The Do’s of Corporate Blogging

CB imageIf your company has decided to cut corporate blogging out of its content marketing strategy, you might want to reconsider. Allowing companies to reveal a bit more about the brains and personalities behind the brand, blogging offers businesses the advantage to initiate unique conversations with customers, unlike traditional marketing channels.

“A company blog is a venue for clients and lovers of the brand to feel personally connected to the company. It’s an opportunity for consumers to be heard by a company or brand and to be kept in the loop on their own terms – ultimately forming a two-way, insider relationship that benefits both parties,” said Digital Strategy and Marketing Director, Clara Swanson of GillespieHall.

The “2014 Hubspot State of Inbound” report mentions, “companies that blog are 13x more likely to generate a positive marketing ROI.” So what are you waiting for? Follow these corporate blogging do’s and start reaping all of the benefits that blogging has to offer to your business.

The Do’s

Establish your brand’s voice and personality
Before a company moves forward with posting on any social media outlet, they must first establish their brand voice. Choosing your brand’s voice is a very critical step because it goes hand-in-hand with your brand’s personality, and how you will execute the content you plan to share. First, think about the type of business and industry you are in and the most commonly used lingo within this market. Ask yourself, how does your audience interact with one another and how do they like to be approached and spoken to?

Perform keyword research
Just as bees seek quality pollen, your readers seek superior content. Tagging your blog posts with the most effective keywords helps to guide readers to useful and relevant information. “Corporate blogging is an opportunity to connect with your target market on a personal level and establish a place in the market. Blogs are also critical for search – keeping your company fresh in search results, and appearing in a wider range of search results relevant to your product or service,” said Swanson. A definite way to ensure that your content is reaching your desired target audience is to create effective search engine optimized content. Try using Keyword Tool, it helps you generate over 750 keywords from Google autocomplete. Also, embed links into your blog posts that steers readers to previously published content. If you’re looking to maximize your PR efforts through search engine optimized content, check out this previously published post on PPRA’s blog, “How Search Engine Optimization Benefits the Field of Public Relations.”

Update regularly.
It has happened to us all. We surf the web and come across blogs that are completely outdated or are not regularly updated. What kind of impression does this blog leave you with? Think of your content as a store’s inventory. Don’t just offer your readers last season’s trends, fill them in on what’s hip now and keep them in-the-know with consistent blog content. “Not investing in regular blogging is a major lost opportunity in any industry. Blogging, approached strategically, can bring amazing benefits to any company willing to invest in the process. The key, though, is the quality of the blog content and the commitment to producing valuable content on a regular basis,” said Swanson. The first step to corporate blogging strategically is to create an editorial calendar that includes your blogging and posting schedule, as well as brainstormed topics and special events you can incorporate your content around.

Feature guest posts from all staff members
Allowing staff of all levels to regularly contribute to the company’s blog acquaints your customers with the thought leaders that are the force that drives the brand they love. It provides diversity to the reader because they can now receive insights from employees of different departments. Each employee has something valuable to offer to the blog. Make sure to answer consumer questions or leave them with thought-provoking conclusions.

This post was written by PPRA member Renee’ Velez. Renee’ currently serves on PPRA’s Communications Committee as the Blog Chair. She loves all things social media and is currently seeking opportunities in the PR industry. Follow Renee’ on Twitter @rvelez88. Special thanks to the GillespieHall team for the insightful feedback on corporate blogging.

Maintaining a Successful Blog as a College Student

Students studying communication or public relations are all united by one common factor: competition. With the growth of academic programs at various universities in the field, it isn’t uncommon to run into another student with the same major. These students usually go after the same internships, and eventually will send resumes off to the same jobs.

This competition requires that students do something to set themselves apart. After a while, resumes and cover letters of different students all begin to look the same. It is extremely important to do something that shows what makes you a better candidate than your peers. Blogging is a great way to do this. It allows you to gain writing experience, to learn how to curate content, and is a public display of who you are as a person.

Screen shot 2013-10-05 at 10.14.15 PM

Maintaining a blog as a college student can be a difficult task, as we often have other responsibilities to focus on. If you’re interested in starting a blog to help you stand out from the crowd of PR students, here are some things you should consider:

  • How much time can you dedicate to blogging? Blogging can be extremely time consuming whether you do it as a hobby or have made a small business from it. You need time to generate content, format posts, take photos, and respond to comments and emails. Take this into consideration with the time you already dedicate to class, work, and extracurricular activities.
  • Develop an organization system. Keeping up with your blog is the key to gaining and expanding your readership. Get a planner that you dedicate to blogging and make an editorial calendar for each month. Be realistic with yourself; if you know you can’t post every day, then don’t place that expectation on yourself.
  • Brand your blog consistently. Your blog should be treated as one of your clients. If you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog, be sure that those profiles are consistent with the content and design of your blog. Make the cover photo of your blog’s Facebook and Twitter match the header image, and keep the colors the same. This will create a sense of familiarity among your readers.
  • Create original content. No one wants to read your blog only to get information that can be found elsewhere. It is important to always be creating fresh content, not just sharing or reposting. Adding your own input and life situations helps readers create a more personal relationship with you and your blog. Posting about topics you truly have a passion for is the best way to insure quality content.

Though it may seem overwhelming at first, blogging is the easiest way to promote yourself as a professional while still having fun. Don’t get lost in the feeling that your blog has to look or sound a certain way. Allow your unique voice to come through, and the rest will settle on its own.

This is a guest post written by Amber Burns. Amber is a junior at Temple University majoring in Strategic Communication with a concentration in public relations and minoring in Spanish. She serves as one of the Assistant Firm Directors for PRowl Public Relations. She also serves as the Vice President for Temple University’s PRSSA chapter. This summer she interned for Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum as their PR and Marketing Intern. Amber also runs a personal lifestyle blog called, And Yes To Joy, where she blogs about college, goal setting, and life tips.