As companies are forced to become more social by new developments in the business world, the line between personal brand and corporate brand is blurring. In any marketing campaign, brand management has become a critical component, however, old-style brand management never allows consumers to have a better insight into those behind the brand. Before corporate blogging was started, the gap between blogging and marketing was quite wide. In fact, in the beginning the marketing community felt threatened by blogs due to their better transparency. Now, that they have been blogging for nearly a decade, businesses with good integration between the marketing efforts and the corporate blog seem to capture people attention more successfully. They can engage potential buyers better and route them quickly to the appropriate sales funnel. Corporate blogs are already fully integrated into the overall web presence and they are no longer outside corporates’ business operation. The convergence between contemporary business operation and blogging world has made it easier to manage, implement and evaluate marketing campaigns in the Internet. Although official corporate websites are still necessary to provide all the facts, figures, data and general information, blogs have become the real voice of the companies. To fully capitalizes the advantages of corporate blogs, companies should comprehensively integrate them with other marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, many companies prefer to decorate the main lounge room than sprucing up their online presence. Today, much more people visit corporate blogs than the companies’ lounge room, as the result, blogs can be more important in establishing a good first impression. Sure, having some Italian leather couches in your lounge is impressive, but it would be difficult to determine your ROCI (Return on Coach Investment). It’s very likely that most of your customers will never sit on them anyway.
These days, neglect on online presence is both strange and ridiculous. Companies only need to spend relatively little to spread their messages effectively in the Internet. Most of the time, with less than $5000, companies can establish good corporate blogs. Another good method is by inviting people, especially web design artists, to submit ideas, a method also known as crowdsourcing.
If your company is large, a major professional design agency or firm might ask you for $50,000 just for the design alone. However, a small team of talented designer can still work miracles, so you need to choose wisely. A competent design team can make a small startup look like a giant Fortune 500 corporation and often a good design alone can get all the revenue flowing. Whichever path you take, you shouldn’t skimp on your design. Website owners should make sure that the design team prioritizes on visitors first and then the products.
Corporate blogs may serve many purposes and they determine who is responsible for the investment. If you want to use your blog to acquire leads, you should assign sales teams to manage and monitor your corporate blog continuously. If you want to use the blog to limit calls to your customer service department, you should assign the department to achieve your goals. If you want to establish authority in the industry, the marketing department should be the right team to cover the operation. In any case, before assigning a team, you should review the purpose of your blog. Many major corporations underestimate the advantage of web design, but in many cases, design does matter. You can see the evidences all over the Internet. Some companies can even quadruple their sales simply by designing an effective blog. Often the results are not immediate, but the design of your blog can significantly affect your online business performance.
Often, crowdsourcing is opposed stiffly by web design experts, who feel that they don’t have the guarantee of getting a compensation for their works. Professionals value time as a significant asset and they may not willing to spend time and work hard for potentially nothing. Crowdsourcing can save you a lot of money, but it is despised by many talented web designers. So if you want to use crowdsourcing to get a good web design, you may need to keep it hush-hush.
Some companies, especially smaller ones. Decide that the cost of integrating their business operation with a blog is too high. Instead they choose cheap web hosting and use platform commonly used for personal blogs. By using only ready-to-use themes, it is possible that you’ll get an inconsistent design and because you have less involvement in the web design, your audience may wonder whether the blog is actually a part of your company. Because there are millions of spam blogs out there, your blog can be disregarded because it shares similar characteristics with them. This will be counterproductive with the whole purpose of running a blog, which is to build a trust. Trust is essentially what drives a smooth business operation, consumers buy your products and use your services because they trust you.
Using brand and corporate identities to the blog
The overall graphical designs and layout behind a corporate blog are often referred to as the theme. Many blogging platforms allow us to install customized themes, plugins, add-ons and packages than can enhance functionality without affecting the content. These platforms delegate all the tweaking job to you, which is clearly a good thing. If you’re using a platform make sure there is a large community that support it and you can have the freedom to customize your blog. This capability can make rebranding and design updates easier.
In most cases, you don’t have to work too hard to completely match your company’s look and feel with the blog theme, however, the blog should still reflect your goals and purposes clearly. So, always refer to your long-term plan and original goals before making changes and improvement. Too frivolous when you need to build credibility? Too sedate when you need to be friendly? Many times, a corporate blog simple needs to show the true personalities of the organization and create engagements with the audience. If this is what happens to you, then the blog’s approach should reflect what the brand wants to say to the customers. If your ideal is to be ‘trustworthy’, it won’t only significantly impact the look or feel of your blog, but also the presentation and the tone of writing. Ditto if your brand wants to say that ‘we are fun to work with’, your blog should be able to convey such message.
If you fail to match the corporate brand with the blog’s theme, you won’t get the authority and the consistency you seek. You can use your blog to focus on your organization’s internal talents more and how these talents can serve the customers better. Many successful corporate blogs provide results, instead of promises.
How to make customers see your blog as authentic?
Is it still necessary to make your business looks authentic? Yes, customers still prize excellent services and the certainty that their needs will be fulfilled. You can’t satisfy these desires with an aloof attitude, dullness and stale information. So, a good way to establish an authentic online presence is to combine attention to detail and consistent branding. By showing that a competent individual is preparing the content, you are sending an inviting message that says “somebody here will tell you what all you need to know”. Many blog visitors come simply to look for answers. Before they decide to do business with you, they would like to have an insight on the internal talents and resources of your company. An effective blog can break a brand apart and let consumers understand it piece by piece.
Personalizing your corporate blog
If people is an important component of your corporate blog, you should provide a space for photographs and biographies. Many blogging platforms allow you to add biography section. You can also use sticky post for displaying the author profiles, which mean the post will stay on the top even when new posts are added. Inside the profile section, you should include the job title, qualifications, and even authors’ outside interests. Always put talented people alongside your brand, especially those who can develop trust and follow it through. As the world plunges deeper into social networking and social media, it is also a good idea to share your thoughts using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.