Branded old-fashioned by some, corporate blogs can still have a transformative effect on your digital marketing. Here’s why no social media strategy should be without one…
With many brands’ attention – and marketing budget – diverted to new, headline-grabbing social media channels over the past few years, the corporate blog could be seen as a dying beast.
According to blogging.org, 65% of companies haven’t updated their blog for a year or more.
A survey from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found the number of US companies maintaining a blog fell to 37% in 2012, down from 50% in 2010. Brands that ditched their blogs included the Bank of America and OkCupid.
A Bank of America spokesman told USA Today: ‘The bank dropped the blog because its social-media strategy is focused on Facebook and Twitter’.
And according to John Tomlinsen of Colbenson, ‘Social media [Facebook & Twitter] is where the customers are and it involves so much less investment than running a blog’.
Blogs drive real ROI...
Although sometimes branded unsexy and difficult to maintain, corporate blogs are still huge revenue drivers for the companies that use them well.
For example, Hubspot found that:
- b2b companies that blog only 1 or 2 times per month generate 70% more leads than those that don't blog at all
- companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 times/month to 6-8 times/month almost double their leads
- companies with 31 landing pages get almost 10 times the amount of leads as companies with less than 5
The drawbacks of a blog-less strategy
You’ll miss out on organic search benefits
Publishing under your own domain name, on your own site, is one of the best ways to drive search traffic. Google’s Panda and subsequent updates place a high value on quality, original content – the more the better.
So a regular, well-informed blog can benefit your search rankings. See our post on how to make Google fall in love with you
You won’t own your pages
Posting solely through an external site leaves your content in hock to the fortunes of an external company.
Take the example of Geocities. A forerunner of social media, the site allowed users to post their own content, organised into virtual ‘cities’. At the time it was bought by Yahoo in 1999, it was the third most-popular site on the web. By 2009, it was deleted – everyone’s content with it. Today it is only available in Japan.
If Facebook or Twitter were to lose momentum and eventually shut down, how much digital cache would you lose? How much would it cost you to migrate to a new publishing platform?
A catchy tweet or Facebook post might pique a user's interest, but a blog is where users expect you to follow through with the detail and depth of content to satify that interest.
A blog as your content nerve centre
A company blog should work as a central hub, feeding into all of your social activity.
A catchy tweet or Facebook post might pique a user’s interest, but a blog is where users expect you to follow through with the detail and depth of content to satisfy that interest.
Try writing your blog content long, and spin off shorter, more specific versions of the same content across all your channels. That way, you’ll only need to create and get stakeholder sign-off on each piece of content once.
The caveat? If your content is going to work effectively everywhere, it has to be well-written, compelling and credible. Using tools like an editorial calendar and re-usable content formats can help you ease the creation process.