A corporate blog is a blog maintained by a company or one or more of its employees. The basic mode of operation is no different from “normal” blogs: The person in charge creates content and publishes it. Users usually have the opportunity to rate and comment on the contributions.
However, the objective of a corporate blog is usually significantly different. While bloggers who work privately usually choose topics with which they are very familiar or in which they are interested, a corporate blog – at least in most cases – serves marketing purposes. True, not all corporate blogs are the same, and the chosen topics and goals sometimes differ greatly. But the content published by companies is usually intended to appeal to a specific target group and get them excited about the company.
Corporate blogs in online marketing
Corporate blogs are strategic tools in the marketing mix of companies. They serve to represent the interests of the respective company in a communicative and targeted manner. E-commerce companies, for example, are setting up their own blogs to add editorial value to their online stores, in addition to pure product descriptions – for example, with advice texts and tips. This trend goes hand in hand with the development of corporate magazines. Successful examples of this are the Bankspiegel of the social-ecological GLS Bank and the Volkswagen Magazine.
Corporate blogs appeared shortly after the first private blogs. They were and are a popular means of online marketing, especially in the USA, but more and more German companies are also relying on this type of communication with customers and other interest groups.
One of the goals of corporate blogs is a good ranking in search engines such as Google. According to a study by HubSpot, 82 percent of companies that blog regularly see more inbound links and improved search engine rankings. For a checklist on how corporate blogs can rank better in search engines, click here.
Corporate blogs as a direct line to the target group
The big advantage of a corporate blog is the personal contact between blogger and the people who read the blog. On the official site of a company, the company will usually present itself seriously and seriously, after all, the site is its figurehead on the Internet. In addition to customers, potential business partners or investors may also visit the site, so a too familiar, familiar appearance would be out of place there.
With the corporate blog, the company can show its “human” side, for example through contributions from employees who report on their everyday work. Social commitment, sustainable management and training in the company are other popular topics for corporate blogs that allow a much more direct connection to the target group.
In addition, a corporate blog can also be used as a kind of “test balloon.” If there are sensitive topics that the company wants to deal with, but which may also have a negative PR impact, the company can blog about them. Since usually only one employee – or a few – are responsible for the blog, the content can easily be presented as the opinion of these employees if the hoped-for effect fails to materialize. If, on the other hand, the content can convince the target group, the blog and its content can just as easily be appropriated by the company.
This method is also often used when a company wants to use a corporate blog for the first time for marketing and communication with customers. Since the impact and effectiveness of the content can hardly be estimated in advance, the employees do not blog officially on behalf of the company, but rather as private individuals who publish contributions on topics related to the company. In this way, the company can safely experiment with this still fairly new means of communication and assess whether the effort and benefits are in balance.
Corporate blogs offer a lot of potential
This opportunity for testing is especially important with blogs, because it takes time to build up a blog. While social media sites like Facebook can usually attract followers very quickly, a corporate blog has to establish itself before it can attract a larger number of people to read the posts.
The PR and marketing effects of a blog usually only become apparent after some time, but they quickly cause a comparatively high outlay due to content planning and creation. On the other hand, a corporate blog also has considerable potential. For example, it makes it possible to dynamically design the company’s presence on the Internet. In addition, thanks to personal communication, it is easier to convince opinion leaders, who then disseminate the blog’s content and thus increase its impact many times over.
With high-quality content, it is also possible for a company to establish itself as an authority in a particular field and thus become an opinion leader itself. In the battle for highly qualified employees, a blog can also be a very helpful tool. If members of the target group – for example, students in the field of mechanical engineering – are tied to the company at an early stage via the blog, it is easier to find employees later on, because personal contact makes the company appear more like an attractive employer to them.
You can find out how to market your blog well in the glossary article on blog marketing.
The different variants of the corporate blog
So far, we’ve only been talking about “the corporate blog” – but that’s a bit misleading, because just like other blogs, there’s no set form or objective for a corporate blog. While most companies pursue similar intentions with their blogs on the Internet, there are definitely numerous different variants of the corporate blog. These include, among others:
The service blog: With such a blog, the company offers customers additional information about its own products. For example, this could be recipes at a food manufacturer, or tips on craftsmen’s work at a specialist building materials retailer.
The campaign blog: Such a blog is usually only operated for a certain period of time and is intended to accompany certain advertising campaigns. Further information on the product, references to social commitment in production or the presentation of ultra-modern manufacturing methods would be among other conceivable topics here.
The topic blog: This variant is very broad and basically has only one restriction – the blog must be focused on a certain topic area. A topic blog is particularly suitable for establishing the company as an expert in a field and thus influencing the formation of opinion.
The customer relationship blog: This blog is used to build a community that identifies with the company to a certain degree and therefore has a close relationship with the company. Among other things, this can be very helpful when evaluating products on the Internet.
Corporate blogs compared to social media
For many companies in Germany, blogs appear to be too cumbersome and too elaborate compared to Facebook and other social media sites. However, a corporate blog also offers various advantages over Facebook and Co. One of the most important factors in favor of a blog is control over the content. Outsiders, such as Facebook as the operator of the social media platform, cannot influence the design, the possible topics or the visibility of the posts on a corporate blog. Here, the company alone decides which topics are taken up, how customers are addressed and in what way posts are published.
In addition, blogs have a completely different status in terms of credibility and relevance of the posts than social media pages. What is posted on Facebook today, many users have already forgotten tomorrow. With a blog, the more intimate atmosphere and reputation built up over time ensure that many readers rate the content as more credible and substantial. This, of course, made them very interesting and effective for marketing and PR purposes.
What makes a good blog article and how do you get high-quality blog articles that inspire your target audience? Find out here.
Corporate blogs are effective in the long term
A corporate blog can be a very effective tool in online marketing. It is true that the effort required is generally higher than for a presence on a social media site, and the effect is usually not as quick. On the other hand, a corporate blog – if operated correctly – has the potential to bind customers very closely to the company over a long period of time. In addition, the blog can help the company to assume an expert role through high-quality contributions and to influence the opinion as an authority in this field. Corporate blogs are therefore particularly suitable for companies that rely on a long-term marketing strategy.
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