Why Start a Company Blog?

In our series on How (And Why) to Start a Company Blog, the first step is not the how—it’s the why.

As with all marketing channels, you need to know what you want to achieve with blogging before committing the time and resources to doing it.

If you don’t know why you’re starting a company blog, your audience won’t, either.

First, define your goal. Do you want to drive sales leads? Recruit personnel and encourage resume submissions? Improve your site’s SEO? Demonstrate your company’s expertise on a particular subject matter? Or simply have a mechanism for updating your site’s content more frequently?

With a defined goal, you can begin to describe the type of blog personality and content you would like to have. Here are some business blogs that provide good examples of meeting various goals.

Demonstrating subject matter expertise.

Anyone who relies on customers, clients or members to pay the bills must always be generating new business. When pitching yourself to a client, part of that client’s due diligence process is researching your company to see what you’ve done and what you know. A client list and case studies can demonstrate what you’ve done, and to a lesser extent, what you know. But a substantial amount of regularly generated content in the form of blog posts will go even farther toward demonstrating subject matter expertise.

Michael Gass is a consultant on new business development and social media for small- to medium-sized ad agencies. Everything he writes for his blog, “Fuel Lines,” is focused on this one subject. Any agency of that size looking for this expertise will come across him through his many
extensive posts.

Personnel recruiting.

Martin Burns, a recruiter for technology company ZoomInfo, runs a blog called “Good to Know” that’s solely focused on recruiting good hires for his company. He covers both specific positions at ZoomInfo, and best practices in the job search process, like interviewing, resumes and cover letters. By leveraging his expertise, he can not only recruit prospective hires, but coach them in making the best of the hiring process itself.

PR.

Southwest Airlines’ “Nuts About Southwest” blog is a perfect example of a company generating great PR and word of mouth through blogging. Posts cover a range of topics, including services available, like upgrade options; brand-affirming stories; new cities serviced; fun and personal employee stories; and more. They also take advantage of both text and video in posts. Recent posts include information about flying kids from a children’s charity to Disney World for free, their Business Select program, new flights to Milwaukee and being recognized for corporate responsibility.

In some cases, many or all may be applicable. And in fact, several of these purposes reinforce one another: writing good content on your subject matter of expertise will in turn improve your search engine optimization for keywords related to that subject. Positive PR can drive HR recruitment efforts and more SEO.

And subject matter expertise + SEO + PR = sales lead generation. In fact, that’s our goal for this blog. This series was specifically developed with an eye toward demonstrating our knowledge and
taking advantage of the long tail of search on this subject.

Hand in hand with goal identification is defining your audience. You know what your blog
will be for: who will it be for? Current customers? Prospective customers? Potential hires? The media? The general public?

Finally, identify an expected outcome for your blog. This is the metric against which your blog’s success can be measured. Keep in mind: there may be more than one.

For example, if your goal is to improve your site’s SEO, how can you measure that? Are there particular keywords you want to rank better for? What is your benchmark currently? What is a reasonable improvement—and in what duration? It may be realistic to expect your ranking to increase for keyword A in 6 months or year; less so in a week or 30 days.

Next week: You’ve got a goal and purpose (the “why”) for your yet-to-be-born blog. Let’s get going with the “how.”

  • What questions do you have about the process?
  • What goals have you identified for your blog?
  • Is your blog for one audience or multiple audiences?

[Photo credit: Marco Bellucci, Creative Commons]

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