business blog

How Ricoh conquered the business blog…

It’s the fact that so many big companies are still wising up to what content marketing actually does for your promotion that we like to show you examples of a content marketing strategy done right. Case in point today is Ricoh, the Japanese-born imaging, electronics and IT giant. What makes Ricoh’s approach to creative content so fascinating is that this immense, global organisation manages to make its extremely multifaceted business paradoxically quite niche, and it does this via a superbly defined and segmented business blog and social media strategy.

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Ricoh is one of those multinational corporations that will not rest on its laurels; rather it uses its established clout to propel its content marketing efforts.

Ricoh, if you don’t know, makes printers. And photocopiers. And hardware and software and microchips. And processors (did you know that Ricoh’s 8-bit RP2A03/RP2A07 powered the original Nintendo Entertainment System?). And cameras, since acquiring Pentax in 2011. It also makes fax machines, though I imagine that department has been feeling a little forlorn of late.

In other words, it’s a big company with a big range of products. Finding a common goal on which to focus its business blog and social media strategy is a task and a half. But Ricoh has been particularly good at segmenting and separating all of this. More to the point, it’s clear the company has really thought long and hard about the personas of its diverse client base that it wants to reach with its different platforms, and is firmly geared towards the path of being a thought leader and influencer.

Segmented business solutions

The blog in the UK and Ireland falls under Ricoh’s ‘imagine. change’ drive. These business blogs cover a range of Ricoh products in a fully integrated way, with links stretching across the site from blog, to landing page, to product pages and back again, covering the most up-to-date technological advances for business. Very simple integration of its YouTube channel and innovative infographics into the blog provides multimedia approaches to complete thought leadership, and a cross-link policy that should support the site’s SEO. Meanwhile it is well-defined, covering issues of Insights, Innovations, and Sustainability in separate sections of the blog.

Incidentally, Ricoh’s YouTube channel is also very well segmented as the company recognises the inherently different audiences this video content will appeal to: ‘The Workplace of the Future’ channel looks at dynamic company culture and serves to attract new job applications from the very people that are enticed by such a workplace; the ‘Product Videos’ channel offers very practical demonstrations; and lastly the ‘Testimonials’ channel features client success stories. In many ways this is a perfect corporate YouTube makeup – addressing very different personas at very different stages of their buying or engagement cycles.

The Ricoh MDS (Managed Document Services) Blog is a superb example of how to make a boring subject interesting. MDS essentially refers to core document processing systems with an organisation, and the people and technologies that operate therein. It’s a necessary niche blog for businesses and one where Ricoh clearly saw ripe opportunity. Who else is blogging well with interviews and practical testimonials surrounding issues in MDS, with the kind of global clout that Ricoh possesses? Not many – as such Ricoh becomes an instant powerhouse on the subject.

Conversely to the MDS Blog, the excellently-titled European Thought Leadership Blog encompasses material aimed at governments, key business decision makers and top business leaders, and looks at macro business.

Power drive

Another blog – Ricoh’s WorkIntelligent.ly – offers real and inspirational advice on new workplace innovations and the culture of ‘Information Mobility’ and ‘Information Management’ in the modern working world. Clearly this is well-timed content that has struck the right nerve with today’s working world. Ricoh says this microsite has driven 3.5 million viewers to its main site within 5 months.

Meanwhile the USA blog network has different blogs for different areas of business specific to the US. Sounds obvious, I know, but it’s incredible how many big companies fail to segment their content like this. The US Healthcare Blog deals with the technological challenges of the US’ healthcare system, which is in a serious state of flux. The Connect with Ricoh Blog follows the print production industry and offers how-tos.

To be honest I really could go on, it’s that comprehensive, but instead I’ll simply say that Ricoh’s approach to content marketing takes a refreshingly proactive attitude that uses its household name status to the fullest.

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The reason so many large corporations are only just wising up to the inherent and long term value of content marketing is because they are so large. Putting oneself in the shoes of upper management, it’s understandable – the company has marketed itself quite successfully over time and hence now stands as one of the top players in its game. There doesn’t appear to be any pressing need for content marketing. This, unfortunately, can only hold true for so long before seeming a tad antiquated when compared with all those other new start-ups coming up in the field.

Ricoh, on the other hand, has recognised its considerable power as a brand and leverages this to boost every content tool in its arsenal, in the form of how-to blogs and influential opinion on governmental policy, video testimonials and product demonstrations, and a fully engaged social media strategy. This multifaceted approach to thought leadership comes from all angles, giving a globally renowned brand the added power of complete consumer trust. It’s content marketing done right.

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