Build a Company Blog You’re Proud Of
You read about it more and more… and more often each day. Creating and curating quality content is a marketing must in the digital age. As a savvy marketing professional you understand the value of communicating with your customers without selling to them. We all are familiar with the general principal of content marketing, but how do you step into action. And more importantly, how do you get your teammates on board as writers.
It All Begins with a Blog
It’s easy to underestimate the influence of a blog. That is until you stop and remember Huffington Post, one of America’s largest and most popular news sources originated as a blog.
Understanding it’s unlikely any of us will create a blog that will someday rival the HuffPost is a given, but in the world of content marketing, your blog is the channel for your inbound marketing efforts, lead generation, thought leadership, and brand awareness amongst many other things. Understanding that, it is essential that you make your blog a priority. This means publishing regular content and updates, which can be a taller order than you sometimes think. At Three Deep Marketing we recently launched a program to encourage our team to blog on a regular basis. We’re early in our journey, but have had some early success in having our marketing practitioners lift their nose from the grindstone and become thought leaders in marketing communities as they share their experiences on our blog.
Let’s Get Blogging
Our goal is to have every employee at our company publish at least one blog post by the end of the year. Achieving this goal won’t be easy, so we launched a companywide program to help get the team into action. How did we do it? We created a contest with some cool prizes. The result, more blogging by our employees, more traffic to our website, more engagement with partners and prospects.
Why is Participation Important?
There are a couple of reasons. The first is obvious, the more people you have writing the easier it is to generate content. However the second reason is far more important. We use our company blog for a variety of reasons – Branding, SEO, Lead Nurturing, Sales… and people who are able to write knowledgably about topics we post on our blog leads to better content builds credibility in our industry – Basically it makes it makes our blog better.
What Does a Blogging Program Look Like?
Now I could just share the program we created and call it a day, but I’d rather focus on elements you can use to build a successful program with your organization.
Few things encourage people more than competition. Now that your team is motivated to blog, you should also recognize people for their achievements. We do this on a quarterly basis and find that is a good rhythm. You can structure your contests around:
- Post with the most page views
- Post that is shared most on social media
- Post that is voted most popular by your peers
Survey your team and you’ll likely discover nearly everyone is familiar with blogs… But that doesn’t mean they’ve written a blog. Make it easy for people to participate by sharing some common tips to help your staff in the writing process.
Catchy Title - You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t judge a book buy its cover… Well blogs are different and people might decide whether your post is worth reading based on its name.
Visual Effects - People like pictures… And cat videos. It’s that simple. Your blog post should include something shinny to get their attention.
Usefulness - Readers will want some type of utility from your post. Your writing should teach them something! People love to learn from the internet… Even if the only thing they’re learning is your opinion.
Readability - People like blogs because they have personality, think of Perez Hilton. Make your blog readable, this means something they can engage in by having a unique voice. Your grammar doesn’t need to be perfect, but please don’t embarrass yourself
…Don’t forget to include styles of content that are frequently read
Profile - Write a profile post on someone you know, a blogger, a public figure, a company, an event, holiday or date.
Tutorial - You are highly skilled. Write a post that teaches people how to do anything! Think-step-by-step for this type of writing.
Comparison - Compare two topics, products, companies or people. Write the key features side-by-side. And if you have an opinion about which is better - include it! That’s part of having a unique voice.
List - Just as it sounds… Write a list, but don’t forget to add a little color about each item on the list. This can be things you must try, websites you must visit, tools you must use – you get the point.
Review - Tell people about your experience with a certain product, technology website, eBook, product, etc. Again, presenting your opinion is a great idea!
Help Your Team Be Successful
Some of your teammates are naturally great writers, awesome! Just remember, if the goal is for everyone to participate – there will be people who need help. You’ll need to think about how to provide support in advance. When doing so, make sure your program accommodates everything from brainstorming, proofreading, feedback on visuals and other ongoing resources. At Three Deep Marketing, we are implementing a quarterly happy hour to support our initiative. Something we hope will be both fun and effective in supporting our staff in sharing content and providing ongoing training that is essential to a successful blog.
As we grow our blogging program, we’d love to hear about yours. Please Tweet me at @tpettis and share your story.