This is part of a series of short guides I’ve created to help businesses and their employees leverage social media in their jobs. This edition features five ways for organizations (and especially sales people) to use company blogs to amplify their company’s story, and create more credibility with customers.
Simply put, blogs are the most effective way to amplify and scale your organization’s thought-leadership in a way they expect.
Every day, customers learn about critical business issues and opportunties from blogs. In the B2B IT space, this was quantified with some research my team performed a while back. 21% of respondents indicated they depend on blogs as a primary source for doing research related to their jobs. It follows then that your blog’s purpose should also be oriented around helping customers and prospects find useful stuff.
Here are three goals that you might find useful when thinking about starting (or re-starting) your company’s blog:
- Build new relationships and deepen existing ones through content
- Share impactful insights about your industry before anyone else
- Create buzz about your people, your culture and your brand
When researching the latest business trend, who better to learn it from than your own experts? The best thought-leaders in business use blogs to share perspectives and opinions on current trends and issues. And by subscribing to your own company blogs via email or RSS, you’ll always get the latest and greatest posts. Because If you don’t share the news withcustomers, a competitor will.
2. Become a search engine shortcut
Blogs are content-rich, specific and niche. This is one of the reasons they show up high in search engine results. Why is this important for you?
People are actively looking for what your subject matter experts blog about. Research also shows that customers prefer blogs and communities as a source of learning over more traditional places like vendor websites. You likely already know what projects your customers are working on and what their pains are.
By sharing posts that are relevant to them, you’ll help them bypass the need to search for a solution. In the process, they’ll start relying on you more to be trusted source of knowledge.
3. Steal their rep (to build your cred)
While Al Gore’s claims of inventing the Internet are subject to debate, what is clear is that he leveraged the accomplishments of others to bolster his reputation.
Now, imagine having every one of your customers on a first-name basis with the best minds in your business. When you share blog content from your thought leaders, that’s the type of instant connection you create. The real benefit for you is that when you share interesting, relevant content from your in-house experts, you leverage the collective reputation of your thought leaders to create more trust and credibility for yourself as an trusted partner with your customers and peers.
4. Send ideas to light some fires
When you come across anything cool in your industry or have a good story about customer innovation you feel demonstrates our value, please tell the people who run your blogs (often your your marketing team). Better yet, suggest topics you know customers are talking about so your thought leaders can weigh in with their insights.
Best of all, often your marketing team doesn’t need you to write anything. Most likely they’ll ask you some questions to get the information they need and then create the post.
5. It takes a community to build a community
When you share or comment on your company’s content, you show everyone – from employees to vendor partners to customers – how easy it is to interact with your experts. But did you know that also helps your blogs appear higher in search results? When you and your customers leave comments on posts that add context and color, search engines pay attention, and rank the pages better. The more comments you get on your posts, the better chance someone will find your expert content when they need it.
Here’s a handy version of this post as a presentation. Feel free to use and download it. You can make it full-screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of the slideshare embed.