Blogs can give companies an easy way to publish the latest news and press releases, as well as providing a way to attract customer feedback and respond to positive and negative press.
Blogs can be an effective marketing tool as well. South African winery Stormhoek managed to increase sales from 40,000 crates a year to 40,000 a week after it started blogging.
Corporate blogging should start with a keyword strategy, just like SEO. Blogs are a very useful way of providing valuable and relevant content for the search engines, so define which terms you want to optimise.
Introduce a corporate blogging policyMany companies are reluctant to allow employees to blog due to the perceived risks to company reputation.
However, these risks can be minimised with clear blogging guidelines, though it's important not to make the policy too strict.
Use a 'human' voice
Don't get caught up in trying to sound too professional as this will sound dull to readers. A natural, conversational style will appeal more to readers and help give the company a human face.
- Post regularlyTry to post on a regular-enough basis such that it gets readers into the habit of checking for new posts. If you leave weeks between posts, readers will lose interest.
- Designate an editorCompany blogs need an editor to monitor the blog and ensure posts pass the standards set by the company.
- Be authenticDon't be tempted to set up a fake blog, as this will be a PR disaster if found out. This is something Wal-Mart found out to their cost when a blog chronicling a duo's travels across America while camping in Wal-Mart car parks turned out to have been the work of PR firm Edelman.
Allow user comments
One of the main benefits of a corporate blog is the ability to have a conversation with customers. Allowing comments will allow customers to voice their opinions on your products and services and can give you some valuable feedback.
Acknowledge mistakesIf your company is coming under criticism, then blogging about it will give you a chance to respond, and will allow customers to vent their anger.
Customers will also respect the fact that you are prepared to face up to problems and answer criticism.
Read other blogs
Track what the blogosphere is saying about your company and your industry, and find out who the influential bloggers are. By reading and engaging with the blogosphere you will not only find ideas for posts, but will encourage others to link to your blog.
Ensure that the blog’s design is very similar to your company's website. This makes the blog a continuation of your brand, and a key part of your website, which should help to encourage visits and participation.
Does your company run a blog? We'd like to hear about your tips on, and experiences with corporate blogging...