You know corporate blogs work for building relationships. But tapping into the power of a corporate blog calls for the right techniques
So, in this post, I’ll cover corporate blogging best practices you can use to start building relationships with prospects.
Let’s dive in.
Corporate Blogging Best Practices – A 360-Degree View
Corporate blogging best practices aren’t about easy workarounds. They revolve around professionalism.
These techniques call on you to invest time and effort. Because like any facet of your marketing program: you have to care to succeed.
Here are corporate blogging best practices you can use from planning to writing, and finally, maintenance.
Corporate Blogging Best Practices
These are the corporate blogging best practices you need to use. So now let’s dive into each. Each technique also includes expert commentary from a Content Marketing Professional. Their industry-tested, so you know they work.
1. Developing Personas
The first step to developing relationships through your blog is to know WHO your ideal reader is. This is where buyer personas come into play.
A buyer persona is an ideal customer. They’re a representation of someone who is likely to purchase from you. Here’s what you would include when developing personas:
- Job role
- Company size & industry
- Goals & challenges
- Demographics, career path, education
- Online hangouts (where they get their info)
So, why are persona development important?
Think back to the opening concept of this blog…
… When I said corporate blogging is about developing relationships.
Developing relationships with your blog is impossible if your content doesn’t target an audience.
You have to create content for a specific reader.
Keep in mind these wise words:
Everyone is Not your Customer – Seth Godin
Josh Brown, Content Manager at Fieldbloom shares insights on developing personas…
Corporate blogs often create content that’s centered around their business. This makes for boring and repetitive content.
Buyer personas help you understand customer pain points, interests, and desires.
The more detailed the buyer persona, the better a corporation’s ability to create appealing content. And appeal is what inspires customers to take action.
With your ideal reader in mind, it’s time to shift focus to your blog.
2. Planning Content
Success comes with strategy. And when it comes to your corporate blog, a strategy for producing content is critical. Here’s where you can use an important content marketing process: The editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar keeps your corporate blog on track when it comes to production. It also helps you develop your topics. Because you’re able to look into the future of your blog.
Get your editorial calendar off the ground using Google Spreadsheets. It’s a good starting point because:
- It’s free. Their’s no commitment to discovering this best practice isn’t for you.
- It’s collaborative. Your entire team can access the calendar and make edits.
- It’s simple to use. Everyone can use spreadsheets.
Steve Latronica, Owner of SL Development, elaborates…
Editorial calendars are nothing revolutionary. It’s essential to plan content weeks or months in advance depending on the industry.
When corporations don’t plan, they can miss by not understanding the dynamics associated with that topic.
And here’s a secret: you don’t need an SEO team or consultant to plan your content.
One way to get started is searching for topics in your calendar.
Take a look at the suggestions at the bottom of the search results page to see what Google suggests. Take note of the phrases that seem most relevant to the content you’re creating.
Content teams are often surprised when they start applying these simple processesto their content production. Because in this example, it’s an easy way to find new topics to write about and expand upon.
You can add keyword research to the planning process as well. It can help steer your topics to drive organic visitors to your site.
Steve raises great points on why corporate bloggers should use editorial calendars.
He also touches on another important point:
Let’s explore this idea further…
3. Conducting Research
Research is what takes good content to the next level. And when you craft home-run content, your prospects and customers will love you for it. Because you’re delivering on their needs…
… And this all comes back to the idea of your corporate blog – building relationships.
What does conducting research for your corporate blog look like?
Here are a few ideas:
- Keyword Research – Looking into popular search engine topics. You can use tools like Google Trends and AdWords Keyword Planner to give you an idea.
- Content Auditing – Analyze other industry blogs that have written about a topic. Learn their strengths and weaknesses. And developing stronger content.
- Data Digging – Find relevant statistics and data for your blog. And if you’re developing your own data, your content can really take off. Because it’s original.
- Interviewing Real Customers – This is where you reach out to actual customers to discover topics your blog needs to answer.
Here’s Brianna Valleskey, Owner of Brave Ink with more on conducting interviews:
Interview customers and prospects to learn how they describe their pain points in their own words. Then write content that shows you understand those pain points and educates readers on how to solve them. You can include product or service specifications but stay far away from being overly promotional.
You have to create content that speaks to your ideal customer’s specific needs.
Content Marketing Institute research shows that this is the most important quality of content that influences purchasing decisions.
The modern buyer wants to be educated, not sold to.
Brianna’s final point on educating readers hits the nail on the head.
Visitors want to learn from your blog. And when you provide research-backed content, you’ll deliver on their needs. This is great starting point for developing relationships.
4. Answer Questions
When you boil blogging down – answering questions is what it’s all about.
So, how do you find these questions?
We just covered one method in the previous section – by conducting prospect interviews.
But this might not be an option.
Don’t worry. There are other ways to hone in on questions your customers need answers to.
Like sifting through your Google Search Analytics data.
Here you can find actual questions customers are searching for. For example:
I was recently working on my own editorial calendar. Developing new ideas and scheduling publish dates.
One method I use for topic discovery is sifting through search query data in Google Analytics. And when sifting, I came across a gem…
From there, I did my research and wrote a piece answering that exact question:
You can also try these strategies as well:
- Analyze social media and related forums. This is where you monitor what online communities are discussing, and what kinds of questions you see popping up. Platforms you can monitor are Twitter, LinkedIn for social media, and Quora and Reddit for forums.
- Talk with sales and customer services colleagues. These colleagues are out there engaging directly with your customers. AKA your readers. So tap into their fountain of knowledge and discover what common questions they come across.
Eric Johnson from FeedbackWrench shares insights on answering questions with your blog.
In corporate blogging, there’s nothing more important than answering questions your customers are asking.
Following this principle also has major SEO benefits as well as benefits for the end user.
By answering questions that already exist, you’ll find that it’s easier to align articles to the principle of keyword optimization.
Keep in mind:
People don’t read blog posts to learn something they weren’t interested in beforehand. Rather, they read blog posts to stay up on topics they’re already curious about.
Let’s keep the corporate blogging best practices rolling with more tips for crafting content.
5. Non-Branded Topics
Your blog is a platform to spark conversation.
So when you do, make sure your touching on unique topics.
Here’s Anthony Macri, Founder of ANM.digital, with the details.
One of my top corporate blogging best practices is to go after non-branded keyword content.
Because your website already ranks for your brand keywords. So stay away from trying to push your own services or products.
Use your blogging platform as a way to target keywords that won’t be found anywhere elsewhere on the website.
Because your blog is an opportunity to target relevant non-branded keywords that generate leads while also providing useful content to your customers.
Here’s an example:
If you’re a travel agent, instead of blogging about your vacation packages and products, you should be writing about travel related best practices and answering common customer questions.
This content will not only help increase search traffic but also promote your brand as an expert in specific topics. Expert in a topic = trust, trust = leads, leads = $$$.
Anthony’s example ties back to the original idea behind this post – to develop relationships with prospects.
you can use your blog to transform your site into a trusted source of knowledge.
6. Consistent Brand Voice
A consistent tone throughout your blog is about brand. And for corporate blogs, working within brand guidelines is paramount.
This is a complete 180 when we think of small business blogs or publication style posts.
Here’s an example:
You’re a content marketer at an Enterprise IT Security company. Your readers (prospects and customers) are a techie in nature.
They prefer complex topics. And with complex topics comes higher reading difficulty. So when your run your Pagezii Blog Pulse Report, you should see a concentrated Reader Profile breakdown:
In the example above, the Enterprise IT security blog uses a concentrated style of highly-technical content.
In the Reader Profile Post Breakdown, we see:
- Engineer and Theorist style content split almost 50 / 50. With the remaining five percent going towards analyst and artisan style posts.
Here’s Jordan Harling, Copywriting Lead at Roman Blinds with techniques for keeping tone consistent.
Be consistent with your brand. Perfect your company’s tone of voice and make sure that it’s implemented across all your content.
There are two documents for a corporate content team to live by:
The style guide and the company’s tone of voice guidelines. Every word that leaves from an official source should fit the style of your company, whether it’s from social media, press releases or on your blog.
If your communication is consistent, then your customers will associate your brand with your company values. And if you chose your tone correctly, this will increase brand loyalty and conversions.
Now we’re at an important point in our corporate blogging best practices. Up until now, we’ve covered technical methods for improving your corporate blog.
But now comes a key ingredient – passion.
This is where you weld professionalism, knowledge, and enthusiasm in your writing. Transforming another blog post into a bookmarkable masterpiece.
I’ll let Rachel Honoway, Partner at Rust Built Ventures explain.
Companies often, and rightly, use their blogs to promote their expertise.
They showcase their client case studies, analyze trends in their market, announce speaking engagements, and other company news.
While readers may have an interest, they don’t feel connected and end up with a “so what?” feeling.
Companies that infuse passion into their blogs connect with readers.
They show them we’re just like you. When we have successes, so do you.
So here are a few tips to let your passion shine through…
To start, companies need to zero in on what drives them. How are you making the world or your little corner of the world better?
Then, let your employees tell their stories. Let them talk about who they are at their core, and why they get out of bed in the morning to come to work to help the company in its mission.
It’s difficult to connect and care about a company. It’s much easier to connect with people who have families, and dogs, and summer vacations, and love and passion for the same things you do.
Readers will see the passion at all levels of the organization and will be able to connect with the company.
When you infuse passion into your writing, you create sparks in your reader.
You spark a connection. You spark interest. Your readers won’t think of your post as just another blog, but as a piece of writing they can’t put down. And this is what will keep readers returning.
Now let’s finish off corporate blogging best practices list with tips for maintenance.
8. Updating and Refreshing
Updating and refreshing old blog content will help you get the most out of your blog.
Because your old content isn’t going anywhere…
… And without updates, your content looks dated.
Here’s Laura Simis, Inbound Marketer at Coalmarch with her insights:
If you have a blog post that has performed well in the past or an evergreen topic that resonates with your audience, don’t let it stagnate.
Refreshing an older post to include news, updates, or new trends can revive a topic.
And from an SEO standpoint, Google loves fresh content. From a time efficiency standpoint, Content Managers and marketers should love recycling good content rather than starting from scratch!
With this in mind, how do you go about updating old content?
The first thing you have to do is make sure your updating evergreen content.
Evergreen content is content with a long shelf life. This is different from news-style content. Here’s an example:
Here’s the difference between these two posts:
- Google’s New Green Ad Label Blog: Aims at updating digital marketers on a change to Google search ads. Because Google was testing out a new ad icon color in different countries, Marketers may have come across it and want to learn more. Now that the green ad icon is implemented, it’s old news. Meaning there is no need to update this post.
- Content Gap Analysis Blog: This post touches on a content marketing technique. It’s not time-sensitive. It explains a concept. Meaning I can go back and update the post with any new material on the topic.
So now we know which style of content to update. From there, you can update the following:
- Blog Images: Revamp old post images and include new images when possible. Make sure to optimize alt text for improving SEO.
- Add content: Include any relevant trends or updates on the topic. You can also beef up the post with more detail. And include your target keyword and LSI keywords throughout this process.
- Update Page Title and Description: After updating the post, rewrite page titles and descriptions to ensure they’re accurate for the post.
Corporate Blogging Best Practices for Connecting with Customers
Implementing corporate blogging best practices shows you’re taking your content marketing seriously. And readers who visit will intrinsically see that.
One point on our corporate blogging best practices to note:
These practices aren’t complex in nature. They don’t require a special skill set.
But that doesn’t mean they’re easy.
They require effort. But if you’re serious about taking your corporate blog to the next level, there should be nothing wrong with that.
So what’s stopping you? Get started with these best practices today. To kickstart, get a bird’s eye view of your corporate blog with Pagezii’s Blog Analysis Report. You can watch a short video tutorial on it here.
And don’t forget to share any other best practices we missed out on. This list is only going to grow, so share your thoughts with us in the comments section.