In browsing the blogosphere, one runs into quite a few examples of “blogging for blogging’s sake.” In other words, someone read in the PR handbook that a blog is a surefire way to attract eyeballs to a company’s website.
Well, it’s not. A blog has to be treated like any other part of a strategic communications plan. It should conform to specific goals and be supported by a thoughtful action plan to keep it current, meaningful and “shareworthy.”
Here are some tips:
Don’t use your blog as a commercial for your product/service. Savvy readers know the difference between a blog that smartly weaves in a mention of a product or service because it furthers the “storyline” and one that is 300 words on your company’s latest offering. The former? Good journalism. The latter? Total turn-off, and a likely Google bounce.
Do incorporate news headlines. Although you likely have an editorial calendar (if not, create one!) it’s a good idea to leave room to comment on or include real-world developments, particularly when they have bearing on your industry. For example, the President’s State of the Union address provides fodder for those in the insurance industry, employment industry and countless others to “borrow buzz” and provide a keen POV to a topical issue. And, yes, it’s a great example of CEO message communications as well.
Don’t overlook keywords. Invest some time and resources in determining the keywords that your target audiences use to find companies like yours. Incorporate them organically into what you write. Their mention should never seem forced or artificial, but a natural part of the topics you cover and the “voice” your blog has come to acquire.
Do mention clients and other business partners. Sometimes the best way to illustrate a case history or a best practice is to cite examples where your company has had a major role. Sharing the “stage” with others, however, keeps the company humble but also illustrates skills and accomplishments. And it can increase the “shareability” of the post when other names are given shout-outs.
Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. With a company blog, it’s tempting to have guest bloggers and other voices within the organization share views. As egalitarian as the notion is, it is far more practical to limit writing to a handful of people. Your blog should have developed a particular voice, cadence and look which is best produced by a few who are truly invested.
Whatever changes you undertake to improve your posts this year, recognize that keeping a blog fresh and relevant takes work. Set some goals and get to it!