Does your business have a blog associated with its website? Company blogs are now standard in every industry, from car manufacturers to cereal brands. However, not all company blogs were created equal. The best business blog examples are managed much more successfully than others.
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Social isn’t a new way of marketing; it’s a new way of doing business.
What are blogs?
Blogs, short for weblogs, are online platforms to create specific types of content. Bloggers share them and interact with others around those content objects, known as blog posts. They have some common features such as comment possibilities and trackbacks. Business blogs should focus on non-promotional and regularly updated posts.
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They typically aim to attract prospective customers and other stakeholders. They provide information to pre-defined target audiences or buyer personas. They also drive conversions, including social conversions. While the content typically is not promotional, blogs serve direct and indirect business goals.
Blogs are essential parts of most social media programs and still often the hubs of content marketing strategies. We see this content marketing view coming back in the approaches of many organizations. This view is the blog as the hub and different other channels and content formats. The real hub of any content marketing strategy is the customer value.
Company blogs have great potential value. They can use these platforms for a range of purposes. These include developing a reputation as an industry thought leader. They also include engaging with customers and building brand loyalty.
One of the most difficult aspects of running a good company blog is generating the right kind of content. Posts need to be consistently interesting and innovative. They need to remain on-brand without resorting to generic sales-speak.
Here are our favorite corporate blogs we highlight to customers for examples of blogging success:
One company which always strikes the right tone is Marriott International. Their blog, ‘Marriott on the Move’, is universally recognized as an excellent example of corporate blogging.
Bill Marriot founded and grew the hotel group into one of the largest in the world, and his blog is one of the best around. He doesn’t always write about the hotel business, which is a good thing. The posts are a mix of his insights on the hotel industry. They also have tips for business success and celebrations of Marriott milestones. He even includes instances of his personal life.
He also uses the blog to share his insights on current affairs. For example, after the 2013’s Boston Marathon bombings, he posted a message of condolence and support.
Whole Foods is one of our favorite social online sites. It is one of the best brands when it comes to health food in the world. It also has an excellent blog that is well-designed and packed full of interesting content.
Food blogs have always been huge online. This one fits into that space nicely with tips, recipes, and company news.
The Virgin Group and Richard Branson are marketing experts. Their social media accounts are always full of dynamic and interesting content. Hence it comes as no surprise that their company blogs show the same creative flair. Although all of Virgin’s blogs are excellent, the Virgin Atlantic blog is one of the best.
The Virgin brand as a whole is about the experience. For example, holiday upgrades become ‘Mojo Boosters,’ and Virgin Galactic’s on board safety measures are the company’s ‘North Star.’ The Virgin Atlantic blog follows an awesome brand tone.
Visitors enjoy posts about extreme sports, fine dining, and the airline’s myriad destinations. They do also write about their services and products, but these posts are in the minority.
Ikea Design Blog
The Design Blog team is a group of IKEA co-workers sharing DIY and home decorating tips and ideas. Check out their diversity in blog categories. For example: before and after, behind the scenes, colors, done in a day, sustainability, and organization.
Some cool ideas, yes?
One of the most original airlines in the world has been blogging for a while now. It shares tons of information about itself as well as travel content. You’ll hear about new services it’s offering as well as tips on keeping children happy while flying.
While the company clearly focuses on aviation, Southwest Airlines’ content is more diverse than you would initially assume. Covering any area that is linked to travel, its posts are lighthearted and easy to read.
One diverse example is a two-part series on roller coasters.
How to create a business blog … Zappos
Zappos has built its entire culture around social media and wonderful customer service. And it has some well-written blogs. Its main one is where it shares information about products and services and selects the best from the others. Lots of contributors.
ComScore in one company we checkout consistently. It is an online company first and foremost so you would expect it to have a very good online presence. Its blog is so original and features such good content that it always pops up in the mainstream news.
Business blog examples … Dell
Another company we follow closely for its ability to do new things. Its goal is proving that more can be better.
Dell has a vast number of blogs which it links up together in the one landing page to create a comprehensive resource. They deal with enterprise IT, customer tips, consumer service and education. New articles are regularly posted, so you’re always kept up to date with new topics.
This San Francisco design company focuses on the technical side of things, covering design and development. It keeps a personal touch and makes sure most of its employees contribute. This means that you will get something different every time with lots of viewpoints.
Like Dell, Adobe makes great use of its employee blogs. They allow them to post tutorials, guides, and other bits and pieces that help enrich the reader experience. Another important part is that they’re not required to reference Adobe products. This means the reader gets more value as a result.
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It starts with researching your target readership thoroughly. Understand who your audience is, and what type of content they’ll enjoy reading. Most importantly, this clues you to which posts they’re likely to share on social media.
If you have expertise, share it. Sharing your insights can drive traffic to your blog, and raise the profile of your brand.
Be authentic. Personality is a vital ingredient for any company. It separates great companies from the rest.
Find the story. Top bloggers find interesting angles, and approach stories in unusual and innovative ways. If your product or service isn’t exciting on its own, find a way of making it dynamic.
Blog about current affairs. Blog readers always appreciate diversity, and topical posts often tend to do well regarding page visits.
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So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you.
It’s up to you to keep improving your customer attention and focus. Lessons are all around you. In many situations, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
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All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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