One of the big steps with business blogging is committing to the strategy.
A main goal with any content marketing effort is to build authority. Some call it thought leadership.
Another way to think about is that you’re trying to create a solid reputation in your industry for your brand and the people that represent your brand.
You can do that with a business blog, social media, video marketing, podcasting and all the related efforts.
Over time, you answer questions, make relationships, earn trust and the profile of your brand is raised. This can lead to more referrals, better search engine rankings and all those things that lead to new business.
Today for our blog analysis we’re looking at Janrain.
They seem to understand that with their blogging and other efforts that the goal is to become thought leaders to build their brand’s reputation in the customer identity management industry.
Janrain has a platform that helps companies use all the data available today to better understand target customers and to attract those customers in multiple ways.
You can see their website for more information on that, but now we’ll switch gears to look at their blogging strategy.
1. Collection Of Resources
We often focus on just the blog with this series, but I want to point out the fact that Janrain has an entire collection of resources on their website.
They provide all kinds of information in various forms of content. This is really cool and it’s a lot to take on, but if you have the team to do it then you’re in a really good position to succeed.
I would imagine that Janrain is already seen as a thought leader in their industry as a result of the content they’ve created in their resources collection including their blog posts.
It starts with an understanding of a target customer. Then it’s about answering the questions that target customer has in relation to the industry.
2. Multiple Authors, Thought Leaders
On the main blog page I like the sub-heading that introduces the blog:
At Janrain each team member is a thought leader. Our blog is where we sound off on new features, trends and proven best practices in Customer Identity Management.
They have multiple authors for their blogging efforts.
That’s a good idea especially if you have a real commitment to blogging. What we see at GBW is that companies often want to blog. They see the value in it. They might commit for a few months, but over time it becomes challenging to find new ideas and keep up with a schedule.
That’s where multiple authors can help out even if you’re doing one post a week, which is our minimum recommendation.
And one last point here is that it’s good to see people on your team as thought leaders in the industry. Your team represents you especially in today’s world. If you hire the right people and are clear about your company’s goals and culture then you can trust them to do things like social media and blogging.
3. Commenting On Conferences
Conferences usually have some really good information. Many of your target customers and readers for your blog are probably at conferences, but many probably can’t make every conference.
A great type of blog post is one that comments on things mentioned at conferences. That’s what Janrain did with this post.
When yo do this it’s good to have a main topic or focus. In the case with Janrain and this post they focused on a topic and pulled information from a few sources including a couple different speakers and a couple books.
They also added their own commentary on the topic and provided some action steps or actionable advice for readers.
A target reader can find this post and get information on a key industry trend. They can see that it’s been mentioned in reports, books and at conferences. And the reader can get actionable information on what they should do now that they have this information.
4. Comparisons & Linking Out
It’s not easy to do, but anytime you can compare things it makes it easier for people to understand.
For example, when a new music artist comes out we’re always trying to figure out who they are like. It’s usually a combination of a few artists that have come before. It’s an evolution.
This post from Janrain comes from a conference again where the discussion was about how technology often comes in the form of a toy or looking like a toy.
It’s a simple thing, but helps to make a point, get people to understand what you’re talking about and why it’s important for them.
I also like the multiple outbound links in the post. It’s always a good thing to link to other resources, studies, examples and more in blog posts.
5. Creating Your Own Research
Anytime you can include stats and research in blog posts I would do it. It’s hard to argue with research and as a result people will take action based on research. Posts with research are more engaging.
Janrain seems to have efforts in place to create their own research and one example of them using it in a blog post are found in this post. There are some really good things in that post for the target reader. And it’s the type of report they can link to over and over with future posts and other content.
Janrain has the goal of becoming thought leaders in their industry. They view their individual team members as thought leaders in the industry too. The goal is to build a reputation in the industry so they can be top-of-mind when businesses know that they need a customer identity management platform.
Janrain seems to be accomplishing this goal with their blog and really with all the resources they create. It’s a great example of a company using a blog strategy to achieve growth goals.