What is a Blog and What is It's Purpose?
A blog is a "web log" written by one or more people around a core topic or subject matter. There are many reasons why companies should (and do) create blogs, including:
- to communicate with current customers about products/services
- to position its executives as thought leaders among peers and potential customers
- to gain the trust of potential customers
- to journal or chronicle particular events or thought processes
- to provide support and an open forum for users of its products
- to engage its users in relevant conversation about its products, services or brand
- to encourage brand advocacy among its happy customers
- to keep an open ear for nay-sayers
Search Engine Placement Value
These online communication tools are extremely valuable to companies for many reasons. First, research reveals that companies who blog (and create remarkable content) have significantly increased organic SEO ranks in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Placement). A survey of more than 1500 small businesses revealed that companies who blog have (on average) 434% more indexed pages in the webosphere. The same study revealed that there were 97% more inbound links to websites that included a blog, compared to those that did not.
Lead Generation Opportunities
Next, studies point to the fact that blogging creates an obvious impact on lead generation. The State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report from 2011 indicated that B2C companies who blog have an 88% increase in the number of leads generated online, and B2B companies generally see a 67% increase in online leads. Further, the study revealed a strong correlation between the number of posts on a particular blog and the leads generated. Blogs with 1-18 posts showed a median monthly lead generation volume of 10 leads; the increase, however, was noted when a blog contained 25 posts (33% increase) and 50 posts (77% increase). Further, the State of Inbound Marketing report indicated that blogging frequently increases the opportunity for lead generation.
Who Should Blog?
Anyone within the company who has a real passion for what they do *could* be involved in the corporate blog. Generally, we like to invite director level folks to write about the topics in which they have a particular expertise. Passion is a key to creating remarkable content!
What Should We Blog About?
Think of your corporate blog as a way to let your audiences see and feel the heart your company - a glimpse into its soul, if you will. Write about industry topics of conversation, debates within your field, latest news, why you do the things you do. Write about helping people, solving problems, helping other people solve problems … but whatever you do, don't write about yourself! Your blog is not a place to boast about your accomplishments, discuss how wonderful your products are, or twist someone's arm to do business with you. Keep the conversation real, and use your blog to build credibility, trust and long-term relationships.