differences are between a corporate blog and a website.
The main difference between a website and a blog is the ability to express your opinion through posts, demonstrate your expertise, and establish informal communication with the reader.
A website is usually more like a business card containing “dry” information about products, services, company activities, and contacts. A blog also gives you the opportunity to show that behind all this information are people with their own opinions, experience, and knowledge. It’s also an opportunity to get feedback through comments, likes, etc.
Examine the future corporate blog’s audience and their needs
As with any other marketing project, one of the most important stages in planning a blog is studying your audience. You need to know who is already reading your website, who you’re going to be writing for, and who you want to attract. Once you’ve identified your audience, it will be easier for you to determine:
- what to write in blog posts (subject);
- how to write the blog (genre and format);
- how much and how often to post;
- how to promote the blog (a blog shouldn’t just develop on its own; it also need to be promoted through various channels).
Now let’s examine these in order.
Determine the topics of the articles in your corporate blog
Interestingly, the easiest way to find out what to write in a blog and what your customers (whether real or potential) want to read is to ask them.
That’s right, just go ahead and ask them what they’re interested in, what they would like to see in your blog, and which topics you should discuss. This could take the form of an online survey in an email newsletter, a pop-up questionnaire on the website, or a gift for a completed questionnaire — you can motivate your readers to reply in a number of different ways.
Another great way to find out what your customers are interested in is to talk to your sales team. As a rule, the employees in this department are the ones who most often come across customer reviews/suggestions/questions, which can become an invaluable source of input not only for the writers of your blog, but also for the company as a whole.
Studying popular keywords (search requests) on your subject is also a great way to identify interest, so don’t forget about it.
How to write blogs: determining the genre and format of posts
According to a study by the American Institute of Content Marketing, the most successful type of content for a corporate blog is educational. Providing useful and competent information in an interesting way is an excellent strategy for building your customers’ trust. Let’s see the formats you can choose from:
- Provide instructions. Answer “how to” questions in an interesting way using graphics or video. “How to localize an app,” “How to promote your website,” “How to start blogging” — articles with step-by-step instructions are always in demand.
- Make guides for people who aren’t well versed in your area of expertise. Your content should not only be for advanced readers who are already deeply immersed in the topic. Remember that your customer isn’t obligated to understand your field. Talk about the basics of what you do in an accessible and friendly way. Simplicity is always ingratiating.
- FAQs. They’re a great way to not only relieve your support team of unnecessary workload, but also optimize your website for specific requests.
- Interviews. First-hand information is perceived as extremely reliable.
- Industry reviews and trends. People should see that you’re developing your expertise and keeping up with the times. Reviews show you to be an expert in your field.
- Reviews of your own products. This is an obvious format that many people forget about because they tend to assume that the product page on their website is enough. However, the more you talk about a product from a practical point of view, the more chances you have to sell it. Combining various media (video, photos, text) is always a plus.
- Bust myths that reign in your industry or conduct an experiment and record the results. These kinds of “live” blog posts will definitely get your readers’ attention.
- Stories from your customers. Someone else’s experience is always useful and interesting.
There are all kinds of blog genres out there, but the main thing is not to focus on just one thing and remember that a blog is a “living” mechanism that can be modified.
Experiment and find something that will be especially interesting to your readers.
What other questions might arise about corporate blogging? For example, you might be wondering much and how often to write, what to write about in your blog posts, and how to promote your blog.
How much and how often to write in a corporate blog
How do you maintain a corporate blog? Despite the fact that every blog is unique, there are average statistics that affect the “technical” characteristics of a blog.
So, by studying 183 blogs, the American agency Neil Patel came to the conclusion that, in order for your blog to become popular, the articles in it should be an average of 1,890 words long.
You need about 5–6 posts per week, and they should be written by two full-time employees, not counting freelancers hired from the outside (you could have up to 15 of these).
The posts should contain various structural elements (lists, tables, headings, subheadings) and different ways of presenting the material, including video, audio, and graphics. By the way, the video format has been gaining in popularity for a long time now, and it’s not going to surrender its position anytime soon.
And, of course, there’s multilingualism. Many companies say that the moment they started translating their articles into strategically important languages, their number of readers and orders began to grow significantly. If your business is aimed at the international market, a high-quality translation of your articles and website content is a must.
What to write about in a corporate blog?
The main difference in maintaining a corporate blog from a personal one is that each post should relate to your topic from any angle and solve a specific problem. That is the maximum benefit! You can achieve variety with the formats that we wrote about above. For example, today you will write a post review in your product, the day after tomorrow — the story of your client, in three days — news about participation in the exhibition.
With all this, the best improvisation is a well-prepared improvisation. So make a content plan! This is your roadmap, which will not let you lose your goal. Do you remember that even a blog should have its own goal and strategy?
How to promote a corporate blog
No matter how interesting your blog is, if nobody reads it, all your efforts will be in vain. There are countless ways to promote corporate blogs nowadays, and you can choose the most suitable one for you and your audience:
- Social media — share your posts on your social media pages and encourage your followers to share the information
- Optimize your posts for popular keywords. However, you also want to make sure the texts of your posts don’t devolve into lists of keywords with zero meaning. This is extremely important!
- Email marketing — according to numerous studies, this is one of the most effective ways to promote a blog. Try to create an email newsletter for your client base, monitor their reactions, and respond in a timely manner.
- Advertising via influencers is a popular method of promotion nowadays, especially among young people. If your product is aimed at a younger audience, you absolutely have to try this channel as a way to promote your corporate blog.
- Contextual ads, banners, guest posts, and other methods of online advertising are as old as time itself, but they still get the job done.
- Multilingualism — this can become a way to attract foreign customers in and of itself. At Alconost, we have experience working with multilingual promotion, and we’ve seen excellent and sometimes unexpected results from posts that have been translated into other languages.
Painstaking prep work and drafting a competent content plan are a good way to get your corporate blog off the ground. Slowly but surely, your blog will start to gain a following. However, if you don’t have time for this, you can always entrust the job to experienced professionals.
Corporate blogs examples
https://blogs.microsoft.com has been running for ten years now. This blog is about how customers can use Microsoft products to find creative solutions to business problems. It gets about six new posts a month.
https://www.apple.com/newsroom/ — news about Apple products, press releases, updates, videos, and images. This blog has been running for 11 years and gets about five posts a month.
https://about.fb.com/news/ — even the biggest social networks run their own blogs. Facebook has been blogging since 2006. They post the latest news, announcements, and media resources from the Facebook company about twice a week.
https://www.bayer.com — Bayer is a global enterprise with core expertise in the life science fields of healthcare and agriculture. They post articles about current issues, research, and useful tips about twice a week.
https://blog.toyota.co.uk — a blog with the latest news, releases, and articles on automotive themes. They post about four times a week.
https://www.hrbartender.com — HR Bartender is the official blog of ITM Group. It’s there to provide workplace expertise. It gets a new post almost every day.
As you can see, you don’t need to be a “big fish” to run a blog. World-famous giants in various industries use blogs to get closer to their customers and demonstrate their expertise. It’s a great method of communication no matter how often you post, but regularity is the key.