Corporate blogging: Eight things to remember
Are you struggling to make money out of your corporate blog?
Are you wondering about where you are going wrong with it?
Are you not being able to justify the time and effort your company is spending on its official blog? If you answered yes to all these questions, then stop worrying right now and read on.
In the following post, I will discuss a few things that you should keep in mind to make your corporate blog work for your cause. Chances are that if you start with these ideas, very soon you will be raking in big blog moolah.
So, fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!
1. Giving it a human voice
The most crucial thing about any blog is its human voice. Corporate blogs, which are generally hosted on the newsroom microsite or media or pressroom page of any company’s official website, can generally be distinguished from the rest of the website by nature of the content. While the rest of the webpages might contain plain, business-like language and information, setting the tone for the company in general, with blogs you can have a slightly free hand. Your tone can be informal, for a change.
The blog page is where you can actually let some of your creative juices flow. Talk about personal experiences, inside stories, individual accounts – anything that will attach a human angle to the staccato business your company is associated with. The personal touch that your content posts on the page is to let the reader know that the company is real and human. No matter what your product or service is, servicing the consumer or interacting with him or her is usually considered a critical aspect of any business plan. So, keep your ideal consumers in mind while writing the blog and ‘talk’ to them. Give them the feeling that you know them, understand them, and only want to help them.
For example, with this Justwords blog, the writer shares her own point of view about how to make editing or proofreading easier for any writer. By talking about her own problems regarding the task, she gives it a human voice and brings the content on a rather boring topic closer to the reader.
Planning your topic
So, how do you help your consumer, who, in this case, is also your potential reader?
This question brings us to the first question that you face while thinking about your corporate blog, – “what topic should I write about?”
This is more than a legitimate issue, because without this, you cannot proceed further. Most blogs end up being about topics that other people have already written about or are constantly writing about. The following are a few topics that might turn out to be unique, when you think about them from the perspective of your business. When you attach your company’s issues related to the points I mention below, you will be able to forge out unique content. If the topic not unique in their generality, the content at least will definitely be one of a kind, because the new light you are focusing on the topic is related to your company’s particular issues, different from any others’.
2. Pain points of customer
My go-to topic for most blogs is almost always the pain points or needs or requirements of the target audience of your company or your business. These are also your ideal readers. If you are trying to win over customers, here readers, the best thing to do is to tell them how you might also be facing the same problem or how you sincerely feel for their struggles or issues that concern them. When you start writing in that vein, your reader will associate the text with the empathy in your tone, and will be egged on to read more. This is because they will think that since you understand their problems, you will most likely talk about a solution to that problem and that is definitely to their interest.
For example, in this Justwords blog, the writer talks to her target audience – readers concerned with generating content – about tackling a crucial issue, writer’s block, that affects the best of them at some time or the other. Check it out here:
Here is another example of a blog which talks about a solution to a common issue that affects most people who transact using the Internet. In this Paytabs blog, the company gives pointers about the various ways a consumer can protect himself or herself online and stay protected from hackers, who are a constant threat. Check out this blog here:
3. Highlights and customer success stories
If the customer’s pain points do not fit into your plan, then there are other topics you can try to lure in your ideal consumer- reader. You can talk about anything from company highlights – (this could be a particular achievement of your company in the last quarter or maybe a year- ) to customer success stories -(this could be the account of a particular case in which a customer has found tangible benefits from the solution that your company’s product or service had offered them).
Your reader will associate the positive results recounted in such blog posts with positivity and faith in your product or service, and that goes a long way in turning a blog into a money-making machine.
Remember, the success of a corporate blog lies in catering to what your ideal consumer wants to know more about. Only, this can convert mere interest in your business to an actual sale, which in turn will lead to a loyal following or relationship with the ideal customer – the ultimate goal of most corporate houses.
For example, check out how Adobe markets the success stories it has had with its various customers through its popular corporate blog. They talk about how companies like NetApp, Motorola, and others improve their own businesses, boost sales, and save millions, resulting from the use of Adobe solutions. Read the blogs here:
4. Surveys, polls, comparison, debates, questions
Your ideal reader would be generally interested in surveys that your company has conducted or polls that you have taken, regarding a product your company has launched or an idea that your company is toying with. You could compare a particular product manufactured by your company with another, similar product manufactured by your company or another.
You could also utilize the blog to drum up a controversial topic, relevant to your business. Talking about controversies make your company seem human – another customer booster. Disagree with a popular opinion maybe and throw that topic up for debate – the more intense the debate, the more eyeballs on your blog, and higher the chances of your customer’s interest converting into leads and sales.
You could also pose questions for your readers-customers to answer – maybe it is something about a particular demographic that you are wondering about before you market your product, just ask the question in an interesting blog and let your content trigger enough curiosity that will lead your reader to answer your question, and voila! You will have what you need!
For example, check out this blog post from Fitbit, the company known for its popular fitness trackers. Here, the entire topic of their blog is one question which they know for certain pertains to the interests of their ideal consumer. And they address just that point in their blog. Read it here.
Image Source: Fitbit Blog
5. Industry secrets and company mistakes
Your potential consumer would be interested in your product, even the whole industry that your product or service belongs to. Curious people always like to know more. So, give them exactly that. You can try talking to them about secrets of the industry, giving them a behind the scenes, human approach to products or services that they take for granted as automatic, magical, or fantastic.
For example, check out this series of blog posts from Disney Parks. We associate Disney with the Magic Kingdom, a place where fantasies come true. Disney does a wonderful job at giving their customers a peak into that magical world, by showing them how real people help to make that magic. This they get done in the series they call ‘Behind the scenes’. Read one such post here:
Another topic that usually attracts all kinds of readers is the discussion about company blunders. This could be a mistake that your company has recently made and your blog would be just the right platform to acknowledge your mistake (remember everyone, likes to read about other people’s blunders and a blog on this, on behalf of the company, also helps associate a human voice or human touch to the bland, official face of any business).
For example, look at this Flickr blog, with quite a riveting headline. Here, right at the very beginning, they confess. They talk about their mistake and obviously, their readers will not only forgive them, but also think that this is an honest company to have business relations with, as they are not hiding behind logic, rules, or a stoic corporate façade. Check this out right here.
Planning the placement of your call to action
The next most important thing about planning your blog is making an educated decision about what kind of call to action you want to use to make your blog work. Remember, you are not writing a corporate blog for fun or leisure. You are writing it to achieve something, linked to your overall organizational goal – it could be getting more return on investment, it could be spreading awareness on green building or sustainability, or it could be making people do something like watch a video or read a report. Whatever your goal is, your call to action should tie into it.
To that end, you could have a call to action in the form of a lead generation form, in which you ask your interested reader and potential consumer their names, email addresses, along with their opinions on an issue in the comments section or you ask them for their email addresses so that you can add them to your e-newsletter mailing list. Your call to action could also be asking your consumer to share a video on social media, download a pdf, or react to your blog on social media.
No matter what your call to action, you have to make sure that you place it in the proper position in order to garner some ‘action’ back from your consumer.
A. Right at the top – top fold content
A rule of thumb can be placing some basic sharing options at the top of your blog, right after your headline. Now this will serve to help two problematic issues. One, in case your blog post takes more time than the customary 2 seconds to load, then your reader can read the top part of your blog and might feel interested enough (just from opening and introduction) to share it online. Give him or her the opportunity to share, even without reading the whole story.
Another issue is the general prioritization of top fold content, that is the content you get to see on screen, without having to scroll down for the rest. A simple call to action for shares at the top helps this purpose as well (for those lazy readers among us).
For example, look at this post from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog. While the actual post runs on, the strategy makes sure that the top fold content is prioritized as far as blog shares are concerned, courtesy the Facebook and Twitter icon triggers right next to the opening paragraph. Check it out here.
B. Right after explaining benefit
For example, if you are trying to sell a product through a blog, place your call to action, asking your consumer to buy it, right after you have talked about a particular benefit of your product.
For example, look at this H&M blog, where they talk about how you can use their products to get beautiful eyebrows. Check out how they place their call to action about buying the products right after they describe them.
C. Right at the bottom
For example, If you want your reader or consumer to answer a question for you or you want to find out what they are thinking about something, then place your call to action right at the bottom of your blog.
The reasoning is simple: only the very interested reader will want to read the entirety of your blog post and only then, be inclined enough to answer the question you pose. Give the reader some time to process the information you are providing in your blog and then let him or her provide you with an educated, well thought-out answer to the question you pose. So, in this case a question at the end of your blog post will certainly work best.
For example, check out this blog post from FIFA. While the blog prioritizes the top fold content and uses a call to action (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) right at the top of the post, their more elaborate call to action is an answer to a question they are posing for their readers.
And they place this question strategically right at the bottom, at the very end of the blog. So that by the time the readers go through the blog, they are already aware of the topic in question and have had time to think about it. By the time they actually reach the question, they are in the correct frame of mind and thought to answer it. Check this out here
There are many more issues that could help you to make your blogs look good and work even better. There are issues about keywords, meta descriptions, what kind of images and videos you should use, how you should actually write a corporate blog, how you should promote blogs on various social media – all of which, if put to use, would improve the quality of any corporate blog. The most important thing though is the proper training of your blogger in all these issues. Once that is done, your corporate blog would for sure attains soaring heights!
Hope you found this post useful. If you are interested in knowing more about the same issues, you might find the following links useful:
- 8 Types of CTAs You Should Absolutely Try on Your Blog
- How To Write A Call To Action In A Template With 6 Examples
- 4 Simple Ways to Choose the Best Blog Topics for Your Audience
- 103 Blog Post Ideas That You Can Write About Today
If there are any relevant links you might want to share with us, please comment below.