However, the increasing pressure to start blogging can easily affect the confidence to actually go out and do it. Many questions start to emerge: have we got the resources, how much internal support is there, can we maintain the perseverance, and who knows how the market will respond (if at all).
Also there seem to be so many ways to start blogging, one can easily be confused.
Because we love a good news story, we have one for you: it is in fact pretty straightforward. Basically there are four models you can deploy when implementing an online content strategy – two of which you can start immediately.
But first of all: why?
Let’s start to discuss why it is important to focus on online content.
As I mentioned, right now all the conditions are right to start telling your corporate story, on your own online platform, and through social channels. It allows you to own the content and to tell the story the way you want it to be told. Consider your blog or website as your organisation’s newspaper and your social networks as the paper boys/girls. This is brand journalism in its most basic form (you can read more about brand journalism here).
If you stick to it and continue to share relevant content with your target audience, you are very likely to be recognized as an expert on your topic. Not only because people visit your blog regularly, but Google does so as well. Regular updates on your website, using relevant keywords, all contributes to a better SEO. This is not only true for written articles; Google increasingly searches on audiovisual content too.
Convinced? Good. Now let’s discuss how to tackle this.
1. Collaborative blogs
Look around you. No matter the industry or market you are in, I bet that experts on your topic have already joined forces in a collaborative blog. They will very likely welcome new contributors, so why not use their platform to share your insights?
There are many advantages: no need to build your own WordPress platform, and most collaborative blogs already have an audience, so you don’t have to build it from scratch. Besides, it also allows you to engage in discussions – sharing your own knowledge and learning from others.
Although the popularity of collaborative blogs has increased over the past years, this does not apply in all countries and regions. If you happen to operate in such a market, it might be a good idea to fill the gap, by using your own, corporate website.
2. Boost your online newsroom
Most corporate websites have a press section. This is where you will find the newsy stuff: we launched a new product, appointed a new manager or signed a new partnership.
Although all this can definitely be worth sharing, an online newsroom has the potential to be so much more. Why not share trends you spot in your industry every day? Where do you think we are heading? Share tips and tricks on how to best use your products?
Exactly these kinds of stories are perfectly suited for collaborative blogs, too. Most of them will not mind if you repurpose an article that was published on a blog, share it in your newsroom and refer to the original posting (this article was published on…).
Finally, an online newsroom is also a great tool to rapidly respond to industry news. Whenever a news article is published, make sure you draft a response quickly, publish it online and flag it to the journalist who wrote the article. He might even use your input in a follow-up story (read more about the topic of newsjacking in our previous story). Check out examples of other online newsrooms too.
3. Corporate blog
If you want to separate the hard news from the soft news, then building a corporate blog is the way forward. Recruit experts from your organisation that have both the vision, willingness and network to make it work. Set up brainstorms, determine interesting angles, manage a content agenda and guard it like a real editor-in-chief. And, most importantly: have patience. It may take some time to actually build a loyal reader audience, but you will succeed if you share good content on a regular basis and engage on social media.
Even though this blog is your corporate domain – do not forget that you are not on this world alone. Read other bloggers and engage with them, build on their knowledge. The more you share, the more you will get.
4. Community blog
If you take this philosophy one step further, why not open your online platform for external authors? This can be especially relevant if your organisation has many business partners. The more you allow others to shine, the more traffic they will generate. Think of your blog as a collaborative one.
Do keep in mind that a community blog places quite a heavy burden on coordination. It can be hard and time consuming to get your own people to develop content on a regular basis and within deadlines – this is even more difficult when bloggers are not your colleagues.
But it is definitely worth it: opening up your blog to a community will shorten the time it takes to build a significant target audience.
So, to wrap it up: if you are thinking about corporate blogging, just do it. You can always find a model that fits your needs. You can find more tips on corporate blogging tips on our blog too.