This post has been a long time coming; not because the theme or the content required a lot of time to prepare but because it’s based on questions that my clients have been asking me for years about corporate blogging.
Secondly, there are so many articles written about blogs and blogging that I felt there wasn’t much to add.
However, since these questions persist, I believed it’s worthwhile to post my perspective. Here are your corporate blogging questions answered.
The most frequently asked questions posed are listed below along with my responses to each.
However, I don’t want to stop there. I would love to crowdsource the answers to these questions. If you have other strategies or best practices to share in response to any of the questions posed, please add them in the comments below.
As with all posts here at Sensei, the content is meant to start a dialogue, not end one.
“Why should we blog?”
The answer, of course, is different for everyone. Social media marketers will tell you that blogging is an important branding exercise because it creates and inserts the “voice of the brand” into an online conversation that is dominated by customers, haters, pundits, and the competition.
A corporate blog provides the brand’s official story amidst online rumor, innuendo, and slander.
Others will tell you that a corporate blog is a critical hub that anchors all your social media engagement. It fuels content to social media networks, provides an anchor for all those disparate communities, and serves a gateway to your corporate site. Still others will tell you it’s an important tool for search engine optimization.
They’re all correct. For Sensei however, the blog is our official corporate website. We purposely chose to not produce a traditional marketing agency website in order to live up to our name.
Sensei’s vision is to share the experiences and lessons learned over the many years our principals have been working in this field.
As a reminder, I sign each blog post with “feed your community, not your ego” and to us, using our site to inspire conversations and educate our audience fulfils that vision.
“How do you choose topics? How do you not run out of them?”
Choosing topics to blog about is not difficult for any blogger. Choosing content that is consistent with the brand and supports the business’s goals is what’s challenging.
Being consistent can be a big challenge, especially for someone as opinionated as me. I could write about my views on parenting or my love of skiing for example, but that does not serve the needs of our corporate audience or the goals of our business.
We’ve established Sensei Blogs as a business blog but with a specific focus on the following themes: customer experience, lead acquisition, customer development, marketing accountability, and influence marketing. This provides us the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics under the umbrella of “business” but still maintain a bit of a niche.
Once you have that framework, choosing topics is easy. We look to the conversations we have with clients every day. If one client asks us for advice, we know others are looking for the same.
If we learn a lesson from one client engagement or project delivery, we’re sure the lesson learned would be valuable to others. We need look no further than our daily client conversations for topic ideas. This post is a perfect example.
“Where do you find the time?”
For us, this is the most challenging of all blogging issues. I’m a hands-on partner at Sensei, involved in driving new business and managing that business. On top of that, I’m an author, professional speaker, adjunct professor, and blogger for many sites beyond this site. So finding time to blog for Sensei is difficult.
My solution is pretty simple: write what you experience. As discussed in the previous response, for Sensei Blogs, I write about real and current experiences, which means the ideas are fresh and the content is already produced in some fashion.
Content is derived from client strategy documents, emails, white papers, proposals, functional specifications, etc. In fact, writing blog posts for Sensei often helps me formulate new ideas and proposals for our clients.
Here are some other tips for those with tight schedules:
- Repurpose existing content. For example, a white paper could produce a blog series of 4 or 5 posts.
- Encourage employees and/or clients to write and publish articles. I suggest creating a simple editorial calendar that lists what topics you wish written and allow people to claim certain topics in advance.
- Don’t limit yourself to 1,000 word blog post. Consider creating (or repurposing) a podcast, a video, or PowerPoint presentation.
What are your recommendations for content marketing strategies for a blog?
My recommended content strategy for corporate blogging can be boiled down to 4 main tips:
- Create newsworthy content – this is content that is timely and “current,” what people are talking about now.
- Ensure that the content is evergreen – the content should be written in such a way that if read in 6 or 12 months, it’s still of interest.
- Make it entertaining – there are a gazillion blogs on the Internet (or more). Few people want to read dry, technical blog posts. Even technical posts can be written in a way that makes them more entertaining, such as including video within the body of the article.
- Most importantly, have a point of view. You’ll find hundreds of bloggers writing about the same topic so ensuring your content is presented with your unique point of view will make it relevant.
What is the one thing you’ve learned in your blogging experience that we should know?
There are two actually. The first is response #4 in the question above: Have a unique point of view or something that differentiates your blog.
For Sensei, most of our posts present various points of view on a subject and then ask the audience to debate a side. We end almost every post with a “Sensei Debates” section that asks the audience to agree or disagree with the content shared.
The second “lesson-learned” that I would share is the importance of an editor. Be it for the creation and management of an editorial calendar or the proofing and vetting of articles written, an editor can ensure your voice is presented in a consistent and professional manner.
- How critical is a corporate blog for a business?
- Is it more or less important for a Business-to-Consumer or Business-to-Business brand to have a corporate blog?
- Agree or disagree with the strategies shared in this post? Have different answers you wish to add?
Post your thoughts in the comments below.
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego
Image Credit tweakyourbiz, licensed via Creative Commons