TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Tips for Making a Corporate Blog Stand Out

These days it seems as if every corporation has tried its hand at blogging. The more corporate blogs that exist in the blogosphere, the more difficult it becomes to gain blog subscribers by creating one that’s truly unique. To ensure your corporate blog stands out from the crowd, follow these 5 tips:

1. Talk about something other than yourself. Too many corporate marketers make the mistake of creating blogs as purely another mechanism to talk about their products and services. While increased sales and improved brand visibility may be two fundamental goals of a corporate blog, there are more effective ways for achieving those goals that just pushing product.

The most successful corporate blogs leverage product and service information with relevant industry news, human interest pieces, case studies and other useful information. That balance is what keeps readers coming back time and again.

PC manufacturer Lenovo successfully mixes product information with posts about business, design and technology on its 8 different corporate blogs. For example, its .Roaring Mouse blog, a resource for small businesses, offers insight on topics such as the use of social media in small business, outsourcing tips and small business statistics. The .Roaring Mouse blog puts itself in readers’ shoes to provide the most useful, relevant and timely information—whether or not that involves Lenovo-specific product information.

Lenovo Corporate Blog

2. Keep your blog focused. Whatever message you chose to deliver, stick with it. Unfortunately, some corporate blogs lack a clear message and include posts on topics all across the board. Because goals were never defined, these blogs have a difficult time gaining readership.

Blogs gain strong, consistent followings by giving readers the information they want and expect to find. A reader might visit a shoe retailer’s blog expecting to find information on the latest shoes styles and celebrity fashion news. If the readers have to sift through information on travel, home décor, and health & fitness in order to find what they’re looking for, they may not return.

For example, the GM FastLane Blog successfully sticks to its unique niche. The blog’s goal is clear: to provide readers with information needed to purchase and maintain their vehicles. The blog achieves its goal by posting company news and announcements, along with important current issues such as concept cars, alternative energy, climate change and fuel efficiency.

GMCorporate Blog

3. Give your blog a distinct personality. Whether you choose to feature just one blogger or multiple bloggers, let the blogger’s voice come through in the posts. Without a distinct personality, your blog will be just like every other faceless corporate blog.

Let your readers see behind the corporate and marketing jargon, and instead discover the real people behind your organization.

Look to Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ BTW blog as an example. From the tagline “Our People and Perspectives” to the author bio page and use of blogger photos, the JNJ BTW blog humanizes the corporate brand for customers. Individual authors write about the topics that best suit their expertise and interest, letting their own voice come through.

J&J Corporate Blog

4. Have some fun. Another effective method for letting a corporate blog stand out from the rest is to infuse some humor and excitement. Granted, this technique may not be appropriate for all corporate brands. But if you’re able to, consider creating a blog that can be light-hearted, relaxed and at-times funny. It’s just another way to humanize and personalize the brand for customers.

The Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog is a prime example. Southwest employees blog about their company and the airline industry in general, but do so in a casual, humorous way. The blog also includes fun, behind-the-scenes videos, produced by the employees themselves. Its latest poll asks readers to guess the Halloween costume of CEO Gary Kelly. The choices? “Gary” Potter, Larry Bird, Ben Franklin, Statue of Liberty or Julia Child.

Southwest Corporate Blog

5. Provide readers with something they can’t get anywhere else. Use a corporate blog to announce company breaking news or highlight original research in order to make the blog truly unique. Assuming the information is interesting and useful, readers will keep coming back for more. The simply can’t get it anywhere else. Plus, your customers can form a close connection with your brand because they feel as if they’re gaining an inside look or exclusive information.

The Editors blog from BBC gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the daily happenings in BBC newsrooms. BBC News editors share their dilemmas and issues, as well as dissect news stories to provide readers with even more in-depth coverage.

For example, in a recent post, editor Mike Rudin candidly discusses being sent a video accusing him of “producing a ‘hit piece’ about 9/11” after filming the documentary “The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Truth Behind the Third Tower.” He explains to readers his response and thoughts about the video, as well as provides additional details about the making of the documentary.

The blogging technique seems to be working: Rudin’s post received more than 5,000 comments from readers!

BBC Corporate Blog

How do you ensure your corporate blog stands out from the rest?

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Comments

  1. For – 2. Keep your blog focused. is good idea …

  2. I think the biggest problem with so many corporate blogs out there is that they are afraid to use humor and give their blog a voice- maybe they think it will invalidate their ideas and opinions? Southwest clearly get's it.

  3. So true. For some reason, a lot of corporations out there are afraid to project a personality, which really goes against the whole spirit of the blogosphere. And they're still fearful, reluctant, or they just don't get it!!… even though the larger trend out there is to stop being so corporate robotic and start showing our humanity. I don't want cold and sterile when I go to a “corporate” blog… I want warm and authentic.

  4. neilrevilla says:

    great post but beside that, It is very important to know how to promote our blog using social media

  5. websitetraffic says:

    We cannot expect a corporate to use the same type of humor that another corporate or a personal blog does. Matt Cutts may show his video in which his was being shaved at his personal blog, but even other personal bloggers won't usually do this. Of course, Google official blog doesn't have such sense of humor.

    In general, it's good to use humor, but each corporation needs to determine how to conduct it.

  6. strategic_growth_advisors says:

    Informative, timely, relevant and very helpful to today's business players who want to have a more prominent presence in the blogosphere.

  7. Good advice, as usual — thanks. We constantly wrestle with #1. In the past, we never mentioned our product in the blog, but now are feeling pressure to do so. We are trying to find the right balance of industry information, useful advice and a sprinkling of product as well.

  8. sheetaldube says:

    Thanks for the tips. We started a corporate blog a few months back and are still figuring out the best way to share our ideas and make the blog more interactive. Its has been a challenge. I loved your #5 tip, its something we haven't focused on yet. Some of our learning (a little different from these) can be found on http://is.gd/4uuFg Hope it adds value to other like us who are wanting to make their blog more effective.

  9. rachit_divas says:

    heyy dude its a great blog…
    just keep goin…

    Rachit Bhargava
    Google

  10. Hey… thanks for helping us 'blog the blog' 🙂
    I just started blogging about legal technology http://legaltechtrainer.com and still figuring out how this all flows. I especially liked your second tip on keeping focused on one idea. I was in the car this morning thinking about other topics related but an offshoot to legal technology, such as teaching legal students how to use technology in school, and wondered how off topic can I go? Maybe I'll have to start another blog…. LOL.

  11. mommyniri says:

    Why are corporations not leveraging mommy bloggers? We have tons of mommy bloggers who are very influential, social media savvy and know how to blog and build a community.

  12. cemmbirol says:

    Maybe one more think if you let me add to this post is visualization of your corporate blog is important. But it is batter before your blog is on air. It will be adds value if you think the visualization with tip 2 and 4. Before start up of your corp. blog project just make a strategy this will shows you the golden rules for your blog proces. at last whatever you do for your blog content is the king. You have to post value added and unique contents.

  13. Erik Bower says:

    Excellent overview. At Marketbright we also invested in a custom widget for WordPress that highlights contributions by author, sort of like what you have or what you see on sites like Huffington Post. I think it is important to feature who is writing the blog post as well.

  14. seantmcvey says:

    #4 is one that people often forget. It's true though, people like having fun when they get their news. Why not make the reading experience fun and light? The best way to do this is to have fun yourself. Great post!

  15. For my corporate blog, I like to keep my blogs light and not too stuff-shirt. I don't want the impression of a corporate blog, but the impression of an average person. Having fun (#4) is a great suggestion. So many blogs out there are so drab and boring. Entertainment is always a great addition to any blog along with being informative.

  16. julielasalle says:

    Great tips! I agree on all 5. If I may expand on your ideas… (1) Your corporate blog is not the pitch room of 20th century corporate america, it's the knowledge sharing portal of the 21st. (2) Ask, who does my blog serve? and then pay-it-off in every post. (3) Your blog is an open platform of undisguised information, be real. (4) Make your readers smile. (5) Differentiation is key. Corporations spend large amounts of time and money differentiating their products, employ that same effort in your blog.

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  18. corygrassell says:

    We just had a communication strategy meeting for the upcoming year and voiced concerns in line with your blog post. Blogs should be a little zesty and have some sort of informal tone. Personality is so important to humanize your company; a single voice for corporate blogging deters a well-rounded presence. Also, I appreciate tip number 5 because your blog should position your company as a leader. Don't simply be a news feed for other blogs; provide an analysis or apply lessons to what has already been dissected.

  19. danial123 says:

    Great tips and suggestions, they is surly a good guidelines for anyone creating a good blog.

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  22. Hi Michelle, a great article on ways to stand out with corporate blogging. I am in the process of starting up a blog so it has been extremely helpful. Thanks Michelle

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  24. Katy Randall says:

    For someone that has not used blogs at all, this is some really key information to use. I now understand the key structure and why one should blog and what info is essential to create a successful blog. I totally agree I need to make it interesting so that my readers will read my posts when the time arises. I wouldnt want my blog to sound boring, so sure I would create my own personality and give it my personal spin. Especially if I was trying to market something, I would want as many readers as possible. Thanks for your time and letting me give my two cents.

  25. Great article, I particularly like point number 4. Too often, we are afraid to allow a sense of fun to infuse the our blogging. Sounding professional is great but people also like to see the personality or personalities behind the blog.

  26. Niall Devitt says:

    Great article, I particularly like point number 4. Too often, we are afraid to allow a sense of fun to infuse the our blogging. Sounding professional is great but people also like to see the personality or personalities behind the blog.