Blogs – great content generator but make sure you have the right posts

I have read and heard many questions about blogs, the main question is always “should I blog or should my company have one.” My answer. Yes and yes. Okay maybe we, as individuals, do not all need to blog. With Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the other social media tools we have enough channels as an individual to get our opinions, stories and updates out into cyberspace without a blog.

However, as a corporation, whether a 2 person flower shop or a multi – billion dollar heavy industry company a blog or blogs should be part of your marketing strategy. Much has been written and discussed about why a blog is of value so here are some reasons:

  • Helps your web site’s SEO (search engine optimization). A blog provides fresh and regular content that web crawlers will index. This constant flow of content will raise your profile in the crawlers’ mind therefore helping people find you!
  • Allow for a conversation to be fostered with your audience: clients, prospects, employees, influencers, investors just to name a few.
  • Gives your company an opportunity to share opinions and ideas in a much more personal fashion. Rather than communicating solely via press release, a blog allows your company to put out opinions and thoughts in a much easier and more personal fashion.
  • Tool for rapid communications and response. Used properly your blog will allow you to put out reactions and opinions to fast moving events.

Having said this, your blogging strategy needs to incorporate strategy around the types of posts you will need to create. Think about your blogging topics to fall into a 2×2 matrix:

Timeless – these topics are timeless and are not dependent on a current event.

Time Sensitive – related to current events or are sensitive to industry changes.

Promote – drive sales and action.

Brand – builds your band and thought leadership.

Quadrant 1: Blog posts can tackle topics about your solutions, how you can tackle industry problems, how your process is important to name a few. Example – if you are a recruiting firm: What are 5 common pitfalls to avoid during an interview. These can even be done ahead of time an put in a can – post when you  have a slow topic week!

Quadrant 2: “Big Idea” topics! Blog posts that tackle issues that impact business or your general industry. Demonstrate that you have some interesting thoughts and ideas about business, the world and your industry. Example – if you are software firm: How will mobile impact business and buying patterns?

Quadrant 3: Posts about action items, a call to action post – not necessarily just to purchase. Example – if you are a consulting firm: You can discuss your on campus recruiting calendar and what candidates need to expect.

Quadrant 4: Topics demonstrate thought leadership, nuance with Quadrant 2 is that these posts tend to be tied to a catalyst – a current event. Example – if you are a technology hardware vendor: you post about how the fluctuation in raw materials impact how you plan your sourcing strategy and what this means for manufacturing.

This quadrant system can be adapted to your business but the main concept transcends all businesses. When you start to blog you should think about putting together a blogging calendar  – similar to an editorial calendar. Understand the balance of posts you will need to meet your needs and ensure you have the proper staff in place to support this strategy. Have the discipline and the effort needed to ensure a successful blog and you and your business will reap the rewards.

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