Is your company blog unlocking its full potential?

There are countless branded blogs all across the web. The company blog has become table stakes, something that consumers expect to see. It’s a place for the brand to showcase expertise, build trust, and generally promote a brand’s paradigm to prospects, customers, investors, and potential employees. However, it’s harder than ever to break through and capture attention.

“I clicked ‘publish’ and everyone flocked to my site!”

–Nobody ever

Blogging is like exercising at the gym: you can’t just show up, go through the motions and expect to see the results you want. Much like fitness, getting the outcome you desire takes time, effort and maybe even some help from an expert.

And just like fitness, a lack of investment is why many company blogs don’t live up to their true potential. Either there’s an underinvestment upfront, or the blog starts off strong only to fade away as priorities inevitably shift. Life happens, and blogging ceases. So, if you want to nurture an active company blog, there are two basic factors that drive success: quantity and quality.


Visiting a brand’s website only to find that the last blog update was eight months ago can be a red flag for prospects. It can signal either a company in distress or a company that can’t follow through. Sparse content doesn’t just create a reputation problem, it creates an SEO problem too. Recency is a factor in ranking both for better brand perception and higher search engine rankings.

After dissecting blog data from more than 13,500 websites, HubSpot found that companies that published 16 or more blog posts per month saw about 4.5 times as many leads compared to companies that published fewer than four monthly posts.

One brand that thrives thanks to consistent publishing is GoDaddy. From web hosting to email to domain names, GoDaddy has thousands of blog posts in its “Garage.” The posts are even custom-made and categorized for specific industries. After all, building a website as a lawyer is a lot different than building a website as a wellness spa owner. No wonder GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar!

When deciding how often to publish, be realistic. Once you set a cadence, it’s important to keep maintaining it. And we know how hard that is — just look at our own blog to see how things can slip when committing to a set number of articles each month!


Churning out blog posts every day isn’t a magic solution for generating leads and earning trust. The second, and arguably the most important, part of the content creation equation is quality.

It’s more effective to post fewer high-quality articles rather than churning out crappy content just to fill a quota. 

Quality builds credibility.

The definition of quality can vary depending on the reader and the industry; it’s one of those you-know-it-when-you-see-it things. If there’s one overarching theme across all high-quality blogs, it’s the value they add to the reader’s life. This value happens through one or more of the following article types:

  1. A fresh perspective that connects ideas in a new or novel way.
  2. A data-driven piece that uses proprietary statistics to showcase the company’s unique perspective.
  3. An analysis that reveals something about the way the company sees the world — and how this impacts the reader.
  4. A comprehensive resource that curates a variety of perspectives into one central reference.
  5. A revealing interview with someone smart: industry leaders, executives, employees, and customers are all potential mines of information.

Case in point: Acorns

Consider Acorns, the app that automatically invests your spare change. Acorns invests in its own digital magazine called Grow, yet the writers don’t annoy their audience by promoting the parent company. In fact, a command+F search for “Acorns” won’t yield any results in most of the articles. Instead, the writers share practical money management content such as “How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?” and “8 Moves That Can Net You an Extra $550 Per Month.”

As a result, Grow has accumulated 3,500 followers on Twitter in its own right. Meanwhile, Acorns is evolving into a full-fledged financial institution with 3.8 million users and more than $1 billion under management.

When it comes to content, audiences today don’t have the patience for brands that are selfish, lazy, or both.

“It’s not just enough to post photos of your product and tell your Facebook followers how amazing you may be,” says reputation management veteran Aaron Perlut. “Brands and organizations must deliver both original and repurposed content in a savvy, nuanced manner – not too often, not to infrequent, not overly self-serving –  with the understanding that you’ve entered into a social pact of sorts with your followers and there is an expectation of meeting certain standards.”

All of this may sound great in theory, but the question remains: how can I find time to make all of this happen?

Most doers can’t double as writers. If you handle the day-to-day operations of a business, chances are you can’t carve extra hours out of your schedule to develop a library of high-quality content that online audiences demand and search engines favor.

This is why writing is one of the most outsourced jobs in business: per TopRank Marketing, 64% of B2B marketers outsource writing, most of which said cut costs by at least half.

So, to recap:

  1. People value high-quality content
  2. There’s a better chance of them finding that content if there’s more of it
  3. Staring at blank screens and blinking cursors is boring and expensive

To learn more about a process that streamlines the content creation process and increases the consistency and quality of the content you publish, check out the Ghost Works brand journalism approach.

What is owned media? Defining the most affordable channel for your brand marketing strategy

Owned media that is arguably the most important piece of a brand’s content marketing strategy. It’s the core that everything else should emanate from. From this core, a brand can also leverage earned media and paid media. We’ll get to those two in future installments of the series. But first we must ask for the most important piece of it all: owned media.

What is ‘owned media?’

So what is owned media? It’s simple — and powerful:

Owned media is any content published to a channel owned and operated by the brand itself. This is any brand marketing created by the company, such as a blog, a catalog, a magazine, or a newsletter.

Social media isn’t really a form of owned media, as the brand doesn’t on the channel, it doesn’t fully qualify. The company that owns the network can change the algorithm at any point, making the company powerless to define its own future. Since the platform is controlled by third-party, there is no controlling what may happen there. An algorithmic change can wipe out a brand’s position in a matter of minutes!

Why should I care about owned media?

There is one defining feature of all owned media: You’re in control of your own destiny. That’s why it should be at the center of your brand marketing strategy, with organic media, earned media, and paid media in orbit.

Here’s a breakdown of the four parts of a successful brand marketing strategy.

Organic media

When a brand publishes to a third party platform, there is just no controlling what that platform may do. Thousands of dollars could be lost instantaneously, as an investment goes from meaningful to worthless. The time and potential sunk investment cost for organic media can be prohibitive.

Earned media. When a brand relies on public relations for media placement, there’s no controlling what types of stories journalists are working on and whether those stories align with a brand’s communications plan. Journalists are a fickle bunch, pushed towards deadlines with fewer resources than ever before. It takes a lot to cut through the clutter. The time cost for earned media can be prohibitive.

Paid media. When a brand pays for media placement, whether through sponsored content or paid advertising, there is both a financial cost and an authenticity gap. Cost per clicks are going up, and fewer users are clicking on ads. Also, sponsored content has a high cost while still being seen with a suspicious by many readers. The financial investment for paid media can be prohibitive.

Owned media. When the brand publishes to its own blog, or distributes its own magazine/newsletter, it controls the narrative completely. Content is published in the brand voice and aligned with internal company objectives. Any relationships built through capturing reader emails are fully owned by the brand. There’re no intermediaries taking a cut of the investment in the content. You are in charge of your destiny.

And the best part about owned media? The return on your investment only grows over time!

While true that you need to continue to invest in content, much of the investment occurs upfront to get your channel momentum going.

Once established, the cadence has been set, and the content starts delivering greater results for lower investment over time. This cannot be said for the other media strategies, except for perhaps earned media, where journalist relationships tend to bear more fruit over time.

So whether you’re investing in your company blog, or in a more ambitious piece of company branded content, such as a magazine, consider it a smart long-term investment.

For more proof points, check out the stats below. You’ll be amazed at how affordable an owned media strategy can be for your brand marketing strategy!


Dropping engagement rates on social media = Increased cost to distribute content on third-party platforms

Data: Hootsuite/WeAreSocial

B2B readers share owned media content with colleagues = free organic distribution of content

Data: 2018 B2B Demand Gen/Content Preferences Report

Paid search costs are increasing each quarter = Increased cost to distribute content on third-party platforms

Data: Q2 2018 Digital Marketing Report

B2B decision-making involves LOTS of branded content = plenty of opportunities to engage via owned media

Data: 2018 B2B Demand Gen/Content Preferences Report