The 3 Most Important Corporate Blog Objectives
I sometimes get the same question from marketing VPs as I do from my grandmother: “So what is the point of having a blog?”
The blog has come a long way from the mid-2000s when it was essentially an online journal. Today, it’s one of the most important tools a company has to generate new customers organically and develop ongoing relationships. When my firm creates a new blog for a client, we think of it as having essentially three objectives:
|#1 – Lead Generation||Blogs are the perfect vehicle for earning customers organically through Google search. When your blog is well optimized, targeting commercially valuable keyword searches, potential customers see your company before your competitors’.|
|#2 – Thought Leadership||When you’re seen as the most reputable source of information in your field, clients trust, and purchase, what you sell. Being regarded as a thought leader keeps your company on customers’ minds and increases their opinion of its value.|
|#3 – Cross-Channel Content||Every blog post is an opportunity to reach your existing network when repurposed for e-mail and social media marketing. Thematically-linked article series also translate well into email newsletters, webinars, and e-books.|
Now that you’ve got the big idea, let’s go into detail on each objective below.
The most direct way for your corporate blog to produce ROI is for it to generate qualified leads, and this occurs when you target transactional keywords that your customers are searching in the title of each blog entry. By developing an editorial calendar for your blog that lists the keyword each blog entry is targeting, you can proactively plan for your blog as a whole to become a lead generator. Some blogging best practices for lead generation:
- Within the body of each blog, find a moment to mention your firm’s success with the issue the blog is addressing. Doing so in a casual, non-salesy way reminds readers that they can utilize your company’s services to solve their issue.
- Include a “floating” contact form on the right-hand side of each blog post that readers can use to contact your firm at any time while reading the post.
- End each post with a call to action linking to either a relevant case study, services page, or contact page to provide customers another direct path to your sales team.
Posting regularly—twice a week or more—communicates to Google that your site is a news source rather than just a commercial entity, increasing your Google Trust and therefore, your search engine ranking position (SERP). As your SERPs rise for every keyword you target in a blog post, you will reach more and more potential customers.
Thought leadership is the art of positioning your brand as the leading authority in your industry, and your blog provides you with a perfect opportunity to do exactly that. Over the course of months and years, the expertise posted on your blog accumulates. Google organizes this knowledge according to topic categories, so if you do a good job with your keyword strategy, targeting lots of long-tail keywords within keyword containers, Google will see you as an expert and allow you to rank for all the keywords in that topical niche. The result is that visitors will see you nailed to the top of the results for keywords in that niche, which increases your thought leadership in their minds.
While thought leadership comes in many strategic categories, ranging from speaking at conferences to doing PR, blogging is one of the highest-ROI form of thought leadership for B2B companies, according to our research.
When you’re omnipresent in the search results for your industry, both newer and established companies look to you for inspiration. Your company’s best practices become industry best practices. Your opinions become standards. Yours are the first thoughts any potential customer sees. And with that, your market share increases.
Your corporate blog also provides a singular opportunity to communicate your company’s brand. The blog’s format itself encourages this: it is where you can write specific answers, at length, to every question a potential client has about your industry.
Combined, the quality of your content and the voice in which you write give your clients both a rational and an emotional reason to work with your business.
Your corporate blog is also a great source of content for other marketing channels. Whether those channels are e-mail marketing, social media, webinars, or conferences, each is a valuable resource for lead generation, branding, and thought leadership purposes.
The most common content I see on e-mail and social channels is company news, product releases, and announcements. This is generally lower-interest content because those things are mostly interesting to people who work in or with the business. When you cover topics that your current and potential customers genuinely care about, for example offering solutions to problems they’re dealing with, analyzing recent news events, and sharing relevant case studies, you’ll find that engagement is far higher. Your blog posts are essentially that — they offer an evergreen source of interesting information for customers. By summarizing and linking to your blog posts in email newsletters and social media, you give your contacts a reason to remember your company.
Social media algorithms also look favorably on higher-engagement posts, which tend to be status updates that comment on current events and long-standing issues of interest. Your blog posts provide excellent fodder for discussion as long as they’re accompanied by a thoughtful status update.
Blog content is also excellent source material for webinars or in-person presentations because good blog posts have original insights in them that can be summarized in shorter form for slideshows. Quality blog posts also tend to have charts, graphs, and other graphical representations of data in them, which are also ideal for presentations.
Lead generation, thought leadership, and cross-channel content: these three objectives should be the primary focus of any corporate blog because they each develop new customer relationships and deepen existing ones. A corporate blog that achieves these objectives will serve your company well.
The Best Way to Achieve Your Corporate Blog Objectives
Writing and publishing thought leadership blog posts on a regular basis takes several dedicated team members, as well as expertise. Your project managers must thoroughly grasp the technical aspects of SEO, and your writers must consistently produce detailed, informative content in your brand’s voice.
Some firms, such as marketing agencies, already have the resources on hand to reliably keep up a thought leadership blog. But for companies in other fields, doing so would require hiring additional teams working in areas outside of their expertise. That can produce uneven results and unexpected costs.
Professional content marketing firms exist to serve this need. Specializing in technical SEO and corporate blogging, these firms work with you to learn your brand’s voice and the details of your business. If you’re interested in this option, seek out firms with track records of publishing consistent, excellent quality content for clients that increase their rankings and, in turn, their revenue.
First Page Sage is the largest such firm in the U.S. Over 11 years, it has helped many corporate clients establish themselves as thought leaders online. To learn more about how we can help your blog achieve its goals, contact us today.