In the past, corporate blogging has been scoffed at by firms who see it as a thinly-veiled attempt to hide marketing messages in a wall of text. However, as companies look towards more transparent communications and greater emphasis is placed on the trustworthiness of messages, the tool is making a comeback.
Of Britain’s benchmarked FTSE100 index firms, 35 operate a corporate blog, up from 24 in the previous year according to research by Addison Group. And the trend is even bigger in America. The likes of Starbucks, Red Cross, Delta Airlines, General Motors and Caterpillar all include corporate blogging within their marketing toolbox.
Businesses first started blogging around a decade ago, but their effectiveness was restricted by a lack of distribution networks. Now, social media is that network, and firms benefit from the less-formal and more personalised environment. Corporate blogging finally has a trusted vehicle to travel on, as posts are most likely tweeted or shared amongst friends and colleagues where a mutual trust exists. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn created a two-way communication route between the brand and the market, and a passive audience no longer exists. As a result, businesses realised the importance of social media.
With the back and forth dialogue that firms engage in daily through their platforms, content needs to be more personal and provide some benefit. According to Addison Group chairman Mark Hill, corporate blogging serves three benefits. The first is thought leadership, which firms can apply to bolster their reputation as a leading authority in their particular domain. The second purpose is to provide greater detail on matters relevant to stakeholders. Hill notes that blogs are more effective than press releases, as an engaging and mutual communication channel is opened. This creates better brand loyalty, and often results in further content being consumed. The third benefit is the effectiveness of the forum during crisis management, as it allows a brand to project their human side and respond in full.
By humanising their brand, businesses can develop greater trust which is rewarded with loyalty and finally repeat purchases. To be effective at corporate blogging, companies must use strong copywriting to ensure content is right for the online audience and optimised for search engines. It’s also important to decide who will blog from the start, and to what extent consumers will be able to participate.
By never straying from their blogging principles, businesses should see more rewarding communication channels emerge, and stronger relationships with suppliers, distributors and customers.
Speak to us today to find out more about the benefits of corporate blogging to your business.