“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark
The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the last two decades, as an increasing number of businesses move online. With more than 80% of consumers shopping online, it is now essential for businesses to have a company blog that stands out from the crowd.
But exactly what is the purpose of a company blog?
The short answer is that a company blog is a series of articles, tips and updates that are published and used by an organisation to reach its corporate goals and gain more visibility.
A well-crafted corporate blog can help businesses to climb the SERPs pages and generate more revenue.
In this article, we explain more about the purpose of a company blog, and how it can help businesses to achieve their objectives.
“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others” – Lee Odden
One of the biggest misconceptions businesses have about a company blog is that it is simply filling space on a website. Others use it simply as a means to communicate with customers.
But if that’s all you are using it for, then you are missing out on the perfect opportunity to potentially get more customers.
So if there’s more to all of this than merely entertaining your readers, then it is natural to ask ‘what is the purpose of a company blog?’
The purpose of a company blog really depends on what your KPIs are. Let’s be honest. The vast majority of businesses want to acquire more customers and promote themselves to a wider audience.
According to statistics published by HubSpot, 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog.
Here are some of the other reasons to invest in a blog:
Creating a blog also helps your brand establish itself as a brand leader. It allows you to demonstrate your expertise by publishing information that helps your prospective customers. Although any company can claim to have expertise, a well-executed blog actually proves this. It literally sets you apart from a brand that does not put in the same time and effort to provide value for their customers.
If you want to develop a loyal following of brand advocates, then it is important to keep customers updated with company news and information. Publish regular updates and news from your teams to ensure customers remain engaged with your brand. The main benefit of doing this is that you already have a ready and waiting pool of leads when you are ready to promote a new product or service.
One of the best ways to inspire customers is to provide helpful tips about your products, services and industry. This is essential if you have a niche product that is not widely-understood by customers or businesses. Not only does this provide value but it also inspires customers to remain familiar and loyal to your brand.
With 83% of businesses being online, it can be difficult to feature your blog prominently on the internet. Unless you have a large, SEO-optimised website, it is extremely challenging to generate enough content to integrate the keywords that are going to get you ranked. However, having a company blog that features your unique brand voice and approach makes it easier for people to find you once you start to rank higher on Google.
Link building is an important of search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. The idea behind it is to rise higher in the search engines so that more people will find your website. Google uses many factors before it decides whether to rank your site. For example, it looks at how popular and trustworthy your website is deemed to be.
One of the factors that is used to measure this is the number of trustworthy backlinks you have to your site. Backlinks refer to the number of incoming links from another website to your site. Link building is one way that you can generate backlinks. It usually involves approaching another website and asking for links. The trouble with this strategy is that unless you are producing content that people actually want to read, then it is difficult to get people on board.
However, according to statistics from the MarTech company, DemandMetric, blogs can generate a 434% increase in indexed pages and a 97% increase in indexed links. This means that the more blogs and content you have, the more people are likely to naturally want to feature your website on their own.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you” – Zig Ziglar
A business blog can significantly increase the success of your company by highlighting your strengths and unique selling points (USPs).
Here are some of the other advantages of producing a company blog:
Promoting your products and service via a blog can contribute to increased leads and sales. Figures published by MarTech company, Demand Metric, showed that companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog.
This means that if you haven’t got a blog, you are potentially missing out on an opportunity to generate more revenue.
It is difficult to get people to recognise your brand without promoting yourself in some way. A blog is a great way to get the word out about your business and highlight your expertise about a subject. Without a blog, it may be difficult for prospective customers to just come across your business.
However, a blog is likely to inspire confidence in your prospective customers and persuade them to engage with your business.
Statistics by Demand Metric showed that 41% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Therefore, a blog is critical in helping to increase brand recognition and awareness.
It is difficult to produce enough content for your website to rank highly on Google unless you have a very large website or a blog.
A blog can help you increase web traffic significantly, especially if you regularly keep them updated. According to a Medium post by HubSpot, simply updating blogs can triple leads.
So a significant part of your blogging strategy should include simply updating blogs.
Prospective customers are unlikely to purchase from you if they don’t know anything about you. To build trust, you have to get your target audience familiarised with your brand. A blog is a great way to publish regular tips, news and information that introduces prospects to your brand and eventually get them to purchase from you.
If you have a very niche company or you are selling products or services that are not widely understood, then blogging is a great way to highlight the benefits of your products and to create tutorials on how customers can make the most of them. Your target audience is much more likely to purchase from you if you proactively take steps to answer their questions and provide helpful tidbits of information that clarifies their understanding of your services and industry.
One of the most compelling reasons to blog is that it can drive long term results. Although it can certainly increase sales and “quick wins”, consistently blogging and updating content on your website can help boost revenue over a long period of time.
A study published by HubSpot, showed that 56% of companies who leverage blogging say it’s effective and 10% say it generates the biggest return on investment.
Therefore, blogging should definitely be a part of the strategy if you want to increase ROI.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin
The short answer is that any business with an online presence can consider a company blog. No matter what type of business you have, or the size of your business, having a corporate blog helps you stay connected to your customers.
While you don’t necessarily always need a blog to make money, the truth is that if a business wants to stay relevant then it needs other modes or mediums to network. A blog section for your businesses website provides significant value to your customers and ensures that you are actively engaging your audience and can help to generate additional revenue.
By including a blog section on your website, you are creating a platform that allows you to share your company news, and updates that help your customers understand more about your value. A blog is also a means to hear from your customers and gauge their thoughts about each particular topic relating to your business.
It will also help you retain more customers because it will also encourage them to search your blog for information instead of reaching out to a third-party source.
You can also potentially connect with a global audience by publishing a blog online.
The first thing you should consider is that writing for a business blog is not the same as writing for a personal blog. Keep it professional, to the point and focus on the unique selling points of your business.
When executed correctly, blogging can significantly increase the amount of leads you get and encourage prospects to move on to the next stage of the customer journey.
Indeed, a Demand Gen report showed that six out of ten buyers reportedly saw the value of blog posts at the start of their purchase journey.
“Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field.” – Penelope Trunk
A blog requires structure, content mapping and planning to be successful. There are several things you should know before you start your blog. We discuss these in further detail below:
Get clear on what you are trying to achieve from your blogging strategy before you start planning your content.
For example, is your blog educational? Is it designed to increase sales? Perhaps you are starting a blog to build brand awareness, or to build an email list. In fact, there are many reasons to start a blog.
Once you have defined what your goal is, you can then create a custom strategy designed to meet your objectives.
For example, if your goal is to generate leads, then most of your content should be based around the benefits of the products and services you offer. There are subtle ways of conveying this without coming off as too sales-driven. For example, if you are a DIY store, your blog content could consist of how to repair common objects or appliances around the home and the tools that can be used to do that. This would work much better than simply writing a promotional blog post about why people should buy your tools.
Your goals will also affect the kind of call-to-actions you include in your blog, the kind of audiences you will attract and the keywords you use. This is why identifying your goals should be one of the first steps that you take.
To start with, you should have an in-depth understanding of your prospective customers and what they’re interested in, and that is why it’s important to do audience research before starting your blog.
Your audience research will tell you most of what you need to know before starting your blog and will inform the topics you write about, the frequency of posting and your content strategy.
You can glean data about your target audience, either by surveying your existing customers, going on online forums where your target audience hangs out and participating in discussions, or by using insights tools available on social media and email platforms such as MailChimp.
If you want your website to rank higher in Google, then you should also conduct some keyword research using free tools such as UberSuggest or Keywords Everywhere to generate keyword ideas.
However, if you are serious about getting your site to rank higher, then consider getting a paid tool such as Longtail Pro or Keywords.io that can help you to refine your search and get more accurate results.
If you have a slightly bigger budget, then consider investing in one of the industry-leading tools such as Ahrefs or SEM Rush, which can also help you to generate content ideas, conduct SEO site crawls of your website and analyse the keywords your competitors are using.
Before you start writing a blog, think about the customer journey. An effective blog should encourage readers to move onto the next stage.
Start by creating a map of the customer journey. A customer journey map is a visual representation of the journey a customer or prospect goes through to purchase what they want from your company.
Generally speaking, there are 5 main stages to consider when creating a company blog:
At this stage, the customer is just becoming aware of your company through the advertising or content you put out. Therefore, it is important to maintain their interest by providing useful tips, and company news so that the customer familiarises themselves with your brand.
Listicles, how-to blogs, and blogs that give customers useful tips and tricks about possible use cases regarding the type of products that you sell would work well here. However, the focus should be on adding value. So for example, if you were a makeup brand, then vlogging or blogging about makeup tutorials and other beauty tips would be a great way to keep customers engaged.
That is just one example, but the same strategy of offering helpful tutorials/tips and information can work for pretty much any industry.
At this stage, the prospect is actively looking for the product or service you offer, but they are not quite persuaded to buy from your specific company yet.
So you want to continue to nurture the prospect and continue to offer them value while highlighting the unique aspects of your service.
Perhaps you can offer exclusive content, such as a cheat sheet, eBook, video series, free trial or product demo. This gives potential customers the chance to see what you’re made of, while continuing to gain value from the content you are providing.
You should also think about integrating case studies, testimonials and published results into the content you create.
The customer has been convinced to make a purchase. Now that the lead has been successfully converted into a customer, the focus should be on customer retention.
Content should be focussed around upsells, answering common questions or issues that customers may have and offering bespoke deals and content that isn’t available to anyone else.
Customers need to feel valued and that you are still every bit as committed to rewarding loyalty and offering value as you were before they became a customer.
Remember, the first purchase a customer makes with your service is only the beginning of their journey with you, so nurturing them through inspirational content is essential to ensuring they remain loyal to your brand and move onto the next two stages of the customer journey.
At this stage, the customer uses your product and may seek guidance or answers pertaining to your services from your company or a community.
This is why you should follow up with a customer to ensure they are making the most of your product.
You should also continue to publish quality content and ensure that the onboarding process is as smooth as possible. You could do this by including specific training videos, guides and podcasts.
Exclusive deals, resource centres, personalised emails and webinars are all great ways to keep customers engaged.
Make their experience unique and engaging to keep them up to date and invested in your business.
This is when a customer spreads the word about your business and the feedback can be either positive or negative.
Of course, your aim will be to get positive feedback from your customers. This is why you should always encourage satisfied customers to spread the word about your company.
On the other hand, if you make a mistake, apologise for it, acknowledge it publicly and take steps to rectify the situation.
According to a recent survey, 96% of customers would continue to buy from companies that apologise and rectify a negative situation. Having a plan in place for quickly solving potential problems can help increase customer retention and advocacy.
The best rule of thumb is to determine what your current customers desire, and then build the resources and tools that empower them to achieve their goals in the easiest way possible.
Once you have mapped out the customer journey and completed your audience research and keyword analysis, it is time to select your topics based upon the research that you have gathered.
Your topics should include your keywords and be based upon the things your target audience are interested in.
Tools such as Ahrefs and SEM Rush can help you curate and generate additional ideas if you need a bit of inspiration.
Once you have decided upon your topics, next you should decide when to publish your blogs. One way you can do this is to analyse the dates and times when your target audience is online and publish your blogs at or around those times.
There are many tools on the market that can help you to set out the times and dates that your content should be published.
For example, Loomly and StoryChief can help you to better strategize and plan your content strategy across channels.
Even a simple spreadsheet will go a long way to help you plan and organise your content.
Once you have a plan in place, the next step is to decide how to distribute and promote your company blog. This can be done in a number of ways. The most popular method of distribution is social media. The exact social media you use depends upon the type of audience you have. For example, if you are a financial services company reaching out to high-end bankers, then Linkedin may be your best bet. On the other hand, a consumer fashion brand aimed at millennials, might be better placed on Instagram or Facebook.
Other distribution platforms may include email, online forums, publishing websites such as Medium and of course, your website.
Your exact method of distribution should be based upon your content strategy, frequency of publishing and audience insights.
Once your content has been created and sent out, continue to monitor its progress so that you can determine how successful your strategy has been. Tools such as Google Analytics and Console can help you track how many visitors your site has, popular blog topics, conversions and much, much more.
All of this data can help you refine your content strategy and inform future marketing decisions.
“Write what you know.” Mark Twain
There are no hard and fast rules for what a great company blog should look like. It depends upon a number of factors talked about already and it also depends on the personality of your brand.
Every company is unique and there are many different ways to connect with consumers and get the message out.
Below are 3 major examples of how companies have successfully engaged their target audience:
HubSpot produces content marketing software on behalf of marketing and copywriting agencies, such as Markateur. HubSpot’s blog has been so successful that they have now become a powerhouse in the world of content marketing. They produce a number of detailed guides, podcasts, tutorials and industry-leading research papers on a variety of different topics.
As a result, they are now a respected and trustworthy source in the world of content marketing. Indeed, we have referred to some of their studies and meticulously researched statistics in this very blog.
Buzzfeed is a media and entertainment company that has taken the world by storm. It produces a number of news stories, blogs and videos on current-affairs and various celebrity-related topics. It is most famous for its captivating and engaging blogs that come with catchy headlines, useful lifehacks and a daily-dose of insider peaks into the lives of the rich and famous.
Virtually every homeowner has heard of IKEA. The famous flat-packed furniture brand has found its way into many of our offices and homes. Its Ideas blogs and maintenance guides has undoubtedly helped to contribute to its popularity as they help to resolve the problems that many homeowners face.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark
The frequency of your blog partly depends on your business. Since every company is different, there is no specific number that would work well for all enterprises.
However, there are some reported benefits of blogging as much as possible.
According to HubSpot, 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.
The key thing to take into consideration is that if you want to climb the ranks of Google and stay ahead of your competitors, then you should definitely be blogging on a regular basis to keep both your audience and Google engaged.
While there is no ‘magic number’ that will automatically make your blog rank better or perform well with your audience, you should definitely do it often.
Huffington Post shot to fame after posting one blog roughly every 58 seconds. That equates to a whopping 1600-2000 blogs per day.
Now I’m not suggesting you should post 2000 blogs per day. You would need a round-the-clock marketing team to pull that off. Besides, other companies have managed to shoot to fame after posting just 1-2 blogs per month.
However, what is clear is that however many blogs you are posting, it is unlikely to be too much.
A key rule of thumb is that you should be posting high quality content as much as possible. The key word is quality. Pushing out tons of low-value content is unlikely to get you far.
All of your company blogs should be built around your company goals. If you have low traffic and a very small number of blogs on your website, then you should definitely increase the frequency of your blogs because Google will take these things into account.
Remember that much of this is trial and error. So don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you and the more you can balance quantity with quality, the more revenue you are likely to generate as a result.
“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” Steve Jobs
So just what is the purpose of a company blog?
Simply defined, the purpose of a company blog can be summarised as helping you to reach your goals.
Not only can it drive traffic to your website, but it can also help you increase your revenue, gain new followers and solidify brand loyalty.
Rather than being a luxury-add on for businesses with a little more time on their hands, it is an essential part of outreach and business promotion.
According to the Content Market Institute, 92% of businesses consider written content like blogs to be worth the investment.
Therefore, if you are serious about building your business and connecting with a much wider audience, then blogging should definitely be part of the equation.
With there being so many proven benefits of creating and prioritising a company blog, you may be wondering how to fit it all in. If you are already busy with running a company, supervising teams, and other duties, then the last thing you probably want is yet another responsibility.
While blogging can generate a significant ROI, it does not mean that you have to take on all the burden of creating one by yourself.
Markateur has many years of experience in helping clients to publish a company blog that positions their enterprise in the best possible light.
Our talented storytellers will adapt their strategy to your company’s unique style and mission in order to help you drive more traffic and ultimately, customers, to your business.
We have a proven track record of generating leads & sales on behalf of other businesses by using the medium of content marketing.
So what are you waiting for?