A company comes to us wanting a new or revamped website. Inevitably during our discovery session, this kind of scenario happens:
“Oh!” interjects the CEO/marketing manager, “We also want a blog.” The representatives from the company all beam at each other and nod in enthusiastic agreement. Content is king, after all. Everyone knows this.
Inwardly I sigh, but play along. “Great!” I reply brightly. “Regularly updated blog content is a fantastic way to show thought leadership, boost your SEO and drive website traffic. I just have a few questions. Who will be writing your posts?”
They look around uncomfortably. “Well, we’re not sure. We’ll have to figure out who has time to do it.”
“How often can you commit to posting? We recommend at least 2-3 times a week to get the best results.”
“Ummmm. That’s a lot. What if we do Twitter instead?”
So what’s the problem here?
Most companies recognize the value of content, but few are willing to make a real, dedicated commitment to it. You can’t date content; you have to pledge your undying love to it through thick and thin.
It’s not just blogs; it’s social media, too.
Jumping on Facebook or Twitter is a great idea—if you can commit to regular, valuable posts that fans/followers are interested in. Otherwise, you’ve got a link on your website to a Twitter account that hasn’t been updated since your first “We’re on Twitter!” post from three years ago. (This is not an exaggeration. I’ve seen this. Multiple times.)
If you want to get in the content game, you have to do it right.
It’s going to pay off: Companies with active blogs generate 55% more site visits, 97% more links to their websites, and their pages get indexed 434% more often.
You don’t want to miss out on these incredible gains, but you don’t want to create a bad user experience with your company either. Hey, I won’t pretend it’s easy to actively engage in content development. Often, other priorities, even marketing priorities, will seem to get in the way. But go back to those stats I mentioned, and think about the ROI you miss out on. Is it worth the trade for whatever else has come up?
To really make it work with content, you’ve got to:
- Commit to a regular posting schedule. Be realistic about what you can actually do, but make sure it’s often enough to be valuable to you and your customers.
- Make someone (or multiple someones) accountable for content. Your content efforts will be more successful if someone “owns” the project. That means writing posts or managing assignments, chasing down late posts and actively engaging with commenters or other responses.
- Track your metrics. The easiest way to continue making the case for content prioritizing in an organization is to show its value in numbers. Set up appropriate tracking so you know just how many people are reading your posts, exploring other posts and clicking around to learn more about your company.
If you REEEAAALLLY want to get a blog or social media strategy going but you’ve got cold feet, don’t be afraid to partner with an agency or freelance content/social media specialist to help you plan and execute your long-term content strategy.