When you first start a blogging content marketing program, whether in-house or with a communications firm, for the first couple of months things tend to move like clockwork. This is at least as it applies to putting together topics to write about.
However, get ready, because about the third month of blogging, assuming you are posting several posts per month, that’s when the rough patches show up.
Below are some of the issues you are likely to encounter and a suggestion or two to overcome them:
What to write about? This is the biggie. You can run out of topics pretty quickly. Here’s what I do. Let’s say my client is a manufacturer of floor care equipment. How much can you say about cleaning floors after a couple of months? Actually, there’s plenty. You just have to keep doing research on everything about floors, floor care, and floor machines. This will get your mind going, doors will open, and new ideas that have value to your visitors will come rushing in.
Is it still content? What often happens when the content marketing program is being handled in-house is that the content takes a left turn and starts becoming advertising. Sometimes people try to write things that cover up the fact that the content is really an ad – assuming that the visitor won’t notice – but here’s the rub. The visitor will notice, and as soon as they start thinking the blog is really a disguised advertising forum, you’ve lost them. Remember the goal of content marketing is to educate and develop trust and loyalty. Once that happens, the results are leads and sales.
Is anybody sharing? We use HootSuite to get the message out for some of our clients. With Hootsuite, you can schedule a number of posts, links, and related items to go out on a schedule throughout the week, month, or year. But here’s what’s really neat. The system tells you if someone shared the post on their own social media pages, if they “liked” it on Facebook or LinkedIn, or if they commented on it directly or on some other site. We’ve sent some blogs out and within minutes Hootsuite shows us lots of interactions on a post. With other posts there’s no action. So here is what you have to do. Try to understand why some posts get shared and others never see the light of day. Then prepare posts similar to the most effective posts.
Are they buying? If “words lead to sales” then we eventually have to see some action. As soon as you start a blogging program, check your websites analytics (assuming the blog is on your company web site). Then, about three months later and every three months after that, check them again. You want to see those numbers, which represent web visitors, going up and up.
That’s the first step in the conversion rate. In one case, we have a client who only averaged about 100 visitors a week to their company web site. After implementing a strategic blogging program, they have on average 1,000 visitors per day. What they first started noticing as the numbers picked up is that more end-customers began contacting them for more information. This company works with distributors, so the contact information is passed on to their local distributor…and guess what. Once the distributor contacts them, the door has already been opened. A cold call is now a warm call and the result has been an increase in sales….Voilà, it’s working.