Corporate Blog Strategy: 5 Models

If you’re contemplating launching a corporate blog, you’re probably hoping to achieve one or more of the following goals:

    1. Lead Generation. Attracting potential clients with the content through SEO, social channels, e-mail marketing, and press; as well as helping to convert current prospects browsing the website.
    2. Social Media Content Syndication. Sourcing content for social media feeds and email marketing.
    3. Sales Support. Creating content assets for salespeople to use in their correspondence with leads.
    4. Thought Leadership. Presenting your company as an industry leader.
    5. Market Expansion. Associating your brand with a new branch of your industry or a new industry altogether.

B2B SEO Expert
Evan Bailyn is the founder and CEO of the nation’s largest SEO firm, First Page Sage.

With these goals in mind, your next step is to implement a strategy for the blog. In my 11 years evaluating company blogs, I’ve found that there are roughly 5 different situations most corporate blogs are in. I outline them below, beginning with the simplest and least effective model and ending with the most sophisticated, highest-ROI model.

Corporate Blog Model #1: The Basic Blog


Summary:

You publish content only in the form of company announcements such as new leadership hires and product announcements. These announcements occur roughly half a dozen times per year.

Goals achieved:

  • Social media content that reminds your audience that you exist

This is the blogging setup that leads most companies to sheepishly say, “Yeah, we have a blog…” Basically, this kind of blog covers the bare minimum and serves as a bulletin board for company-wide announcements. If you follow this strategy, your PR-related posts could be syndicated across other platforms to help build out a LinkedIn or Twitter feed, but they’re not going to generate leads or accomplish any revenue-related goals.

Example:

The John Crane blog highlights what’s happening inside this tech company, but doesn’t inform readers of anything beyond the company’s accomplishments. 

A corporate blog only lists achievements within the company.

Corporate Blog Model #2: The Aggregator Blog


Summary:

In addition to company announcements, you also post repurposed content from outside publications several times per month.

Goals achieved:

  • Social media content that reminds your audience that you exist
  • The appearance of thought leadership

Many companies choose to employ a slight step up from Strategy #1: a blog that aggregates content from reputable sources in addition to their company announcements. This strategy is often a reflection of someone on the leadership team’s understanding that publishing content is important. However, it’s a misunderstanding, as Google only sends traffic to your blog posts if every post you publish is high quality. Still, the appearance of original content is better than nothing at all. (However, if you do republish content, don’t forget to use canonical tags on the backend so you’re not penalized by Google for reposting content.)

Example:

The PUN Group blog has a section called “Thought Leadership” but it is actually syndicated content from a financial content provider along with stock photographs. Not only can visitors get a sense the content isn’t original, it has no ranking potential within Google due to the same content appearing on dozens of other sites.

An aggregator blog is a mix of syndicated content and company announcements.

Corporate Blog Model #3: The Foundational Blog


Summary:

In addition to company announcements, you craft 1-2 original posts for publication each month that are specifically related to problems your product helps to solve.

Goals achieved:

  • Some lead generation through SEO
  • Social media content
  • Minimal thought leadership

Once you start publishing original content, you build the foundation for a blog that can generate leads and bring in new streams of revenue. Companies who employ the Foundational Blog model often create their content internally—either through existing employees or part-time content writers—and are usually hard-pressed to put out a greater volume of content than 1-2 posts per month. Still, these posts are perfect for distribution in email marketing and social media campaigns, and can also be supplied to your sales team to add substance to their outreach efforts. 

Seeing the initial results of having your own, original content can whet the appetite of a marketing director, as original content is exceptionally versatile and valuable. However, most proprietors of corporate blogs don’t realize how much more valuable a high volume of content is than a lower volume.  Whereas publishing 1-2 original posts per week greases the existing marketing and sales gears, it doesn’t constitute anything close to a fully-functioning machine. The machine is created when you publish 2 or more posts per week, as: (1) Google begins viewing your site as a news website, rewarding it with higher rankings across the board; (2) you can curate content for distinct social and e-mail audiences; (3) your brand gets seen frequently enough to begin to impact its perception as an industry leader; (4) you can supply your sales team with content on every topic their prospects are interested in; and (5) you can use content alone to show the market that you’ve created a new product line or expanded into a new niche.

A Foundational Blog isn’t quite there yet.

Example:

On the Surge Blog, there is a mix of syndicated content from other sources and original content a couple of times per month.

A foundational blog has some original content, but not enough.

Corporate Blog Model #4: The Thought Leadership Blog


Summary:

Far from being a list of company announcements, your blog is its own, distinct source of news, insights, and analysis. You post 2 original articles per week that target your most important keyword phrases and answer the timely industry questions.

Goals achieved:

  • Lead generation through SEO
  • Timely, targeted social media & e-mail marketing content
  • Thought leadership within your industry
  • Active support of your sales team
  • Ability to extend your brand into a new product category

When you cross the threshold into twice-weekly production of original, high quality, keyword-targeted articles, you’ll finally start seeing serious results. A true thought leadership blog like has its own link on the website that visitors regularly return to for the latest industry information.   

Compared with the previous three strategies, it’s far more difficult to conceptualize, research, write, edit, and publish 2,000+ words per week within the context of a full-scale content marketing strategy. That’s why companies seeking thought leadership blogs typically switch from internal staffing to outsourcing. A great thought leadership marketing firm can take over the heavy lifting of creating a campaign strategy and producing high-quality content, all at a lower cost than doing the work in-house.    

The ultimate goal here is to create a blog that systematically addresses every problem, pain point, and question your target clients have about your product category and industry. Each blog post should address a different situation that naturally necessitates the use of your company’s services—all without overtly selling. By offering value in the form of expert perspectives and high-level analysis, you build trust with your audience. A few strategic calls-to-action inviting them to view a case study or learn more about your product should be enough to drive MQLs and pay for your campaign within a year. 

Example:

The FPS Blog consistently posts high-quality thought leadership articles that are SEO optimized.

thought leadership corporate blog strategy

Corporate Blog Model #5: The Supercharged Blog


Summary:

Through the publication of 10-20 original articles per week, you create a comprehensive industry resource on your own website that is as good as any industry periodical.

Goals achieved:

  • Substantial lead generation through dominant SEO
  • Timely, targeted social media & e-mail marketing content
  • The highest level of thought leadership within your industry
  • Active support of your sales team
  • Ability to quickly expand into a new product category

The final corporate blog takes things into the stratosphere with a colossal volume of content and a strategy that’s designed to (literally) take over your corner of the Internet. We call this the Supercharged Blog, but it could more accurately be described as a comprehensive news site or industry-wide resource. When you post 10-20 well-researched, high-quality, and timely articles per week, you have the opportunity to reach thousands of additional decision makers—both clients and industry peers—and instantly achieve thought leader status within your industry.

This strategy goes far beyond what most companies aim to do with their blogs. Those who do make the investment, though, see enormous ROIs.

Example:

The talech blog goes above and beyond, with a large amount of unique content being published every week.

A supercharged blog publishes a large amount of original content regularly.

How We Do It at First Page Sage

While all five corporate blog strategies achieve some of the goals we outlined in the beginning of this discussion, we find lead generation to be the best measure of success in a content campaign. Therefore, we create blogs for our clients that follow the Thought Leadership model. We begin by putting together a comprehensive keyword and content strategy to guide the campaign. Then, we create 2 thought leadership posts or landing pages each week on an ongoing basis. Over the course of 6-18 months, this kind of content engine always produces a steady flow of MQLs. 

More ambitious clients expand to content plans beyond the standard 2 per week, working with us to create Supercharged Blogs with more than 40 posts per month. These campaigns are where we see annual ROAS expanding into the $10M+ range.

If you’re looking for an expert partner to help craft your corporate blog strategy (and the content that goes along with it), contact us today. 

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