A great way to discover corporate blogging best practices is to take a good look around at the companies who have done it ‘right’. Not that you should go ahead and copy their practices directly, but certainly think about why their content is working well and why it appeals to their audiences effectively.
Why are Corporate Blogs so Important?
Corporate blogs can be leveraged in a bunch of different ways. Most importantly, if your business functions to make a profit, corporate blogs affect your company’s ability to generate organic leads and subsequent sales and revenue. Kapost highlights some critical stats that back up this statement but the most important ones to remember are: “Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors” and “B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that do not blog”.
Aside from the obvious factors that directly relate to ROI, corporate blogs also help to build awareness, foster trust and create an outlet for companies to disseminate information and strengthen relationships with current and prospective customers. Now that customers are more informed, they have become more demanding, requiring businesses to address and improve the Customer Experience (CX). Corporate blogs have become an essential tool to addressing the modern omnichannel environment.
What Most Companies are Doing Wrong
The “build it and they will come mentality” is a common misconception that companies have when creating their blog. Like any content, blogs usually require some form of advertising to attract viewers. Many companies have unrealistic expectations when they implement their corporate blog. There’s a ridiculous amount of media noise out there so if you want to be heard, your have to keep talking consistently, talk about relevant topics and make sure the people you’re talking to can hear you.
The most important part of corporate blogging is properly defining your target audience. I can’t stress this enough. Effective content marketing requires the development of comprehensive buyer personas for accurate targeting. If you don’t know exactly who you’re writing for, how can you expect to create relevant content that sparks your audience’s interests?
Plenty of companies blog simply because they feel like they have to. There is no clear vision of what the blog is meant to accomplish and consequently, the content becomes unspecific and irrelevant. In cases like this, blog traffic, sharing and user engagement will almost definitely be low and businesses will have a hard time attributing any value to their efforts. Because the blog doesn’t perform well, decision makers then come to the conclusion that blogging is an ineffective marketing tool that isn’t worth the investment.
B2B Blogs That Are Just Awesome (In Alphabetical Order)
Callbox answered a rather interesting question--is quality B2B content dead? The amount of content being published daily is constantly growing, and competition is tougher than ever.
But even though the content within many B2B blogs can be dry, technical and hard to digest, some companies have done outstanding jobs when it comes to creating valuable content that their target audiences (and even readers outside those classifications) love to consume.
So without further ado, here are our picks for great corporate blogs to read and adopt best practices from in 2016:
Caterpillar is an American corporation who is best known for designing, manufacturing and selling commercial construction and mining equipment to businesses all over the world.
The Caterpillar Blog proves without a doubt that anyone can blog successfully, provided they have the right aim. This particular corporate blog is aimed at construction professionals with posts about news, advice, guides and general construction-related discussions. This blog is so successful because it leverages the combined knowledge of its vast community to help solve any problems that might arise.
ComScore is a prominent internet analytics company that provides marketing data to many of the world’s largest enterprises.
ComScore has a strong competitive advantage because of their exceptional ability to develop unique content. This can partially be attributed to the mass of information they have at their fingertips due to the nature of their business function (collecting and analyzing data). This ability to leverage their own data for content production means that their articles are difficult for others to produce, making them very valuable.
This organization is an American-based multinational conglomerate. GE is one of the largest firms in the US by gross revenue ($117b in 2015). Just think of any product category that’s related to electricity, GE probably has a stake in it.
Having such a large product range makes it harder to brand themselves but GE has found a way to use their diverse portfolio to their advantage. Their articles are mainly focused on innovation and how GE products are making a positive difference all across the globe. They also seek external voices with unique opinions on everything from manufacturing to public policy and the global economy.
4. HubSpot Blog
Hubspot is a developer of software products for inbound marketing. Hubspot’s blog is the cornerstone of their content production and aims to help marketers with tips, tricks, guides and advice.
Naturally, the HubSpot Blog focuses on marketing, sales, social media and other topics that are directly related to the inbound marketing concept. The HubSpot Blog was ranked as the 21st most influential in AdAge’s 2013 Power 150. Though it no longer exists, it was certainly an influential ranking platform. Since then, HubSpot has continued to publish compelling content that gets shared by all.
5. IBM Blog
IBM is a major technology and consulting firm based in the US. They are most famous for their work with NASA and the Apollo missions in providing the computing technology needed for space exploration.
On their blog, IBM encourages its staff to contribute their own opinions and ideas even if they go against the company’s views. This freedom ensures that the information provided on their blog is honest, relevant and most importantly, free from corporate bias.
Kissmetrics is a customer analytics platform based in San Francisco that provides tools to analyze how users interact on websites, web apps and mobile products.
Their blog offers solid insights and guides on marketing techniques specifically for professional digital marketing purposes. Though their content is superior to most, the real value lies in the tests they conduct on various digital marketing phenomenon.
Marketo is a marketing software company that specializes in developing marketing automation tools for businesses. They offer various products for lead management, sales insight and social marketing.
The Marketo Blog offers readers information about consumer and B2B marketing tips and best practices with a focus on email marketing, marketing automation, lead generation and marketing ROI.
Oracle is a multinational computer technology corporation based in California. They focus on developing database software, cloud systems and enterprise solutions.
If you’re keen to learn about the Internet of Things (IoT), be sure to check out this blog for great insights into technology, with a wealth of content to consume.
Salesforce is a leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions with a focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.
This blog focuses on topics associated with IT and business management but a big part of their content is about their own range of products and how to use them effectively.
Unbounce is an online marketing firm specifically focused towards helping marketing professionals gain more control over user behavior around landing pages.
Their blog is generally about digital marketing but has a strong emphasis on lead and sales conversion. Content is provided mainly in the form of advice, tactics, guides and checklists.
What Do These Blogs Have in Common?
Though these blogs focus on providing conceptually different information to their readers, they do have a few things in common that we can learn from.
Set specific goals.
Every blog has a clear vision, so they can aim to fulfill particular goals through the provision of content. Whether it’s to convert leads using content offers, promote social responsibility or build an image as a thought-leader, these blogs have a purpose and the design/production of their content truly reflects that.
Know your target audience.
These blogs have a comprehensive idea of who their target audience is and where their interests lie. This way, they know exactly what topics and subjects will attract the attention of their target audiences. Proper audience recognition makes it easier for content to be consistent and relevant.
The content within these blogs provides true value to readers. They all aim to educate or entertain their audience with their content. Though there are calls to action in most, none are too pushy or come off as a sales pitch. If you want to attract and delight your audience, make sure you’re helping them in some way shape or form, and not just trying to make a sale.
Write quality content.
Lastly, and probably most subjectively, these blogs are all well-written. They are all written in a language that is easy to read and comprehend, even for those who may not be technically savvy. It doesn’t take the best writers in the world to produce quality content, it merely requires uncomplicated language that engages readers through a conversational tone.
So now that you know what works, get out there and start corporate blogging with a purpose!