These days, every business is looking for unique ways to bring more traffic to their websites.  While you probably know that a blog is one of those tools, very few businesses use their public informational portal to effectively drive traffic.  A great blog, by definition, serves solely to entertain your visitors and to give them something to talk about.  It’s so much more than that though, because well-written, witty articles can transform brands into bigger-than-life symbols that people want to be a part of.

Below, we have summarized the five core characteristics that every great corporate blog has in common and how to implement each of them into your website.

A Creative Mind Running Campaigns

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The first essential that every great blog needs is a creative director that is in touch criteria like Internet trends, target demographics, corporate goals and current events.  This behind-the-scenes visionary will know exactly how to catch the ear of your ideal consumer and they will likely put in place a number of projects that will meet this goal from several different angles.  In essence, this creative individual will be the driving force behind your blog and the voice of the company.

If there is not anyone inside your organization that currently fits this description, then you may want to expand your current protocols to favor creative talent.  There are some fantastic corporate blogs around the net that are headed up by secretaries or other low level employees who are eager to impress, so don’t think that it takes big money to launch a successful blog.  It simply takes determination and a creative leader.

Lite, Entertaining Content

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Ever since search engine optimization started to become a trend in the late 1990’s, the cardinal rule to having a great blog was to deliver spectacular content without any exceptions.  There is a reason they say, “Content is King;” either you are impressing your website’s visitors with appealing content or you are not.  Far too many businesses place their emphasis on quantity, thinking that having hundreds of indexed pages will surely produce faster results.  Google has made it plainly clear that they are looking for quality content, however, so don’t be tempted to try and take shortcuts.

If you do not have the budget to be able to keep talented writers on staff, then consider one of the web’s freelancing sites like Elance to higher-quality individuals on a per project basis.  This will keep expenses to a minimum while giving your readers great articles at the same time.

A Mix of Audio, Video & Images

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Additionally, all great corporate blogs deliver a healthy mix of content that range from videos to infographics to fiction, podcasts, photographs and almost everything else under the spectrum.  That’s because the average online web-surfer has a very short attention span and expects to be entertained no matter what the reason for their visit is.  While there is definitely such a thing as sensory overload, do not be afraid to integrate YouTube videos, celebrity photographs, and anything else that’s remotely relevant to your readers’ interests.

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So what does the Nutty Professor have to do with this article?  Absolutely nothing, yet a whole heck of a lot at the very same time.  If you enjoyed the clip, then everyone wins.

Real Social Media Integration

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Likewise, your blog is in real trouble if you have to make statements like, “Follow us on Twitter to hear our latest updates!”  The real goal behind integrating social media into a blog is to get those links and tweets naturally because you’re saying things that are worth sharing.  Take a look at this random Yahoo article about a college student who had her bicycle stolen, for example, and then scroll to the bottom of the page where it’s been shared over 2,000 times in the first 24 hours.  It succeeds because it’s something that’s relevant and easy to talk about, which is exactly what you should be aiming for.

Of course, there are hundreds of other angles that could work just as well, and your content will vary drastically depending on your ideal audience.  Social media interactions are a fantastic gauge of how close to the mark you are, so pay very close attention to what your readers are sharing.

A Reason to Return Often

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Finally, every great blog should give your readers a definitive reason to return your website often.  While tactics like giveaways and special offers work nicely, the core of your blog should focus on your visitor’s actual needs in terms of entertainment, knowledge, and insights into what they already know and accept.  Remember that the goal of a blog is not to sell; it’s to give your customer an additional reason to tell his friends and family about you.   The occasional product review or promotional announcement is perfect fine, but be sure to keep the vast majority of the content away from your sales floor.