This post is the second of a two part series on how to successfully manage a blog for your business. It is important to understand that your customers, whether you like it or not, are posting things about your company on the internet. If they can’t find a post that already exists, they will create one. So creating your own blog about your company can provide a means of monitoring what people are saying about your products online and facilitate proper communication about any misconceptions or complaints that may otherwise get out of hand. Hopefully, the tips below, in conjunction with the previous post, will help you successfully manage your corporate blog.
- Update regularly with relevant content
- Make it easy for people to subscribe
- Allow and monitor comments
Make it Interesting
This one seems like common sense, but it is often the most overlooked. No one cares about your company’s new 12-way slicer and dicer’s warranty. Instead, give them a real world implication of when you wish you had paid for a product warranty. Appeal to them on a personal level. The best way to build a blog’s subscription base is to intrigue readers. If they think the blog will produce content that they will want to know about at some point in the future, they will subscribe. The information on your blog should cause people feel like their lives or businesses will be enhanced in some way. Additionally, it is also important to engage the audience in some way. Ask them to share their point of view in the comments or talk to a colleague/friend about the topic. Sometimes a contest or special offer can also stimulate subscription and retention. And it never hurts to have a relevant picture with your post (even though this one doesn’t).
Join a Network
Joining a network such as Feedburner not only promotes your site, it also allows you to track the number of daily visitors, subscribers (email and RSS), etc. Monitoring this content will allow you to better understand who is looking at your blog and how to improve your subject matter and aesthetics. It is also good practice to redirect to the network version of your site, thus allowing all visitors to view your content from the same place. This helps to avoid fragmentation of analytics. However, make sure that you keep your branding in mind as you link to networks.
Reference Your Best Content
When people first visit a blog, they probably aren’t looking at the most recent post. Instead, they are probably looking at a past post that popped up in a search. The following tactics are some ways to show potential subscribers your blog’s quality and what kind of content they cant expect in the future:
- Sneeze Pages – Create a page that directs readers into your archives based on themes, number of comments, or a specific period of time. This can enhance a blog’s credibility by showing depth and variety.
- “Best Of” Section – A sidebar with your best content can immediately drive viewers to the content you think will impress them enough to subscribe.
- Landing Pages – Be sure to have a page devoted to giving an overview of the content on your blog. It is also possible to scan for new visitors using plug-ins like Landing Sites.
- Interlink Posts – Linking to archived content in more recent posts can help subscribers find the information they want more easily. In addition, this can show readers that you thoroughly cover any given topic, thus building your blog’s credibility.
Pay Attention to Hot Posts
Be sure to pay special attention to hot topic posts on your blog. Since these pages receive a lot of hits, it is likely the people viewing this content are looking for more of the same thing. Thus, placing a link with, “Subscribe to get more information like this,” or “Like this page? Get more now,” can greatly increase the number of subscribers to your blog.
Monitor Your Blog’s Analytics
If you are part of a network such as Feedburner, use your admin tools to monitor your blog’s analytics. You may discover some interesting data, such as the method people use to subscribe to your site. For example, if I see that a majority of the people that view my blog use Google Reader, I might add value to my blog by having advertisers place ads both directly on my blog and through my Feedburner RSS network. This is good for the advertiser because they guarantee a greater reach and, in some cases, increase frequency in the process. It is good for you because you make money. Can’t complain about that.
So there you have it. With a little work, and some luck, you can have a successful blog that not only informs current and potential customers about your business, you will also have some insight into the needs and wants of your audience. However, it is important to continuously evaluate, monitor, and manage your blog in order to stay on top of search engine lists. Having this insight can help you make your business into what you need in order to compete in a competitive and increasingly complex market.
What are some of your practices for managing a corporate blog?