The Power of Blogging

The power of bloggingI once heard a cruel joke about the number of readers for the average corporate blog post being exactly one – the person that wrote it.

Sadly, that’s close to the truth for many blogs, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Blogging is an easy way for any company to establish an always-on, always searchable, content distribution platform. It’s a powerful medium, but it takes time and commitment to successfully grow a readership. Whether you are just getting started, or need to revitalize a lapsed publication, there are a few key considerations.

Why blog? It is important to establish a blog strategy that is aligned with the overall corporate objectives of your company. Basic blog objectives are things such as:

  • build thought leadership
  • spread corporate culture
  • connect with customers
  • create brand awareness

Depending on individual corporate objectives, some or all of these objectives may be appropriate. Choose one or more as your editorial mission, knowing that creating compelling content and leveraging existing intellectual property will ultimately also help build brand awareness and spread the company culture.

Blog team / contributors: It’s best to assign an editor-in-chief to oversee the content, moderate comments, and own the editorial calendar. To lessen the burden on any one individual, it’s possible to rotate this role on a quarterly or bi-annual basis.  

Contributors must:

  • understand what blogging is (genuine communication in an authentic voice)
  • know the business and industry well enough to share compelling, original thoughts
  • have the ability to craft a well-written opinion piece of approximately 250 – 300 words in about an hour

The team should be geographically and demographically diverse and consist of a mix of leadership team members, subject matter experts, account managers, and marketers. Over time, you can invite guest bloggers from outside the company to contribute as well – but initially you should establish the tone and voice of the content on an internal basis.

Editorial Calendar: Establishing a solid readership will take time and many blogs fail when expectations are unrealistic. Set a timetable for publication, stick to it and hold contributors responsible. This is critical to success. There’s nothing worse than visiting a blog in which the most recent post is months or years old. Posting a new article on a weekly basis is a good initial goal.

Content must be aligned with your established strategy and appeal to your target audience(s). This ensures that your message is consistent, which will help your readership get to know your company. Brainstorm ideas for content categories; create a list of blog post topics and assign ownership and publication dates. Be sure to leave time for proofreading prior to publication. No one loves a typo.

Integration with social media: New blog posts can be promoted through notices and links using other social media channels. This will help drive traffic to the blog and create a readership.  Use personal and company updates on LinkedIn to send new posts to your network. Find a plug-in for your blog platform that pushes links to new posts to Twitter. Blog posts are great content to repurpose for these and other social media platforms – and it’s so much better to use original content than to just re-post what you’ve read from others.

Success metrics: Out of the gate, it’s most appropriate to focus on building traffic. As a blog gains readership and subscribers, you can start to gauge performance through indicators such as:

  • downloads of publications or other content mentioned in the blog (which can automatically be tallied as goal completions or leads using web analytics and your CRM or automation system)
  • new contacts from accounts that meet your target customer criteria added to database
  • comments on the blog
  • corporate website visits that originate on the blog

These are but a few ideas that will help make your blog successful.

To see a great example of an inspired corporate blog, take a look at the newly launched Chief Sales Digest – Executive Insights on Sales from our client, the Alexander Group. It’s beautifully designed (thanks to the team at Clutch Creative), user-friendly, and sure to be a fantastic showcase for Alexander Group’s thought leadership on sales. In the past 2 years, they have increased their blog readership from zero to more than 500 visits per week. Their blog now accounts for nearly 10% of total website visits, more than 75% of these are new visitors – and more than 50% go on to visit other pages on their website. That’s the power of blogging. 

 If you want to realize the power of blogging in your organization, ask us! We promise one Idea with Impact for every inquiry.

And to that one reader of my post this week – thank you! hahaha

Posted by Linda Jackson    |    April 17, 2013