So, you’re executing a content marketing strategy. You’ve produced case studies and whitepapers, and you’ve got a large group of followers and fans on your company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
That’s great. But do you have a corporate blogging program in place?
If not, then your content marketing initiative is operating without an absolutely essential component. In fact, marketing expert Heidi Cohen believes corporate blogs should be at the center of your content marketing universe.
In February, Cohen penned an article for the Content Marketing Institute with 12 reasons why a blog can act as the control center for your content. She makes a pretty compelling argument.
For example, here are two to think about:
- Blogs are a 24/7 communication platform: They allow you to react to industry news and developments in real-time, branding you as a thought leader. While social media is a real-time tool as well, a blog lets you dive into the issue in more detail.
- Blogs supply content for social media interaction: Speaking of social media, posting unique content to the various platforms you participate in is crucial. With up-to-date and relevant blogs, you can share links to your own content. That accomplishes a lot of things, not the least of which is boosting traffic and engagement with your company’s website.
At OpenView, we’ve been fully immersed in corporate blogging for a while and we’ve repeatedly seen tangible results. Our web traffic has increased, we’ve grown our newsletter subscriber list significantly, and our brand equity and recognition has greatly improved.
Here are a few other benefits of a well-executed corporate blogging strategy:
Better communicate your purpose
Blogging gives a voice to your employees and enables them to share their expertise – and personalities – with your target audience. That online voice reflects your company culture and allows your prospects to better connect with you.
Give life to your sales and marketing
A corporate blog gives expanded reach to a broader audience, providing a platform to explain who you are, what you do, and what your value proposition is. If done well, that will help generate more qualified leads, opportunities, and sales.
Analytical tools also enable you to track the progress of your blogging program. That data will help you measure how well you’re communicating your value proposition and determine where to focus your efforts moving forward.
Create a content engine
Regular and relevant blog posts generate ideas and inspirational resources that your marketing team can repurpose into additional content for target prospects, customers and key influencers.
In a post for Social Media Today, Mark Evans describes a corporate blog as a company’s “content engine,” supplying a constant flow of material for social platforms, newsletters and marketing and sales collateral.
Improve your sales productivity
Rather than having the same conversations with individual prospects, a blog gives you the opportunity to communicate a consistent message to that collective audience. This accomplishes two things: first, you move prospects through the sales cycle faster, and second, it increases the conversion rate of leads into sales.
Make your employees more customer-oriented
There are very few practices that are better at encouraging your employees to actively engage with customers and understand their perspective than writing a regular blog. It forces them to consider the topics or issues that are most important to their readers. With that comes a greater understanding of your customers’ needs and paint points.
Of course, as I mentioned previously, those benefits come from a well-executed corporate blogging platform. That means that everyone at your company – from the CEO to the sales rep – needs to do their part.
The executive team should set the priority and goals for the blogging program and be willing to allocate the proper resources to ensure its success. If they aren’t committed to blogging, the initiative will lack leadership. That indifference will inevitably trickle down to employee bloggers, who won’t be motivated to contribute regularly and will likely fail to market their posts to their individual social networks.
Thankfully, there are plenty of companies with excellent corporate blogs (like Balihoo, one of OpenView’s portfolio companies) that we can all learn from. Mashable’s Erica Swallow highlighted 15 of the best corporate blogs, which range from major operations like General Motors and Google to smaller companies like Evernote and 37Signals.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to be huge corporation to have a blog. You just need to commit to it. And if you do it well, it can be one of the most effective pieces of your content marketing strategy.
For more information on starting a corporate blog, download our eBook — The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Blogging.