Wir brauchen einen Blog. In Englisch!”
If you have just announced this, or your boss has told you this, then you may be wondering where to start. Or maybe you are looking for some help to convince your reluctant boss to allow you to start a English corporate blog in your German company.
That’s what I’d like to help you with. In the coming months, I’ll share a plan to build a successful English corporate blog. For German SMBs who have customers in non-German speaking parts of the world. This will go beyond a normal ‘how to start a blog’ post to delve into issues that are unique for companies based in Germany.
Is Your Company Missing Out?
Corporate blogs are pretty standard in many countries, but here in Germany they are still regarded with a bit of suspicion. There is a danger that German companies are missing out on a large chunk of the market because they just aren’t present online. I’m still surprised when I come across German companies that have neither a blog nor a Social Media presence.
If your company isn’t visible online, your potential customer may not find you. But you can bet that they’ll find your competitor. How annoying is it to know that you are losing a company with an inferior product just because your prospective customers didn’t know you exist?
Do You Even Need a German Corporate Blog?
The most important question to ask yourself is WHY you want to start a corporate blog and WHAT you hope to get out of it. Get a couple of people together and throw some ideas around. Here are some general reasons that you might find a corporate blog useful. These aren’t specific to the language. These are benefits that you’ll have even with a corporate blog in German.
- Establish your company as an industry expert and a world-leader
- Generate leads which enable you to keep in touch with prospects via newsletter
- Create a communications channel with your prospects and customers
- Improve SEO to drive more traffic to your website
- Better understand your customers (by seeing which posts they find most interesting)
Why German companies should have an English corporate blog
Now ask yourself — do we really need an English corporate blog or are we just doing it make our company look larger, more international and more impressive?
If your answer to that question is that you are doing it mainly for image reasons, that’s ok. It’s marketing. Getting the first few international contracts is hard. If you give your potential customers the impression that you are already comfortable in the international marketplace, then you are more likely to win those first deals. But do adjust your expectations with regards to the ROI that the blog will bring.
Here’s why German companies who aim to sell outwith the DACH market should start an English corporate blog:
- Improve your visibility in your target markets and create leads
- Offer potential customers in a different time-zone value (and answers to their questions) when they are online
- Ease worries of your customers about dealing with a foreign company
- Demonstrate that you speak their language — literally!
- Reach all non-German speaking markets, since English is the international business language
Once you’ve decided that you do indeed want to start an English corporate blog, then we come to the next question.
But wait! We want it to be a SUCCESSFUL blog, right?
Putting a blog on the website isn’t a problem. That’s a matter of a couple of hours for the IT team. But how to ensure that the blog is successful, that it isn’t just a huge waste of time and effort. That is slightly more difficult.
How do you make it a success? How do you make the blog bring value – and a return on investment?
I’ve faced this issue in the past, and one thing I’ve learned is that simply writing posts and putting them on a blog platform isn’t enough. Without a clear strategy and a view of where you want to go and what you want to achieve, a blog can be a huge disappointment. You want to avoid this, and to avoid that uncomfortable meeting when you are asked about the ROI of the English corporate blog.
That’s what we will dive deeper into in the next posts. First, here are some questions to answer when starting an English corporate blog.
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