Blogging is fun! Running a high-quality corporate blog, however, is a huge pain in the a$$ (and expensive, too).
It should be. Your corporate blog may be your single most important marketing asset, after your search-engine-optimized website. Chances are, your posts land in front of your best customers more frequently than your best salespeople.
Your blog posts should therefore:
- Deliver smart, useful, and entertaining content that subtly conveys your company’s unique value proposition
- Invite feedback that will enable you to improve your products and services
- Improve your search engine rankings
- Be on-brand, well written, and error-free
- Senior-Management Ownership. Your blog is a strategic communications asset—as important as your website, annual user conference, and recent megabucks ad campaign. Assign its management to the same senior, corporate marketing executive responsible for your company’s other marketing activities.
- An Editorial Calendar. Your blog’s content should complement other content your company publishes. Coming up with your editorial calendar is therefore a strategic activity.
- First, create blog categories by theme, target reader, product division, geography, etc.; each of your posts will fit under one of these categories. Revise/update/rename the categories as your blog grows. (Our categories are listed to the right of this post, FYI; they’re thematic)
- Next, create an editorial calendar showing details such as blog categories, topics, authors, and due dates
- Update it on a regular basis (we do our big planning once/year, assign rough topics to bloggers once per quarter, then refine weekly)
- Guidelines. Create a “blog guidelines” document, and share it with your bloggers. The document should include the basics—objective, target audience, voice, keyword policy—as well as nuts and bolts on how to post.
- Bloggers. It can be a full-time job to recruit bloggers, assign or solicit topics, remind bloggers to submit posts on time, edit their posts, and share feedback with them. The blog manager will need a team of tenacious, persuasive, well-connected marketers—each focusing on a product division, geographic area, target vertical, etc. to round up posts from potential bloggers. Flattery works!
- A Pipeline of Great Content. A critical—and often-overlooked—activity of the blog manager is to create internal processes and incentives that will drive a rich pipeline of high-quality blog topics. For example, it might become company policy that whenever a new marketing asset such as a white paper or customer case study is created, an accompanying blog post (and social media content) will be written—to draw eyeballs to that new asset. Your company news and events will provide some blog content; however, if you’re trying to impress anyone other than PR, you’ll want to feature deeper thought-leadership and opinion posts as well.
- Time, money, and commitment. It’s easy to start a blog, but hard to keep it going. Dedicating adequate resources will ensure your blog epitomizes—and elevates—your brand.