Corporate blogs have become an integral part of a company’s digital communication: they deliver exciting content, enable a look behind the scenes and give employees a voice.
The following provides some tips how you can give your company a face and win favor with the broad public. So, read the blogging recipe for success and avoid the potential faux pas in blog management.
Take the following tips to heart when blogging:
1. Blogs should be well positioned not only on the Internet, but the internal structure and processes of a company. The increasing importance of the "customer journey" illustrates this need. An orchestrated collaboration across departments and channels makes a strategic approach to customer acquisition possible. The corporate blog, in turn, can make a valuable and measurable contribution to success in this scenario.
2. Better mobile bandwidths and a general change in consumer behavior are increasing the demand for visual elements in corporate communication—from images and infographics to videos. For corporate bloggers, the increased requirements mean on the one hand more effort, on the other hand, more creativity and versatility in the editorial work thanks to the integration of multimedia elements. Besides, visual elements increase the chance of being seen on social media, since pictures and film clips suit blog visitors and their individual preferences.
3. The dialogue with the audience is crucial when blogging in the B2B sector, although the comment culture on corporate blogs has ultimately lost its importance due to social media. Still, monitoring discussions and trends on the internet, as well as active community management, are among the most important tasks of bloggers. On the one hand, they need to moderate reader comments according to blog rules and ensure that they are answered as quickly as possible. On the other hand, in the interests of good networking, they should use the opportunity to read other blogs, to be inspired by the content and to start a conversation with the bloggers.
4. Think long-term and be open to new ideas, because corporate blogs are not only very dynamic media, but also a long-term communication measure too. Therefore, a certain publication frequency is required and only a forward-looking but flexible editorial plan will be able to stand the test of time. If the engine of the blog starts to stutter, it is often due to a missing or no longer appropriate strategy. Another reason could be the fact that bloggers ensure over many years that their "baby" is and remains successful, which means they keep their curiosity and ensure that the blog goes with the fashion and thus, remains attractive for the readers.
Faux pas you should try to avoid:
1. Start with a clear strategy and do not bang your head against a brick wall. From a technical point of view, a corporate blog can be set up quickly, since there are a lot of convenient solutions available that deliver a beautiful design at the same time. This may tempt you to set up the site quickly and go live. However, you shouldn’t forget that relevance is the top priority when blogging. This means, you need a well-founded communication strategy for your corporate blog to be successful in terms of content in the long term. To do this, in the initial phase, you must ask yourself which messages should be conveyed to which readers. That doesn't mean your blog strategy will be “set in stone” forever, rather, it should be put to the test regularly—like the entire communication strategy.
2. In the early days of the World Wide Web, long before the triumph of search engines, blogs consisted primarily of link recommendations. Their purpose was to inform other users about interesting pages. Over time, blogs then started to spread their content using text. Undeniable, however, user behavior has changed noticeably in recent years: e.g., readers nowadays expect well-structured, reader-friendly blog articles, not to mention that there is a trend towards a modular approach, as blog visitors want to have a choice in how they consume content. That’s why images, videos, infographics, and audio versions of blog posts are becoming more and more important.
3. A corporate blog is neither an end nor does it stand alone. A blog without readers and feedback will not find internal acceptance either. The most important question is therefore: “How do I make my target group(s) aware of my content?” well, there are many ways and tactics for doing this today—from teasers and advertising in social media to a blog newsletter, working with influential multipliers to involving employees in content distribution. In view of the many options for marketing corporate blogs, which are also associated with effort, this task is now just as central and strategic as creating effective content.
4. Keep in mind that blogging just for search engine optimization (SEO) reasons doesn’t work anymore. The times of overloading blog posts with keywords or going on the hunt for seriously acquired backlinks is long gone. Such tactics are neither rewarded by Google nor are they even necessary for the SEO of corporate blogs or other websites. Of course, blog owners should have a solid understanding of the most important SEO principles and trends and should do their homework on the subject. Ultimately, however, a top ranking in the search engines always depends on well-prepared content that is relevant to the user.
As we can see, blogging is tough work and must be learned. If that’s the case, the reward for a good project preparation is a long-term successful corporate blog that readers are happy to visit and recommend.
By Daniela La Marca