To blog…or not to blog.
It’s a question on the lips of many savvy marketing executives these days. And it isn’t for everyone. If you’re up in the air, read my article “Blog for Business: How to decide if it’s right for your company”.
But if you’ve made up your mind you’re ready for a blog, let’s talk about how to do it right. But first, remember that a blog is a very powerful way to use your company’s “true voice,” and it takes the kind of care and nurturing you’d give any living thing.
You’ve heard of “natural” search, right? It’s the best way to prepare your site for good rankings in the search engines. And the strongest tool you can use for that is a company/corporate blog.
Why? Blogs provide a constant supply of fresh, relevant content-the number one element that makes search engines love your website. And if you use a couple of well-chosen keywords in your posts that relate well to what you do/sell/want to prove, your traffic should get even better. Here are 4 tips to make your blog more powerful at attracting loyal, profitable customers.
Be keyword savvy. Pick good keywords, but not from among the really popular terms (like “blog”)–the competition for those is stratospheric You know those Google search pages that come up and tell you you’ve found the first out of 17 zillion results for your term? On a random day, for example, this is the Google search results number for the word “blog” – 2,730,000,000 (yes, the kind of number with so many zeroes you don’t even bother to decipher it–and that huge number should give you a clue about how right you are to be thinking about this blogging thing).
Pick some other words and phrases that are on target but not searched for by practically every human being on the planet who has a computer. How, you ask? Do you know about Wordtracker? It’s a nice little software package you can use to test key words and phrases. Pick a phrase that gets a moderate number of searches, and then focus.
Focus. Sprinkle your postings liberally with the word(s) or phrase(s) you’ve selected and tested with WordTracker or another keyphrase software. I know. Easier said than done. But that’s why SEO companies beg their clients to hire writers to do their corporate blogs. Having Joe or Harriet in Human Resources write the blog may not get you the results you’re hoping for.
Make it real. Now comes the hard part. To build the most value into your blog, you have to actually write in the thing-regularly, consistently, and passionately. Yes, you read right-with passion. That means you have to really care about your subject. When you care, you’ll automatically tend to deliver content that will have value for others who care, too-your prospects, partners, vendors, and customers.
One reason this may be hard for you or most of your employees is that you all have your regular jobs to do. It’s not easy to consistently find passion for another whole endeavor when you’re already investing your soul in meeting demands and looking ahead to do your job better. If you have someone on your staff who’s a really good writer and who can spare some time, discuss this responsibility with him or her. Let her know that you support this project and that her supervisor will allow her the time needed to do a good job.
Promote! Use all your marketing know-how to cross-promote the blog with your other outreach methods-mention it on your website, in your direct mail, and in your newsletter, set up your RSS feed links, and regularly email your contacts with notes about what’s going on in your blog. Use Google Adwords, Google Adsense, and other gateways to larger networks. Especially use the new AddThis service-puts a link on each post so that people who like what you wrote can tell the world.
Read tips from some of the big guys: Blogger, About.com, Wikipedia on affiliate marketing, Clickz/Jupiter Research, and you can find many more.
You can’t, as they say, “build it and they will come.” But if you already have a strong in-house list that you market to, you’ve got a ready-made reader base that cares about your topic and is accustomed to paying attention to you. That is the best possible place to be when you start a blog. Then the viral marketing power of the web will go to work for you.
Questions about how to create/sustain a corporate blog? Email, or call me at 216.472.8502 or 773.292.3294