ITL #205 Corporate blogs: an effective boost for visibility and vitality

3 years, 6 months ago

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How do you create a corporate blog that stands out from the crowd? And what can we learn from the best exponents of the art? By Ina Nikolova.



In the era of digital technologies and intensive communication, daily and corporate news spreads faster than ever. We are part of an information society in which the use of information is constant – for personal needs, for education or for business.

Some of you may ask, do people still read blogs? And, is it really worth starting a company blog?

Yes, people still read blogs, but the way of reading has changed a little bit. Readers prefer to see short, clear and concise content leading them to their final goal: to learn something that interests them or to gain something which will be useful and solve their problem. The process between writer and reader is mutual.

Marketing and PR specialists know about blogs and regularly monitor what’s being said about their company, products, services and trends. But to be one step ahead of the competitors, to keep tight relations with customers, and to have better brand awareness, blogging is mandatory. Thanks to the power of search engines, creating a blog could be one of the most vital and effective ways for people to find your content in the web world.

Some journalists, as well as public relations and marketing professionals, neglect the importance of blogs. A bad practice is comparing blogs to magazines and newspapers; forms of media with which they are comfortable.

Very often, however, the blogger’s focus of promoting a single point of view is absolutely different from the journalist’s goal of providing a balanced perspective. Your blog is your private media and there you can use all resources and creativity to make your product significant and well-known.

The technology is an easy and efficient way to share your personal or organizational viewpoints into the market and blogs are one of the best marketing tools you could use for attracting people’s attention. The corporate blog could serve as a valuable creative outlet, serving as a reward for you and your business. Of course, there are some twists which need to be mastered in order to achieve more readers and to turn them into leads.

Read more before writing

Before you jump into the blog world, no matter if you are a PR expert or marketer, try first to get a sense of the important bloggers in your business sphere, their viewpoints, and blog etiquette. Commenting on a blog article is a good way to build relations with the blogger and other specialists and may generate significant online debate.

Use the magic key words

Always be passionate about a subject and present your area of expertise.

Every keyword of every post is indexed by Google and other search engines, so when users search for information on the topics you write about, they can easily find you. As a marketing manager, I have always striven to post content which is educational, useful, comprehensible and most of all – valuable.

Create more than just the blog

No matter how precious the blog content, people always love to get something more. Putting an option for downloading an online book, report or infographic is a good way to keep their interest.

Including a call-to-action button for free newsletters or events, conferences and online webinars is also a great solution to make them go back to your webpage and to promote your content. Remember, there’s nothing stronger than viral marketing, which is vital for achieving standout when you consider how much social media content exists. All these endeavours contribute to developing credibility and trust.

Make your blog post stand out

Never limit yourself to text only. You can add all sorts of content – pictures, videos, infographics, call-to-action buttons, animated content, interviews, recorded seminars, and even book excerpts. Your blog is your playground.

Always be innovative and influential

The challenge for PR and marketing people is to make their voices heard in the Web-based marketplace of ideas, to be more influential by creating blogs as important and valuable alternative sources of information. Blogs are the perfect platform to express your ideas, to prove your expertise, to convince the others about the benefits of your service or product, to build up a stable company reputation and most of all – to show the others you are a communicative company!

Companies which are always in touch with business partners, clients and users are accepted by them with a higher degree of trust and respect. The other benefits of writing a corporate blog refer to gaining more indexed pages in search engines with a broader keyword range, driving traffic to your website, establishing authority and driving long-term results. All of which means that the effort you put in yesterday for your corporation, can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.

If you are on the hunt for inspiration, a good starting point is to take a look at some successful corporate blogs. I’ve chosen the following examples because they are user friendly, social, functional, practical, helpful and well designed.

  1. HubSpot’s marketing blog:

Hubspot has one of the top B2B marketing blogs. It is an authoritative resource presenting inbound marketing strategy, templates, infographics, and how-to’s related to lead generation, analytics, landing pages, blogging, SEO, and social. There is valuable advice and an impressive variety of marketing and sales topics suitable for marketers or business owners. It can always help you in the process of building up marketing strategies and campaigns. Visit: https://www.hubspot.com/

 

  1. Coca-Cola:

Here I would say – great content performance, awesome human connection and excellent marketing communication! Cola-Cola created different kinds of categories for its mixed target audience, including videos, music, trade and technology innovations, news and corporate social responsibility. This is one of the few blogs consisting of brand stories, diversity of views from customers, employees and partners. Visit: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coca-cola-unbottled  

  1. DELL:

Dell has more than one blog — that's a useful solution, especially if you have a large business with multiple arms. The company successfully organises and manages multiple blogs by using a landing page. It is used to curate featured content from across the blogs, while also including a feed of the latest blog posts, a directory of blogs, and a search bar that scours content from all the blogs. Visit: http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/


Other blogs which stand out from the crowd include those of Oracle, SalesForce, BBC Editors Blog, Xerox, Play Station and Unilever. What makes them valuable is that they tell product experience stories, aligned with corporate objectives, feature real people, give a platform to online discussions and have educational features. In other words – they make both the company and its website more vital.


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The Author

Ina Nikolova

Dr. Ina Nikolova leads all marketing activities of the German IT company PATECCO. She is an author of its corporate technology blog about Identity and Access Management and a speaker in Kuppingercole’s international conferences. Along with developing brand identity and strategies, Ina participates in European Commission events concerning Digital Transformation, Open Data and E-Government issues. Over the past 10 years, she has implemented marketing projects across sectors including IT, FMCG, Tourism and Real Estate.

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