With over 500 million blogs online, saying standing out from the competition as an online publication is difficult would be a huge understatement. Because you already have to compete with personal, less formal blogs, company blogs have a long history of being stale, safe, and downright ineffective.
Yet, despite common belief, this lack of success is 100 percent self-inflicted. Here's how to reverse the trend and create a company blog your customers, and online audiences at large, will actually look forward to reading.
1. Don't be robotic.
First and foremost, you need to stop being bland and robotic in your company blog posts. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and stakeholders to please when it comes to the content in these articles, which usually results in a lack of risks being taken. If you want to stand out though, then you've got to break from that mold.
Two companies who do this beautifully are Hubspot and Buffer. The content they put out into the world is fun, engaging, informative, digestible and actionable. By being both educational and showing some personality, the companies are able to keep readers coming back and continually show up high in Google search results.
2. Actually answer your customers' questions.
This should go without saying, but a quick scan through nearly any company blog will have you wondering whether or not a customer has ever actually asked the questions the post is addressing.
To start answering the right questions in posts, scroll through your company's FAQ page to find points you can expand on. Also, check out platforms like Quora to discover what people in your niche are curious about, along with their everyday pain points.
3. Prioritize pillar content.
Because consumers are so overwhelmed with content nowadays, most are growing tired of toggling between one blog post after another. As a result, more thorough "pillar content" has become popular.
Defined, pillar content is a long-form, in-depth piece of content on one topic that could technically be disassembled into a handful of standalone pieces. If you focus on this style of content, you'll increase the chances your blog posts rank high on Google, you'll provide readers with a better overall user experience, and you'll increase the chances your content is shared.
Nowadays, quality is finally back to being better than quantity in the online world -- and thank the Lord for that.
4. Always build up your email newsletter.
In order for any blog to excel, its accompanying email newsletter has to be active, engaging, and graphically on-point since this will be the primary channel that'll drive users from their inboxes to your articles. To drum up more email sign-ups, do the following:
- Include multiple call-to-action buttons across all, or most, of your web pages to give interested visitors the chance to stay up-to-date on your blog content
- Run targeted social media ads and Google ads with the sole intention of driving more email subscribers to your company blog
- Promote your company blog posts on all your social media channels 2-4 times each time you publish an article
5. Republish posts on Medium and LinkedIn.
Republishing your posts across a variety of different channels is a smart move. The two platforms providing the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to blogs are Medium and LinkedIn. Simply copy and paste your company blog posts into the text editor and you'll be set to publish. On Medium, it's a best practice to get your work featured on a publication versus self-publishing it, so do your research on specific publication's submission guidelines.
6. Have the company blog be your core piece of content.
Your company blog posts should be the core piece of content all other content stems from. Meaning, each time you publish a blog post on a certain topic, you can then create:
- Quote Tweets featuring snippets from the post
- Tutorial videos for YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram
- Behind-the-scenes footage documenting the process of writing these blogs on Instagram Stories
- An infographic to be shared on Pinterest and Instagram
- Live videos announcing the blog post is published
All of this content can and should link back to your original post, which will help drive your online audiences across a variety of platforms back to your company blog.
7. Get your employees involved.
Encouraging your employees to share your blog post doesn't quite do the trick. Many workers don't want to mix their professional lives with their personal lives, so sharing the company blog content on their personal profiles isn't ideal.
This is why you should provide incentives to get employees excited to share your content. An example would be hosting an ongoing monthly contest where the employee who drives the most blog reads wins a $100 Amazon gift card or some other similar prize.