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Corporate Blog Success Factors: Five Questions on the Road to a Successful Company Blog

The corporate blog can play a crucial role in any company communication. Even though a corporate blog can be a successful feature, this tool should not be used haphazardly, and it is important to have a clear strategy in place from the beginning. The following five questions will help with the design and planning of a corporate blog. Some possible methods and solutions will be offered, using the Projecter blog as an example.

The corporate blog can play a crucial role in any company communication. Even though a corporate blog can be a successful feature, this tool should not be used haphazardly, and it is important to have a clear strategy in place from the beginning. The following five questions will help with the design and planning of a corporate blog. Some possible methods and solutions will be offered, using the Projecter blog as an example.

1. What are the objectives of the corporate blog, and what role does it occupy in corporate communications?

At the start of any offline or online marketing campaign, objectives to be achieved must always be set – including the communication goals. The following could be objectives for a corporate blog:

  • developing an emotional connection with readers
  • establishing the company as an expert
  • exchanging information with customers, partners and competitors
  • achieving higher rankings by generating more traffic
  • raising company visibility

Keep in mind that goals must be consistent with the overall company communication and marketing goals.

Projecter blog:

The blog is the focal point for corporate communication at Projecter, the Leipzig Online Marketing Agency, and its core goals are:

  • establishing the company’s expertise in four key areas: SEO, SEA, social media and affiliate
  • exchanging information with others interested in online marketing
  • lead generation

The blog contributes significantly to achieving these goals. Within the last five years, the number of visitors to the Projecter blog has continuously increased. During 2013, for example, blog traffic grew by 53.45 percent compared with the previous year. The blog also regularly helps Projecter win new customers.

2. What is the target group for the corporate blog? Does this match the company’s target audience?

Having defined the blog’s target objectives, there must also be a target-group analysis.

Who will read the blog? For example:

  • existing/prospective customers
  • employees
  • journalists/media
  • potential employees
  • investors/shareholders
  • business leaders, institutions, associations, etc.

In addition, companies should ask the following questions: What are the expectations of the target group? Will your blog reach this target group? And which online sites does this group visit?

Projecter blog:

The Projecter blog target audience consists firstly of existing and potential customers, and secondly, blog posts must also reach online marketing enthusiasts and other industry experts. If you take the example of the SEA, SEO, affiliate and social media articles, which are essential to increase networking with other experts, these posts also present opportunities to expand the agency’s visibility in the online marketing scene while the publication of external contributions creates a relationship with the respective writers.

Projecter’s target audience is specifically addressed via social media channels such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

3. What topics should the blog focus on?

The choice of subjects should always follow the previously defined business objectives. There are several ways to find topics relevant to the target group. For example:

  • keyword analysis in accordance with the company’s products/services
  • researching key trade publications
  • searching question forums and reviewing discussions
  • analyzing Google Trends

When researching appropriate topics, concentrate on questions where very little Internet information is currently available. Well-researched content, with new answers and solutions, has the best chance of being frequently viewed. Possible topics include:

  • technical articles from company departments
  • contributions to everyday working practice
  • knowledge in the form of checklists, webinars, tutorials, progress reports, etc.
  • guest contributions from external experts
  • current industry topics, such as studies or news about products/services

When researching appropriate topics, the presentation and format of the contribution (video, graphics, etc.) should also be considered.

Projecter blog:

The Projecter blog content focuses on specialist articles. Within the last year, the agency has greatly minimized purely corporate presentations in the blog, shifting these to social media channels like Facebook.

Because subject expertise is spread across the agency, Projecter requires each employee to contribute regular posts. This is what the content features: reports from daily work, practical advice for beginners, and detailed technical papers on specialist topics such as SEO, social media, Facebook Ads and affiliate marketing. These specialist contributions cover topics that are scarcely covered on the Internet.

The most popular posts contain practical case studies and guidance for the reader. Because most articles in general provide introductory information for new readers, the competition to rank highly is difficult, and it’s less competitive in areas where there is little information regarding the topic. The monthly specialist articles are also very popular and appreciated by readers who collect, edit and recycle informative articles about rare online marketing topics. This saves them time and allows them never to miss important developments.

4. Which channels should be used to advertise the blog?

No matter the topic, a corporate blog will not be of use if it is not well-publicized to your target audience. Therefore, you should primarily utilize your company’s existing communication channels to circulate blogs, such as:

  • sharing current posts on social media (besides your corporate efforts, individual employees can also get involved)
  • incorporating current contributions in a newsletter
  • attaching a blog link to your employee email signatures
  • including a blog reference on business cards, presentations, etc.

Projecter blog:

Projector shares recent blog posts via its corporate presence on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and also uses some private profiles. Furthermore, the monthly specialist articles on SEA, SEO, affiliate and social media topics are sent as a newsletter, with blog links attached to employee email signatures.

5. How will you measure your blog’s effectiveness? What will your monitoring achieve? Which key performance indicators (KPI) should be deployed to evaluate success?

The design and commissioning of your blog content should also include evaluation criteria: Have your objectives been achieved? And if so, to what extent?

Various KPI’s can be derived from previously defined goals and might include:

  • blog traffic: number of visits, unique visitors, new visits, duration of visit, etc.
  • ranking contributions according to relevant search terms
  • development of brand-traffic
  • generated links, social signals
  • referral traffic
  • feed subscribers
  • high-traffic articles

Projecter blog:

Projecter regularly determines corporate blog attendance via Google Analytics and, for example, checks visitor sources in relation to high-traffic blog articles. The rankings of individual blog articles are monitored using SEO tools, and in addition, the topics and types of article that generate high traffic are also evaluated.

Since 2013, the top three blog posts of the month are also announced to the team – in addition to its motivational effect, this overview helps brief the team about target-group related articles by analyzing the ideas and structure of each top-rated post. Furthermore, they also analyze the distribution of content and how the employees helped promote their posts.

Conclusion

Whether it’s to give useful tips, allow a behind-the-scenes glance at a famous company, find new employees or build a reputation as experts, many companies are choosing not only social-networking media for their corporate presentations but also a company blog. And for your blog to operate successfully as a communication tool, it’s important to have a goal-oriented strategy from the beginning. Answering these questions about objectives, target group, thematic orientation, promotion and performance measurement will help companies create corporate blogs more effectively.

About the author:

Franziska Neubert works for Projecter, the Online Marketing Agency where, as Head of SEO, she directs the search engine optimization team. In this role, she constantly optimizes internal processes and is the first point of contact for questions and challenges in the SEO field. Neubert also runs workshops, lectures and training sessions in her areas of expertise. In addition, she is responsible for Projecter PR and serves as an account manager for affiliate marketing clients.


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