You’ve probably thought about starting a corporate blog at some point, but either didn’t know how to leverage it to drive sales or didn’t have the time to maintain it. And that makes sense.
Your expertise lies in the industry you operate in and your time is admittedly better spent on growing your core business.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore implementing a corporate blog altogether.
Well, why not?
To start, let’s go over three important questions that founders often have when they look to start a corporate blog.
First: how can you get more traffic to your corporate blog anyway so your content doesn’t fall upon deaf ears?
Second: is a corporate blog a worthwhile investment?
And third: how can you best leverage a corporate blog to drive more sales?
These are some really good questions our clients often ask. And sometimes, they are ones that are tricky to answer.
But in just over half of a year, we grew one of our brands (theRising), from 0 to over 170,000 unique page views as of November 2019. And the expertise we gained from doing so has given us an opportunity to help our portfolio of over 20 clients achieve similarly astounding results.
But we don’t want to make content marketing any more of a black box than it already is. So we’re excited to share with you the 9 simple steps we took to achieve that growth.
Oh, and we want to show you that you can easily implement these steps at your company as well.
Naturally, you’re thinking about how you can get the most page views on your corporate blog (and some of that traffic converts over to paying customers).
But forcing an action upon your audience is something you should avoid.
Too many marketers focus on the close. And sure, there are some forms of copywriting that have a primary goal of closing sales. But you don’t want your audience to feel like the only reason you’re writing for them is to get their business.
For instance, if you’re sprinkling your call-to-action a bunch of times throughout your copy, you’ll not only fail to close quickly, but you’ll also drive your customers far away.
A better, more long-lasting approach to build rapport with your customer base is to present your information in a soft-sell.
This means you should consider presenting more insights and value-add to your audience for the purpose of helping them out.
If you approach interacting with your audience this way, you’ll be your audience’s first choice if they ever need something that you offer.
Sure, doing so can take a little longer to grow sales, but it all comes back around. This long-term play will build a loyal audience that trusts and wants to come back to gain insights from you.
And that repeat traffic is what will (naturally) get you customers over time.
We don’t ever really necessarily recommend hard-selling, but here’s a small chart to help you get an idea of when to soft-sell vs. hard-sell.
Just as bad as trying to hard-sell with every one of your blog posts is not picking a niche. Just keep this in mind: you want to gain repeat traffic.
And the only way to do so is to become an authority in a lane that you know really well.
Nowadays, thousands of publications and blogs touch on general “business” or “technology”. So chances are if a reader wants to read about business tips on how to scale their business, they’ll go to sites like Forbes or Entrepreneur to gain those insights.
But to think of these top publications as your competitors would be a huge mistake.
Chances are your business isn’t that general anyway. Are you selling digital marketing services? Well, maybe your blog can be just about social media advertising.
That’s just one example, anyway.
In our case, we focused on environmental sustainability as our niche for one of our brands, theRising.
By doing so, we were able to gain an audience passionate about our niche and be among the very few players in the market as far as content.
There’s one thing you should be careful about though: make sure your niche isn’t too small. This shouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but you want to do some basic research just to be safe.
Though one of the primary goals of running a corporate blog is to form a relationship with your audience and strive to achieve repeat traffic, you also shouldn’t ignore SEO.
Sure, some portions of your audience are going to be following your blog posts very closely. But at the same time, there’s a huge portion of the market that might not know you exist.
For instance, let’s say that you’re looking for some software development services. If you didn’t know of any service providers, how would you approach finding one?
You would try to search for one on Google, right? Well, here are the top results.
If you’re like most people, you’ll give the top result a try -- even if you’ve never heard of the brand before.
That’s the power of SEO. Now, of course, keywords like “software development service” are incredibly difficult to rank for. (And you can check for the competitiveness of SEO keywords with this free tool.)
But the higher the search volume, the greater the benefits you can reap.
Note, however, that SEO is more than just searching for keywords that have high search volume and proceed to target them. Instead, it’s about conversion.
In other words, what percentage of searchers of a given keyword will end up buying your product upon clicking your page?
That’s something you’ll want to test.
We already talked about the importance of communicating personally with your audience but being personal involves knowing who your audience is.
For example, if your audience is business owners, it’s not really necessary to define every business term because they likely know them too.
On the other hand, if you’re a software development agency looking to sell your service to a market agency, it might be valuable to define technical jargon that would otherwise confuse a potential client.
Let’s say your company operates a banking app that makes money operating software as a service to financial institutions but your users are actually people like you and me.
How would you approach devising a corporate blog?
Well, first, you should decide whether you’re looking to acquire more customers or more users. Fundamentally, you simply wouldn’t talk to users the same way you’d talk to a rep at a financial institution.
Secondly, you should consider who at the financial institution you’d even want to get the attention of. Would it be the VP of Marketing? Or would it be someone working in Digital Partnerships?
These two job types are what we like to call “avatars” -- they’re parts of someone’s identity that we can keep in mind to better target them with our content.
Knowing your audience is almost like Step 0 of writing a compelling blog post. Content has no inherent value; its value is determined by the reader. And if you don’t specify a reader demographic or try to “target everyone”, you’ll end up reaching no one.
Too many corporate blogs turn into soundboards for companies to announce the newest renditions of their work.
The truth is, nobody really cares about the new service you just announced, but most people would be excited about reading how you can help them reach their goals.
If your service can achieve that, that’s awesome -- presented well, you’ve probably gotten your company a new customer.
But when someone reads your blog for the first time, trust hasn’t been established yet. And that makes sense.
You don’t know who that reader and he/she doesn’t really know you either (yet!).
And just think about it this way: have you ever taken a pitch from someone you just met? Probably not, right? You’ve chosen to work with the people you collaborate with because you’ve gotten to know them to be good collaborators.
You’ve gotten to know them.
So don’t use your corporate blog as a microphone. Be personal. Have a conversation with your audience about their problems and how you can help.
It certainly pays off to use first-person pronouns, which I suppose is somewhat of a stylistic thing and mostly your choice as long as it works.
You might get the impression that people don’t want to read long posts. And that’s mostly true.
But especially if you’re looking to share some deep insights into a complex topic, you generally can’t really do that in 500 words.
And even if you’re explaining what you believe to be a simple concept, going into detail is what will set you apart.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have shorter blog posts. 600-800 word posts can work in your favor too.
But if you’re really looking to rank for those really tough keywords, going with long-form is the move. You’ll get more organic search traffic that way, according to BuzzSumo and Moz.
And not to mention, longer-form articles tend to get shared more too.
Your content can be amazing to read, but what your readers want is to have real, actionable takeaways.
After all, there are few things that are more frustrating than when you read a great article, but are then left to wonder: what’s next?
In your case, you might want to present how your service can help your client tackle the pain point you’ve been talking about throughout your article.
Or maybe you wrote a trend piece on where Facebook advertising is going in 2020 and want to end with a quick line on why your company is poised to lead the pack (and why it makes sense for a reader to sign with your company).
At the end of the day, if there’s no call to action, your content won’t have made an impact.
And in some cases, you might even lose out on sales from would-be customers that wanted to reach out after reading that blog post.
When you think about the most popular YouTubers, their subscribers eagerly wait for them to post content.
And when that content drops, users flock to videos, making sure they are among the first to view those videos.
Outside of the quality of content that YouTubers optimize for, the most popular ones are consistent -- their audience can rely on videos to be released at specific times of the week.
This same principle can be applied to optimizing your corporate blog.
Outside of driving sales, one of the key reasons to run a corporate blog in the first place is to establish yourself or your company as an authority in your industry.
And if you post consistently, that signals that you not only have a lot to say on the subject matter but also that you’re dedicated to putting out content.
Those two signals put together can often be the key to keeping your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Even though a lot of the marketing craze has shifted towards Facebook and Instagram advertising, email marketing is slowly but surely making a comeback.
In the same way that your corporate blog is your asset, so is your email list.
But, unfortunately, most companies don’t try as hard as they can to build out an engaged email list. We’re biased, but we think that every company should give it a try
If you’re putting out content, give your readers a chance to subscribe to your email list.
That’s probably the best way to stay in touch with your audience.
By constantly interacting with your community through email, that frequency of communication will build trust and relationships that encourage the growth of your company.
Not to mention you don’t really have to pay for impressions like you would through Facebook advertising. If you have something to announce, you could just send a mass email.
And that’s some powerful stuff.
You are already an expert when it comes to the industry you operate in and the service that you offer. And chances are you’re working really hard on getting more clients through outbound marketing.
But studies show that you would end up saving your company money by investing in inbound marketing:If you don’t already have a corporate blog set up, that’s no problem -- you can get it set up today.
And if you do, it’s a similar scenario; if you implement these tactics you might be surprised just how effective your corporate blog can be.
The best part of it is that you own your corporate blog too. If you run Facebook ads, your marketing fate is determined by the Facebook algorithm.
With a corporate blog, you control your destiny.
But we get it -- many busy entrepreneurs don’t have time to write corporate blogs even if they want to.
And especially in the earliest days of running your company, it might not even make sense to allocate team resources to manage a corporate blog when your team can focus more on growing your core business.
That’s why we’re here for support. We work with a portfolio of busy clients to handle SEO keyword research, messaging, and writing for them -- end to end -- so they don’t have to.
If you’re ready to take your content marketing to the next level and see just how effective a good corporate blog can be, we’d love to hear from you.
Just fill out this short application and someone on our team will get back to you within 1-3 business days.