As a CEO, you have tremendous influence over your company’s brand, messaging, values and strategies. You also have a personal brand that increasingly today needs its own shaping, nurturing and feeding.
One powerful way to improve your personal brand and your company’s messaging is to have your own blog. Your voice, insights, opinions and news needs a vehicle that can project your thoughts across multiple channels.
Knowing why a blog makes sense and best practices is an ideal way to get started.
Why Should I Create a CEO Blog?
First, consider the multiple audiences to which your voice matters. There are stakeholders and in some cases shareholders that value your communication.
Internal blogs allow you to communicate to employees in a very different way. The benefits include:
- Providing an up close and personal insider perspective on work, values and messages you want to convey
- Promoting your internal persona
- Promoting and reinforcing key messages
- Building and celebrating a positive company culture
- Fostering two-way communication between the c-suite and other employees
What Is the Difference Between Internal and External CEO Blogs?
External blogging has its own advantages. The tone and content of internal and external blogging likely will be different but the tone, themes and messaging should remain consistent. The advantages of external blogs are:
- Thought leadership. Insights on industry trends, needs, challenges and transformation help establish you as a leader in your field.
- Valued added. Customers and potential customers are more likely to choose your business if you can provide them with valuable, needed information that helps them do their business better.
- Authenticity. Build authenticity with external stakeholders with consistent valued content, especially in challenging times or crises. That’s when your voice should be loud, not silent.
- A face with a brand. Too often companies, especially as they grow larger, become faceless. A blog helps put a human face on your business and brand. Your blog helps keep your business front of mind, especially when they see your information popping up regularly in email inboxes and on social media.
- Brand loyalty. Customers are going to come back when the products and services they receive are of high value. A blog can help in reinforcing your commitments to quality, customer service and continuous improvement.
- Spreading your message. When your content is compelling, readers will like, share and forward it to others. This viral marketing, at no additional cost to you, spreads your brand and your thought leadership.
- Beating the competition. It’s likely some of your competitors are blogging. Get ahead of them with better, regular and more valuable information.
In a 2016 New York Times article, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who focuses much of his energy now on his philanthropic foundation, spoke about why he blogs. “It … helps to have a platform for talking about the work I’m doing, both through the foundation and separate from it, because I find people are curious about it,” Gates said.
What Makes for a Successful CEO Blog?
The best CEO blogs are authentic. They don’t just regurgitate press releases or quarterly results. They inject humanity and persona into the work that your company does and gives you a visible, recognizable brand. Here are some other elements of a successful CEO blog:
- Personalization to a point. This is not the place to talk about your son’s high school graduation. However, personalization is important. Instead, offer glimpses behind the curtain about why and how decisions were made or what you see as key issues or opportunities in the industry.
- Design matters. You want your blog to be easily readable, especially on mobile devices.
- Onmichannel. Content is valuable … and you and your marketing team should strategize about how to get the most out of what you provide. Longer blog posts can be followed up by other content — written by you or others — that points back to your hub information. Posts should be teased or delivered via multiple social media platforms. Depending on your business, that may include LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- No jargon. Inside baseball is cool, but not when no one can understand what you’re writing. If you’re going to use jargon, be sure that it commonly used within your industry. Otherwise, you could alienate existing and potential customers.
- Focus on customers. All of your blog content should have a singular focus: What do our customers need? Whether it’s product information, industry news or company information, be sure that it is written to help customers solve problems. Ideally, those problems are those your company is uniquely qualified to address.
- Use humor … if it’s funny. Humor is a lot harder to write than you would think. Written words cannot easily express tone, pace and intent. Humor adds a personal element to your writing, but it has to be done with care and strategically.
Where Can I Find Good Examples of CEO Blogs?
Looking for inspiration for your own blog? There are plenty of sources of great CEO blogs and leadership blogs from which to take inspiration. Here are a few examples to review:
CEO blogging can have a deep impact on internal and external messaging. With a clear understanding of goals and tips, your blog will be ready to be published.