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For most business owners, blogging can seem like such a headache. You have to plan your content, decide on a style and tone of voice, write your posts and then ensure they are consistently posted and shared.
All of this takes time and energy, which you may think would be better spent on other things. However, blogging has been proven as an effective means of driving traffic and leads to your site, so you should recognise the potential it has to drive your business forward.
Here are 8 reasons why corporate blogging is so important:
1. It improves brand awareness
The primary reason corporate blogging is so important is that it improves brand awareness. A blog creates more opportunities for your company to be discovered by potential customers and partners. Each post has content that can be found via search engines and read and shared on social media and other sites. This should result in increased traffic, and therefore more people becoming aware of your brand and what you do - this can only be a good thing!
Rental marketplace start-up Erento use their blog to post about lessons they've learnt from implementing organisational changes, such as 4 Great Outcomes of Restructuring Our Sales. As a small company that's largely unknown outside Germany, these posts help to increase awareness of their brand around the world, without directly trying the promote their services.
2. It builds relationships
Corporate blogging can help to create and nurture relationships with the people you'd like to focus on, whether that's your target market, existing customers, suppliers, employees or other people involved in your company. You can create a two-way conversation with blog posts asking for readers' thoughts and comments, and you could also get your readers involved by asking them to write guest posts for you. Building relationships this way will promote brand loyalty and help readers have a positive impression of your business - they'll quickly realise that you're a company that is happy to communicate, take on feedback and answer questions.
Coca-Cola's Unbottled blog is always trying to get people involved through the effective use of hashtags, social media and competitions. They may be a global giant, but there's no reason you can't learn from their example and tweak it to suit your business.
3. It gives the company a human face
Blogging allows you to humanise your company through the tone of voice you use and the information you choose to share. You can also get employees to be responsible for particular posts and include their image and name. In the same way that blogging builds relationships, it also helps customers see you as human, and not just a faceless corporate machine. This will help them relate to you and feel more inclined to do business with you.
As an online marketing authority, it's no surprise that Moz's blog does this excellently. Each post includes the writer's own thoughts, as well as their profile, where you can find information about them and other posts they've written. You're also given the chance to communicate directly with them.
4. It improves transparency
Blogging is a fantastic way for businesses to build trust with their audience. You can use your corporate blog to share internal updates, such as new partners and sales figures. When the public sees a company as trustworthy, straightforward and honest, they're more likely to use their services or buy their products.
Zappos' CEO and COO blog offers a level of transparency above most other companies. They share internal memos, emails and other information to ensure customers feel that they can completely trust the company. This is an excellent, inexpensive way to gain trust and goodwill.
5. It nurtures credibility
Along with transparency, you can also build credibility with your corporate blog. By consistently publishing high quality content on topics related to your field, people will begin to see your company as one with authority. When they need information about the area you specialise in, they will head to your blog or contact you, knowing they can trust the content you've provided.
Dell use their blog to share important company news and industry updates on a regular basis, helping employees, stakeholders and clients to feel like they're always in the loop; they can trust Dell to have their finger on the pulse of the tech industry.
6. It builds excitement and anticipation
A corporate blog is the perfect place to publish press releases and share exciting updates and titbits about new services or products. You can get your readers looking forward to things coming out in the near future, and they can share the information on social media, increasing the clamour even further. This gives you more potential for building excitement than formal press releases alone.
Recently, an Indian tech start-up, Notion Ink, blogged about the entire process leading up to their product launch. A blog allowed them to keep interested parties updated at every stage, all the way up to the launch and beyond.
7. It generates leads
Corporate blogging generates leads, which is, of course, what every small business owner is trying to do. With every piece of content you publish on your blog, you're increasing the chance of your business being discovered. More traffic will come to your site, and some of these will turn into leads by becoming subscribers, sending you an enquiry, following you on social media or connecting with you some other way. B2C businesses which blog receive around 88% more leads per month, and B2B companies generate 67% more leads. Without a regular blogging presence, you reduce your chances of being found significantly.
One of the most well-known examples of the effectiveness of blogging for generating leads is American pool company River Pools & Spas. They were losing money until they starting blogging; within a couple of years they managed to grow from a small company serving Maryland and Virginia to the most visited pool site on the web!
8. It increases customers
Some of the leads you generate with your blog will inevitably convert into customers. Readers who have already done their research and decided to buy a product or service you offer will know about your company because of your blog and also trust you because of it. Research shows that, by the time they get in touch with you, they'll already be over 60% of the way through the sales cycle, so essentially your blog posts have done all the hard work for you!
Personal finance management platform Mint managed to get two million customers within three years by focusing on blogging and other content. Mint is no longer a small business, it's a global brand - isn't that your aim, too?
Corporate blogging is an essential marketing tool
You may have noticed from these eight main points that corporate blogging can help at all stages of the buyer's journey, including initial awareness, consideration and eventual decision. Fresh, quality and regular corporate blog posts are a powerful tool that can increase traffic to your site, brand recognition, leads and sales. Don't ignore the power of corporate blogging any longer!
Main image credit: Daniel Thomas