First published April 7, 2008
For a company blog to resonate with an audience of influencers, it needs to have a plan of action to help it meet that goal. Without a plan, there is no focus or continuity and the effort falls flat. In fact, a poorly executed blog can do more harm than good. Why? Because you’ve promised something you did not deliver.
Fortunately, creating a plan is fairly straight forward. It simply requires that you are clear about expectations, what your company wants to accomplish, and then committing sufficient resources to effectively realize the blog’s goals and objectives.
Here are some suggestions to maximize your investment in a company blog:
1. Determine Objectives
First, identify what you want to achieve with your corporate blog. You might want to highlight customer success stories, build profiles for reference customers, share your research, dive more deeply into the product back story, or simply establish your company as a content expert.
Other objectives include building a strong subscriber base, fostering a sense of community so that people continue reading your blog and asking for feedback on existing products and ideas for new offerings.
2. Determine Your Audience's Objectives
Once you have identified your blog's objectives from your company’s vantage point, step back and determine the objectives of your target audience. Make no mistake; they are different from yours.
The most important thing to understand is that this blog is not an opportunity for your company to pontificate on its key messages. It is an opportunity to create conversations around your key messages. This is an essential distinction. You must focus on meeting the needs of your audience first. Using this strategy will create strong, steady interest in your blog.
Talk to educators to discover their current pain points. What are they looking for that they can’t find? Talk to your customer service representatives. More than anyone else in your organization, they know what is on your customers’ minds. Monitor the content of educational conferences and seminars to ensure you are staying on top of current trends and issues.
3. Determine Meaningful and Memorable Content
Create a list of appropriate topics for blog postings and articles and decide who will write these. Is it written by one person or several people? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. In some ways, a blog is like a 24/7 news organization. You need a lot of content. It is essential to lock this down early.
Create a blog personality. What is the blog voice and tone to be? All blogs must find a way to become a compelling, must-read for their audience.
Create a schedule. An effective blog requires regular care and feeding. It is a dynamic, evolving website and should be a top priority for someone in your organization.
With these basic principles to guide you, a corporate blog can become a significant part of your overall marketing strategy as it helps you build an audience of supporters invested in your company’s success