Join our email list:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7193 8559

Tips For Business Blogs and Business Blogging

Tips For Business Blogs and Business Blogging

There are a lot of really bad corporate blogs out there. Don’t make yours one of them.

You’ve seen them: all the robotic press releases, boring business jargon and complete lack of personality. Yuck.

Fortunately, there are also some good ones. These are the blogs that give you a more personal take on a usually-impersonal corporation, offer a chance to engage in real, interesting dialogue with those in charge – and develop a fan base of loyal readers in return.

We talked to a few of the people behind some good corporate blogs to find out what it takes to catch, and hold, a reader’s attention in the tangled jungle that is the modern blogosphere.

Throw “corporate” out the window

Forget the “corporate” thing – your business’s blog should just be a great blog.

“I’m not even sure that ‘great’ and ‘corporate blog’ belong in the same sentence. Great corporate blogs are in reality great blogs for dedicated bloggers who happen to work inside corporations,” says Dave Kellogg, CEO of Mark Logic and writer of Kellblog.

“Instead of having ‘a corporate blog’ as your goal you should think about having a series of great corporate bloggers,” he says.

Who should write for the blog? Everyone!

“Whether yours is a small or large organization, you need to understand that social media is a tool for everyone, not just the official spokespeople or the PR team,” Giovanni Rodriguez, Co-founder of Hubbub

“We also have people across the entire agency contributing to the blog from the Managing Partners to strategists to account managers to creatives to even interns. We encourage everyone with a great idea to participate,” says Brandon Evans, Chief Strategy Officer of media marketing firm Mr Youth (whose blog Grown Up Thinking was a nominee for Mashable’s Open Web Awards 2009).

And Kellogg adds, “If you’re thinking of having a ghost-written executive blog, stop. Don’t bother. It defeats the point.”

Your content should go beyond your business

Nothing could be more boring that just sticking to the company line. Contribute interesting content on a wide array of subjects that could be important to your target audience.

Kevin Hunt, Editor of LegalCurrent, says that their goal is to contribute to the discussion of topics that their readers are interested in, by talking about trends in the industry and having thought leaders offer their take, for example.

“It is critical to focus first on creating content that adds value to your readers and helps them do their jobs better,” Evans seconds.

Kellogg thinks that his blog has become so popular because “it covers both company and non-company material. Some of it is generic business and marketing lessons I’ve learned over the years. And some of it – I suspect the most popular – is the application of those lessons to analyzing companies and their strategies.”

A blog is not about marketing (but good ones end up doing just that)

No matter how much you want it to serve as a marketing tool, the best corporate blogs aren’t created for the purpose of marketing.

Whatever you do, your blog should not be “an advertisement for the company or a regurgitation of company news and press releases,” Kellogg warns.

“We focus strongly on our audience and what is of value to them vs. trying to sell anything. We very rarely speak about our agency or client projects on our blog but rather focus on the stories that interest us which we feel will interest our readers,” Evans says.

You’ll end up marketing your business indirectly if you get readers excited about your blog by giving them interesting stuff to read.

More content guidelines

“Create a strong theme that helps editorialize the content of the blog so users know what to expect,” Evans advises. “All the authors involved in our blog have a lot of leeway to find stories of interest but ultimately know that posts should tie back to” the overall intent, he says. “Beyond that, it is really about keeping the content fresh, posting multiple times a week if not daily.”

Get personal

A blog is a chance to get personal with your customers, away from the impersonal void that is the official corporate website.

“There are many reasons why I work at mark logic. I explain them in my blog,” Kellogg says. “I also work hard to keep the writing light and where possible, funny.”

The bloggers for Mr Youth just try to “give readers a taste of the types of things we are thinking about,” says Evans.

If you want to encourage customer interaction

Kellogg advises, “If dialogue is one of your goals, then here are some things you should do:

Write in a way that encourages interaction – ask lots of questions

Engage in dialogue – respond quickly to comments (waiting 3 days and responding in bulk isn’t going to stimulate a conversation)”

Many blogs use Facebook to make it easy for people to login in and comment and share stories.

And again, contributing to the discussions that your target audience are already talking about is key for sparking dialogue on your blog.

If you don’t think you can do all of these points… don’t have a blog.

There is no point in putting up a rotten corporate blog just for the sake of having one.

In Kellogg’s opinion, “most companies shouldn’t make a corporate blog; what they need instead is a news-and-events RSS feed (which is what bad corporate blogs degenerate into).”

If you can’t commit to:

  1. Focusing on fresh, interesting content
  2. Avoiding all direct marketing ploys
  3. Getting creative and moving beyond boring company info
  4. … just don’t do it.

Some great corporate blogs to check out

These blogs have been cited on the web as examples of corporate blogging done right:

Have a favorite? Tell us in the comments.

Also view our Blog Solutions & Integrated Blog Systems pages, plus how our digital marketing specialists can help grow your business.

See more articles from Blogging

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.