The Migration of Corporate Blogs to Media Destinations
February 29, 2012
By: Drew Meyers
Posted in: Traffic Acquisition
When Zillow launched their site in February of 2006, a corporate blog was just that — a corporate blog to share news about the company. Nothing more, nothing less.
That was 6 years ago.
Over the past few years, many corporate blogs have morphed from corporate news into full scale media destinations with hundreds of thousands or even millions of page views every month.
Why you might ask?
Pretty simple. Above all, content marketing has taken hold as a proven online marketing strategy. CMO’s know that their users are not searching for their company – but they CERTAINLY are searching for information or data that their company offers. On top of that, a corporate blog is a great content management system (particularly if it’s using WordPress) that already has all the corporate branding, social sharing, and links needed to direct traffic into the main portion of the site. Rather than building and paying for an entirely new content management system to pump out content — the natural tendency when a brand decides to invest in content marketing is to use the existing corporate blog. Once that process has started and the traffic begins to flow (as it inevitably does if you invest the time), its easier to redesign the blog with an emphasis on driving traffic into the main site with integrated calls to action than to build another separate property to house the content.
Two of the best corporate blogs that have made this shift & are capitalizing on the traffic potential are MintLife and Zillow Blog (disclosure: I worked at Zillow from 2005-2010, was very involved with the blog, and own stock today). Sure, there are still corporate updates on both MintLife and Zillow Blog, but there is much much more. On Zillow, they highlight amazing swimming pools, analyze the $26 Billion foreclosure deal, and give advice for those facing eviction — among many other topics. MintLife covers such topics as best college majors by salary, exchanging currency abroad, and saving for summer vacation. All of these are topics that their respective audiences are searching for online — and Zillow and Mint are focused on being found instead of their competitors or an intermediary. And contrary to paid traffic sources such as Google Adwords, content marketing similar to what Zillow and Mint are doing has the potential to attract traffic for years to come from organic search traffic.
So, is your corporate blog an outlet for your own news, or is it an online destination?