In today’s digitally-focused, buyer-driven world, you need a company blog. Your blog is a great resource for both generating leads and increasing thought leadership and awareness. But how do you get all of the content you need to post blogs on a consistent basis? This question comes up time and time again when I speak to other marketers about optimizing and growing their blogs.
At Marketo, our blog is a critical element of our content marketing strategy and we post at least one blog per day during the week. When I first began managing the blog, coming up with five blog posts a week was hard. I simply didn’t have the content. So as a result, I spent countless nights feverishly writing blog posts to make sure I hit our target post number.
There had to be a better way to reach the number of posts we needed! The answer was to develop an internal blogging program to evangelize and incentivize blog contribution across the organization. To build a company of content creators was a true sea change, a real cultural shift, as employees hadn’t historically contributed. At Marketo, our program has been highly successful. We have over 30 regular blog contributors now, our traffic has steadily increased and our social shares are up 86 percent since program launch.
So, how can you create an internal blogging program for your own organization? Read on to learn best practices that can help you succeed:
- Understand and address internal barriers to success. You need to ask yourself, why aren’t people contributing to your blog currently? Is it that people don’t have time? Maybe your teams are afraid of writing? Or is it overall lack of interest in contributing? Understanding what hinders participation in the first place can help you make your program more relevant.
- Incentivize blog contribution. Get your teams excited by gamifying your blog program. Align incentives to blogging milestones. As an example, when someone writes and publishes three blog posts she gets X, and then when she gets to seven blog posts she gets Y. If you have the budget to do so, put some enticing prizes behind your program like Fitbits, iPads and more. If you don’t have a budget, no worries - what about company swag like t-shirts, branded beach towels and so on.
- Develop formalized guidelines. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Develop formalized guidelines and publish them. You want to cover blog post length requirements, post topic suggestions, SEO guidelines, formatting guidelines, social media guidelines and the submission process. Answer all of the potential questions a contributor may have.
- Provide training and expert resources. One of the big barriers to blogging is that not everyone is comfortable with writing. Offer a handful of formalized training sessions to cover your program and basic best practices on blogging. Another option is offering one-on-one blogging consultations for interested participants - you can help with writing and ideation.
- Meet with internal stakeholders. You need to get all of your executives on board in order for the program to work. If you can get their buy-in, you can get the buy-in of their teams. So evangelize your program! Create a list of the key teams you want to blog and meet with team leaders. Tell them about your program and ask for their help, and then determine a meeting cadence for check-ins to see if their teams are participating.
Helping to incite a cultural change is tough, but doable. The key to a successful blog is diversity of content and a consistent content frequency. By developing a formalized blogging program you can incentivize your teams to contribute and before you know it, your program will gain momentum.
For additional marketing insights from Marketo's Dayna Rothman, enroll today to view her Online Marketing Institute class, Creating Content that Converts: Lean Content Marketing for Lead Generation to learn how you can create engaging content that converts with less time and resources than you ever thought possible.