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Are you thinking about setting up a blog but are unsure of how it will benefit your business? Steven Underwood, Head of Client Services at Online Marketing Agency Silverbean, says there are benefits to blogging and offers tips on avoiding potential pitfalls

When executed correctly, blogging can form a valuable part of your company’s online marketing strategy and can be a worthwhile extension to your corporate website.

A corporate blog can have many uses, including:

  • Sharing upcoming events
  • Presenting ideas and plans
  • Highlighting industry issues
  • Giving your staff a voice

There are many ways a blog could benefit your business:

  • Improved search engine rankings: The introduction of a corporate blog can help to improve your company’s presence in search engines such as Google, as long as it’s updated regularly with well-written content.
  • Gain feedback: A blog is generally a two-way process which means that people can add their views, opinions and advice to whatever you’ve written.
  • Show more personality: A blog provides a more informal medium to communicate with your stakeholders than traditional communication channels. By appearing more approachable, your business could engage more with customers and potential customers.
  • A good PR tool: Journalists are up against tight deadlines and so increasingly visit well-written blogs for potential news stories that will make interesting content for their publications.
  • Communicate more effectively and efficiently: The nature of a blog is that it provides an immediate way of communicating with your followers, so it can be a good way to get important information out to a lot of people within a tight timescale.
  • Get ahead of the competition: Be the first to set up a blog within your particular industry sector. A blog can add credibility to your organisation and will set you apart as forward thinking.
  • Cost-effective: As a communications tool blogging is very low cost, but if used to full advantage, has the potential for a high Return On Investment.

However, like most things in life there are downsides. Most of us will have read negative press about how a blog has damaged the reputation of a business through disgruntled staff making offensive comments, however for these few extreme cases there are many more successful blogs. There are also a number of ways a company can control the likelihood of becoming a victim of its own publicity.

The most important decision a company will need to make once they set up a blog is who will be responsible for writing it?

Including comments from a wide range of staff can provide readers with more entertaining and engaging content. However, this brings in the issue of trust because allowing someone to blog in your company’s name can increase the risk they will say something to damage your brand. You might want to consider introducing an approval process whereby copy is checked before being posted.

There is always the chance that a disgruntled former member of staff or former client will post something potentially damaging. If this happens, do not allow yourself or anyone else in your company to be drawn into an argument and, if needs be, remove the offending comments, or close comments for that particular article.

Finally, you must be prepared to invest time and effort into your blog, updating content on a regular basis, ideally at least twice a week. A corporate blog with out-of-date content can have a more negative impact on the perception of your business than not having one at all.

So, whatever business you own and whatever size it is, blogging can help your business on a number of levels, as long as you are aware of, and take measures to prevent, the potential pitfalls.

By Steven Underwood |

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