Fresh eyes

Should we be writing a corporate blog?

should we be writing a corporate blog

Published by Emma Rawlinson,
at Freshfield

As the number of organisations using corporate blogs continues to grow at a seemingly exponential rate, this is a question we’re often asked by our clients.

As usual, the answer to this question depends on the strategic objectives of the organisation and a blog must add value, rather than be there as a box-ticking exercise.

Blogs can provide businesses with an excellent opportunity to add fresh and authoritative content to their websites on a regular basis, significantly boosting search engine rankings as well as demonstrating thought leadership. They act as a powerful tool for real-time discussions and can be influential in building long-term relationships with customers.

While the benefits are clear, if a business has a desire to begin blogging it needs to be prepared to commit to it. Blogging takes time and resources if it is to be sustained. Here are some of our tips for creating a successful blog:

Determine the primary purpose of your blog

This will depend on what type of organisation you are or what industry you are in, but blogs can be used for a variety of reasons, such as communicating directly with customers on service issues, demonstrating thought leadership and knowledge of your industry, talking about new products and innovations, or announcing news about your company. Before launching in, ask whether having a blog would meet any of your strategic communications objectives.

Remember content is king

Readers will decide within a couple of seconds whether your blog is useful to them. Therefore it has to grab the attention quickly, be of genuine interest, and be clearly and concisely written. If your blog is providing and sharing useful content, it will be read. If it isn’t, it will be ignored. Again, sustaining a successful blog requires resources and expertise. Don’t use it to sell, sell, sell.

Engage with your audience

When unplanned events happen, such as last winter’s treacherous weather conditions, corporate blogs can be a great way of keeping your customers up to date. If business is disrupted a blog can allow you to get valuable and timely information to your customers about how you are responding. A good blog should also enable effective two way communication with customers. A word of caution here though – if you allow members of the public to communicate directly with your organisation, you have to be prepared to respond to negative comments and this will require its own approach.

Know how to market your blog

Once you have started to build content, you should integrate additional social media platforms into your blog, such as your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as this will further strengthen your online presence. Using links to direct people to other authoritative content can help position you as an expert and a sharer of valuable information. Remember that this will require some technical knowledge.

Set guidelines for digital engagement

While engaging with your audiences and stakeholders online can certainly prove worthwhile, it is vital to be aware of the risks. Remember that once something is live online, it has a potential audience of millions. Pitfalls can include publishing misleading information, damaging the company’s credibility, or a lack of comment moderation. It is therefore advisable to set clear protocols and style guidelines for the team responsible for writing and uploading blogs.

In summary, business blogs can be an extremely valuable tool for your business, but they need to be properly resourced and aligned with business strategy. Successful planning and professional execution is the key to establishing and maintaining a successful blog.

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