This week week discuss a topic that is near and dear to both of us: How to produce better corporate blogs that can clearly and consistently communicate your message. We’ve both have been actively involved in corporate blogs for quite some time, and have managed various blogs and contributed to dozens of them over the years.
What got us interested in topic was this piece on Autodesk, and how it has built a cluster of 200 different blogs over the years (some of which you can see in the screen capture at right), and some of the interesting things that they have learned in the process.
We talk about key elements in assembling your team, understanding your audience focus and defining what the overall purpose of the blog or blogs will be, as well as adjusting to the appropriate level of knowledge for a particular readership.
It is also important to take the long view; on the Internet, content is eternal and many corporate marketers often make the mistake of having a blog for just a particular campaign. Part of successful blogging is having an editorial calendar and planning what you will cover in the next quarter (or longer if you can), posting regularly and selecting the right topics. Also, consider whether it makes sense to outsource part of the back or front office functions of the blog to operations such as Skyword or Contently. While you pay a premium for these services, they can deliver benefits if you don’t have the time, skills or staff to handle these functions.
Part of any successful blog is also figuring out what your metrics for success are, and that should involve more than just simple page views. Finally, make sure you pay your external writers quickly and without a lot of paperwork, otherwise they will migrate elsewhere. (That is where the outsourced back office providers can help.)