Corporate blogs are a bit like New Year’s resolutions.
They start with good intentions and a rush of enthusiasm, then fade away as life gets busy.
A company launches its new website with great intentions about all the content marketing they can do and how they’ll be pumping out blogs and getting lots of SEO hits from new customers. For the first two or three weeks everyone chips in and there’s lots of content.
But then everyone gets busy with their day jobs, enthusiasm wanes and they have a problem.
If a potential customer clicks on a website and finds the last blog post was updated in June 2012, then they’ll come away with the impression that the company is disorganised and out of date.
Instead of demonstrating the company’s expertise and capabilities, the web copy is turning customers off.
Here are five ways you can ensure you have a steady stream of regular blogs:
It’s all very well to launch a content marketing strategy with plans to publish content on everything that moves. But is it realistic? Do you have the internal resources to produce all the content you plan to?
And don’t forget, if content marketing is to be successful, it has to have quality content. Blogs can’t just be dashed off in 30 minutes off the top of your head. They need to be tailored to the right audience, to contain useful information and be written in a way that will engage customers and potential customers.
They should also contain SEO keywords.
And they need to be edited by someone who knows what they’re doing and topped with a catchy headline.
The next step is to set some concrete targets. If your aim is something as vague as “have as many blogs as possible” or “use content marketing where appropriate”, then you’ll find that you have a very thin pipeline of blogs.
Better to come up with a hard number – one blog a day without fail, or new blogs to be published every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
Make one person responsible for content – either for writing the copy or for chasing up (and nagging) other people who can.
Add it to their job description and put it in their KPIs. And demand answers if you don’t get the output you agreed on.
Often though, everyone already has enough on their plate, and it would be counterproductive to lump somebody with the added responsibility for content marketing.
Then there’s the question of whether anyone internally has the skills – the ability to spot a topic, turn it into a piece of writing that someone will want to read, then edit it so it’s fit for publication.
This is where outsourcing comes in.
Paying a professional content provider hands the headache of content production over to someone else. Rather than having staff members struggling to writing blogs when they should be out meeting clients or ringing up billable hours, the content provider does it in consultation with the business managers and the marketing team.
And they’re sure to deliver, because that’s what they do.
Whether you appoint an internal person or outsource content production, it needs to be supported from the top, with management sending the clear message that content marketing is an important part of the business’ marketing mix and overall strategy.
A lot of the time, content produces will still need support from front line staff, for ideas, expertise and general market intelligence.