Now that you’ve got some good business goals in mind when you start considering if a business or corporate blog is right for you it’s time to determine what type of blog that you’re going to launch and grow.
The reason this is important is because it can quickly help you isolate not just the areas of content but it can help you be more succinct in your measurement of success. For comparison you can take a look at 10 blogging personas and see how this is somewhat modeled after that mentality. Once you’re aware of these major types of personas it helps you clarify in your own mind where you sit and the type of content that you’ll be producing.
The same goes for a business blog and there are generally five major types of blogs to choose from and combinations when you mix a few of them together if you wish.
1. Senior Leadership, Founder, CEO
This one is obvious – it’s a blog where the CEO/Founder of the organization is providing most of the perspective and voice for the blog and the company. Perhaps it’s other senior leaders within their own area of expertise or role and responsibility.
But the point is that it’s coming from the top – and these blogs can get a lot of traction and have a very large impact since it’s coming from a source of significant influence in the company. This is a powerful perspective to consider.
Of course, the challenge is that the leader of the company may not have enough time to blog consistently or regularly and that can really hurt the blogs potential. There are a few examples of senior leaders blogging regularly but it’s few and far between which makes this gem of a type extremely precious and rare.
2. General Company Blog, Multi-Author
This is the next most typical type of blog where you have one general blog where one or more authors contribute. Sometimes these are full-time roles within the company or a rotating publishing schedule from key influencers within the organization (or those that can simply blog and write well).
This can be good to help provide a well-rounded perspective of the business as a whole and help pass the responsibility around so that no one person is at fault for not publishing consistently. This works really well for smaller organizations that have only a few people on staff but it can also work well for larger ones as well.
This might be a good place to “get your feet wet,” so to speak, and for your company to try adding a blog to your social communication strategy.
3. Specific Team or Department Blog
Your organization may be large enough to have department specific blogs that focus their content on what that specific department is responsible for. Examples would include the Information Technology (IT) team having a blog sharing their thoughts on infrastructure and database management or the software development team being honest about their approach and struggles with shipping their product.
Perhaps it’s even the HR department sharing their solutions of hiring well or the customer service organization engaging in the conversation and even taking help requests from the comment layer. All these can be included in the specific team or department type.
4. Product, Service, Marketing Blog
Most businesses would take this type and roll it into one of the other types as a sub-type but the better business blogs that I’ve seen strategically focus their content on talking about one of their products, most likely their flagship product, and making that the blog channel that becomes marquee.
For example, if your entire business is centered around a specific web application then having a blog that’s dedicated to sharing the details of the product, the team behind it, the challenges, the updates, the “behind the scenes” look would be pretty neat. A lot of great business blogs take this strategy and work in soft-marketing approaches to entice new customers.
And guess what? It works. By sharing the details of the product/service it becomes a viable marketing tool that people talk about.
5. Employee Blog
Finally, the last type of business blog would be a specific employee blog or perhaps a network of employee blogs that are powered by (duh!) individual employees. Perhaps it’s a blog that is company branded or perhaps it’s their independent blog that just becomes the “voice” for the business. In either case this can work well if the employee understands their responsibility to the organization as a whole and that the specific expectations are laid out.
But in other circumstances it’s simply developed organically over time as one individual employee just loves blogging besides being part of the core marketing team – and their blog just gets a lot of traffic every single day as he talks about his job. There are a number of ways this could go but the key challenge for management to consider is this: Do you know if and where your employees blog? Why not?
[This is part of the Building a Killer Business and Corporate Blog Series.]