With social media all the rage, there are many companies in the industrial space asking the question, "Should I start a company blog?"

I have put together a list of questions that will help you answer that very question – to blog or not to blog. By answering these questions you will be able to determine if blogging is right for you at this time. A key tip is that if you can’t answer any one of these questions you are not ready to start a blog yet.

Who is the intended audience for your blog?
You first need to define who you want to read your blog. Is it for customers, prospective customers, employees, media, and/or investors?


What is the goal/purpose for you company blog?
Address what the intent of your blog is for the company. Do you want to drive ecommerce sales? Are you hoping to drive traffic to your web site with blog content for search engine optimization purposes? Is the blog meant to be an extension of your technical sales support? Will you be promoting your company as a subject matter expert in your field?

Have you put together a content strategy for the blog?
Before you get started with a blog, map out potential content that you plan to write about and share on the blog. Without this you might find yourself scrambling for ideas. A content strategy will also keep your blog on point to address your overall goals. Types of content you could write about are:

  • New product releases or product updates
  • Applications for your products
  • Customer testimonials or case studies
  • Industry news
  • Company press releases
  • White papers, webinars, video and any other content you have
  • Your presence at trade shows and events
  • Technical issues in your industry and how to solve them
  • Frequently asked customer questions

Have you thought about who will write for the blog?
One person or a team of people can post content for the blog. You could hire an outside writer to create posts under your guidance. If an executive in your company is blogging make sure they understand the time commitment and are prepared to sustain the effort.

Are you prepared to commit to frequent and regular postings?
Some companies post daily and others sporadically. A best practice is to post frequently and regularly. You need to establish a guideline in advance of starting your blog. Once a week can be acceptable to get started but once a month is not to see the benefit. Make sure you have a schedule in place.

Do you have a blog platform selected?
There are many free blogging platforms. Two popular ones are WordPress and TypePad. Both offer a free service and for minimal investment you can upgrade for more features and functionality.

How will you get readers to the blog?
You will want to have a plan in place on where to promote the blog. This can be done on your website, in employee email signature lines, through other social media, and in company content like product collateral, newsletters and white papers.

How will you measure success?
Is it number of subscribers/readers, comments entered, or conversions to sales or lead generation?

We welcome your comments. If you have a blog can you offer any other tips for determining whether or not a company should take the plunge? Can you add to the list of ideas of potential content to write about?

3 comments

  1. Great post! Blogs are great for boosting web traffic. Use keywords you want your biz’s site to be strong in. Often the success of a blog isn’t found in repeat readership, but in having the content available for those searching the web.
    A strong blog addresses common questions your clients may be asking. Not only will it save you time answering commonly asked questions over the phone, but it can instantly build a higher level of confidence in your product/service when web-searchers find that you are the company with the answers.

    Like

  2. Some other things to consider:

    You don’t need to have just one company blog. You might want to start with one, but you can separate your technical support blog from your higher-level issues to attract customers blog.

    Free services can be made to look very professional by using the appropriate custom branded templates, but remember that the service can delete your blog at any time. If possible, have your programmer install your blog platform on your own servers or use a paid service.

    I definitely agree you should be able to answer these questions, at least regarding your plan for the first quarter, before you put anything online with a blog that’s part of a marketing plan.

    But – if you have a passionate individual you trust to speak for the company, then you can also go ahead and get started and learn as you go. In the conversation, even in B2B, passion can precede planning. Just don’t invest a lot of money in it or make grandiose claims.

    Like

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