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A corporate blog is a blog run by a company. The content of a company-owned blog is usually aligned with the company’s marketing objectives, but can also serve as an external representation of the company or for customer information. Corporate blogging originates in the US.
It is not clear when exactly the first corporate blogs were started on the Internet, but it is certain that this particular form of professional blogging developed in the US. The blogosphere itself is not very old, experiencing its most significant growth at the beginning of the 2000s. Presumably, the first corporate blogs were also started at this time. Today, more than 30 percent of the 500 largest US companies operate their own corporate blog.
Companies traditionally have various means of distributing knowledge or news via different media channels. For a long time, the main channel was print media, for example customer periodicals. With the increasing importance of the internet, many companies now distribute their content digitally. While newsletters or mailings are only available for a limited group, i.e. for people who have provided their contact data, corporate blogs ensure that the published content is freely accessible and shareable on the internet for all users. The corporate blog is therefore an in-house marketing tool, the content of which is created by the company itself. The dissemination of the content is also controlled by the company concerned. It is a practical PR-tool which can also be used for marketing purposes, especially for inbound marketing.
Blogs are generally characterized by the fact that articles are written mostly from the subjective viewpoint of the author. This distinguishes blogs from daily newspapers or magazines, where the journalistic task usually consists in describing or narrating facts as objectively as possible.
A corporate blog is particularly subjective because it represents a company’s interests and pursues particular marketing objectives. If you click on the imprint of a corporate blog, you will usually find the company that is responsible for the content of the blog. Corporate blogs are often recognizable by the fact that the lay-out is in the corporate design of the company, for example company logos and slogans are used as recognition values.
Many different objectives can be pursued with a corporate blog, regarding both public relations and online marketing. Usually a corporate blog will fulfil many purposes.
- Strengthening corporate identity: When the content of a corporate blog is created by its own employees and is directly related to the company, the corporate identity can be strengthened both internally and externally. The blog can also be used to manage online reputation management, and for crisis communication.
- Strengthening your expert status: Every company has basic expertise in its industry or niche. A corporate blog can help to consolidate online expert status.
- Increasing reach: By using a corporate blog in content or social media marketing, companies can significantly increase reach on the Internet.
- Dissemination of company news: In this case, the corporate blog can be used as a press distributer. News from the company gets published, for example press releases including image material.
- Provision of information for possible customers: A corporate blog can have a similar effect to a constantly updated company profile. Prospective customers are given an insight into the company, which can prove its attractiveness to potential customers.
- Customer magazine: The expert status of a company can give customers or prospective customers tangible information. There are many publishing possibilities in this area, for example guidebook, background information or detailed product descriptions.
- Internal communication: If the corporate blog is operated on an intranet, employees have the opportunity to exchange information through the blog system.
- Market research: If a corporate blog is visited by many readers, it is easy to carry out market surveys among customers and prospects.
- Sweepstakes marketing: Similar to social networks, corporate blogs can also be used to disseminate sweepstakes.
- Strengthening visibility: A blog can help companies strengthen a company’s visibility in the Google search results. Blog posts can contribute to good rankings, especially for long tail keywords, therefore increasing traffic.
Forms of corporate blogging
Corporate blogs can be divided into two broad categories: internal and external corporate blogs. While the former is intended exclusively for employees or service providers which are directly connected to the company, external corporate blogs are aimed specifically at the outside world.
Possible content and topics for corporate blogs
- Insights into the daily work of the company: Employees or company owners are presented. Individual departments can blog, or apprentices can report on their experiences. The content can be made more appealing with images and videos.
- Industry information: There are daily changes in some industries. This news can be integrated into the corporate blog.
- Product presentations: Companies can present new products in their own blog, and they can use the blog to respond to customer questions.
- Inviting guest authors: If influencers are invited to write guest posts, this can significantly increase the blog’s reach.
Benefits for online marketing
A corporate blog can be used for inbound marketing in particular. Since the content is generally produced by the companies themselves, corporate blogs are regarded as cost-effective marketing instruments which are also distinguished by their versatility. Both range and visibility can be built up with relatively economical financial resources. Similar to social networks, corporate blogs also offer the opportunity to dialogue with readers and thus customers and prospective customers.
A big advantage of corporate blogs is that the content is hosted by the companies themselves and they have full control over it. At the same time, the content can be accessed for an extended period of time. While social media postings usually have only a short lifetime, blog content is created to be available for a long period of time.
- Fortune 500 Blogs Validate Social Media Presence mediapost.com. Accessed on December 29, 2015