The benefits of corporate blogging

Lately, I met up with a research student from the university I used to be studying in. We spent an hour and a half over coffee at Starbucks, where he interviewed me about blogging and blog marketing.

Heh. Well, I learnt that I’m clearly in the wrong faculty when I was studying. This research project was from the business school. I was way off, I was in computing!


One of the questions that he posed was this – What are the benefits of blogging for business? Afterall, it does take effort and resources to build a corporate blog. What are the returns?

I gave it further thought when I got back that day, and here are nine points.

#1 Blogs are great for search engine marketing

Blogs are search traffic magnets. Seeing from the wholly technical perspective, blogs are actually just content management systems, and just by writing an article a day, a business can very quickly build up a massive blog archive packed with keyword rich articles! Content is food for the search engine spiders. The blog archives are a feast for the spiders. Since you have fed them well, they are sure to return the favour and feed you with traffic!

#2 Blogs build and brands your company to be a thought leader in your industry

People think a lot everyday, but not a lot take time to pen down these thoughts. Penning your business thoughts on your corporate blog forces you to think even harder about your industry. If you think hard enough and keep working on the ideas you thought about yesterday, you can be sure you will hit gold.

#3 Blogs are great crisis handlers

Blogs give you the power to publish at an instant. With a blog, companies do not need to write a full article and then send them through the traditional media to be published 24 hours later. Everything is instant. This makes the blog a very powerful update tool – great for crisis handling. Its like buying insurance – you’d never know when you’d need your blog to be the company’s voice to the media and the world.

#4 Blogs help to engage customers in conversation, and help in building relationships

Relationship marketing is nothing new. The more trust and familiarity between two entities, the higher the possibility of a transaction. Blogs are emails done with “pull” technology. Emails are effective but spam is destroying it (if not now, soon).

#5 Blogs help to put a human voice to a company

Because of the conversational nature of blogs (as opposed to journalistic writing), blogs put a human voice to the company. I don’t know about you, but I prefer talking to humans than automated telephone answering machines, or contact forms linked to automated support ticket systems. πŸ™‚

#6 Blogs help you show the world that you have nothing to hide

Nobody likes dealing with people who keep dark secrets and refuse to reveal anything. I’m not saying that business should not have secrets. Business secrets are necessary, and can still be well kept with proper education of staff and a proper blogging policy. A blog helps your stake holders see that you have nothing to hide against them, that you are not cheating them of their money or stuff like that. This builds trust.

#7 Customer service and feedback

As a direct communications channel, blogs provide an avenue for your to solicit feedback from your customers, and understand their needs. With a global reach, it also give you more time with your customers, so you can give them the service they love – so they can spread the word for you.

#8 Blogs are a differentiator

Well, this may change, but judging from the corporate websites I see today, I would say at least 80% are “there because they need website”. A blog pulls you over your competitors and makes you different. At least, your website presence is different.

#9 Blogging encourages you to find out what others are talking about you

Corporate blogging does not only mean maintaining a blog, but also monitoring the blogosphere. At the rate news travel on the blogosphere, you need to be in at the right place at the right time to address any issues. Monitoring the blogosphere is no longer a choice, in my opinion. If you are not aware of what people are saying about you online, its time to turn your business offline.

What other benefits are there in corporate blogging? Care to add to this list?


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  2. Hey Char,

    Good point. Haha… Even though its been at least two years since the idea of corporate blogging was born, it seems that not many companies are taking up the idea.

    I think it takes time, and a community! Its been years since the start of online marketing, and in my area, the bigger companies are just starting to embrace it.

    I believe corporate blogging will come. Meanwhile, we all have to start reaching out and letting the world know!

  3. Hi Kian Ann

    Nice list and all very true. Your point number 4 and 7 however hide a huge number of “benefits for business”, each of which is probably worthy of a point on its own… in which case you’d have a list like “100 Benefits of Blogging for Business” πŸ˜‰

    Particularly point number 4 – the idea of engaging in conversation (actually not just with your customers but with the world) is substantially more than “email with pull technology”. As an example of what can happen here, take a look at Trendwatching’s “Customer-Made”

    Obviously this requires more than just a blog – for most organisations it requires a total rethink of how they interact with the outside world, how they control their products/services and what information is public/private. These are pretty huge issues for most companies.

    As you know, there are a wide range of ways that a blog can operate… from a “we talk about ourselves, you comment” model to ones where ideas are explored, patterns are broken, boundaries are pushed. These have different degrees of openness and different benefits for businesses.

    A blog itself doesn’t really have all the benefits you list (except point 1 SEO) unless people are reading it. The real million dollar question of course is what makes a blog that WILL benefit business (ie one that people read and contribute to)? The next good question would be… if you could create a blog that people read and contribute to… is the business (mentally and physically, to use a human analogy) ready to interact with the world in a way that benefits them? What changes do they need to make to do that? What resources need to be put into place? What commitment to openness and change needs to be made?

    Very thought-provoking stuff (as all your posts are). Thanks for the article!

    =) Marc

  4. Agree with your pointers here on why businesses should blog. As you know, I have been a strong advocate for corporate – and corporate chieftain – blogs in Singapore. However, it doesn’t just flow naturally and you must want to write something.

    For some, like those in public relations or journalism, writing is something that we do a large proportion of the time at work. Sometimes, doing more writing at home may be seen as more work. Of course, I am one of the few nuts who are an exception who love to write even during after office hours even though I write lots in the office too!

  5. Hey Walter,

    Great point about that it doesn’t really flow naturally for corporate chieftains to blogs!

    I think a lot of people get stumped at “What and how to I write?” and never get down to starting a blog.

    We have be taught from young to watch our spelling, grammar, and all the nuances of proper writing, and its hard to switch to conversational style writing, in my opinion. I guess one of the reasons why most blogs belong to the younger generation is not because they can write better – but because they are more used to writing in the manner they speak… thanks to IRC, ICQ and MSN πŸ™‚

    … also I think corporations that embrace blogging should leave some “blogging time” at work πŸ˜›

  6. Marc,

    Thanks for the long comment! Yes, you are right – blogs are really nothing but another breed of websites.

    They are just content management systems put in a more friendly word and more “publishing” focus rather than “content management” focus.

    In a blog, you log in, go to the write post page, type and hit publish, as opposed to creating content, then linking it up to a certain menu (in Joomla) etc.

    What matters more is really the blogger (or the organisation) behind that blog, and the efforts to market the blog. A corporate blog that nobody reads does nothing essentially. Great point!

    Your questions in the last para really deserves some thought! I think the process has to go something like this:

    Phase 1 – COMPANY has to open up to blogging, adopt a more open culture

    Phase 2 – They set up a blog and they MARKET THE BLOG (i.e. build links, participate in the blogosphere)

    Phase 3 – Only after they get readers, can the BLOG MARKET THEIR SERVICES. (engage readers in conversation, relationship marketing)

    I think this deserves more than a comment. Let me put more thought into this and get back in a full post! πŸ˜›

  7. Hi Kian Ann,

    great article! I guess the most major benefit in my opinion is the conversational nature of blogs, as you mentioned. It enables effective relationship building with customers and makes it easier to gather feedback. This will differentiate a company from it’s competitors. Perhaps, next time a new job post will be created – ‘Corporate blogger’ πŸ˜‰

  8. Yeah yeah Calvin! I like the idea of having a job “Corporate Blogger” πŸ˜›

    But then again, if a person is focused only on blogging – the message might turn out to be not as attractive, because what people want to hear are experiences and thoughts of the employees, or the executives handing the everyday tasks, not someone dedicated to blog about company stuff (not another PR/marketing person!)

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  11. Thanks Drew! Yes, putting a human voice to a company is in fact the core of corporate blogging – companies have grow so big that they often lose that personal touch. Blogs bring that back.

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  14. Hi Mr. Tan,

    I surfed across your blog while doing research for a project on social media, and am wondering, if it isn’t too much trouble, if you might be able to take a little time to answer 3 relatively simple survey questions on my team’s blog at As a blog marketing coach, I think your comments will have a particularly authoritative impact on our project, and I would very much look forward to reading anything you might have to say on the topic.

    Warm regards,

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  17. Most companies, if not all, exist to make profit and maximise shareholder value. So the bottomline will always be ROI (return on investment).

    Blogging requires time and man effort which are resources to be translated in terms of dollar and cents. This is necessary for conducting cost/benefit analysis, a project management activity which I sure you are familiar with given your academic background.

    Hence, to secure project funding and buy-in from senior managers, you’d need to make the benefits of corporate blogging measurable. But how?

    In my opinion, corporate blogging is one of many tools which companies or individuals can use to support their marketing or branding endeavors. When utilised as the one and only tool, it will not be powerful enough because content quality is equally important.
    Words are powerful, and it is not just what you say, how you say it matters a lot too.

    Hence it should be part of an integrated effort to help companies in supporting their corporate mission and achieving financial goals.

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