What are some of the reasons for a business to start a blog?
@ThomasJArmitage Besides traffic value, I love how it makes writers stay up on trends and new things in the field. Strengthens writing skills too.
@BruceClayInc Thought leadership, knowledge transfer, brand awareness, increased site traffic, legitimate links to high quality posts.
@MatthewAYoung Blogs help brands develop personality, engage their target audience and their industry.
@paulaspeak To inform and educate people on a subject — builds an audience AND establishes your expertise. Good for SEO & branding.
@shuey03 The obvious, to begin to create thought leadership. I think a blog also creates some validation that you are the real deal and creates another layer of trust.
@andrea_tuttle Also attract attention from consumers who are in the learning/research phase.
@realemilylouisa Create, share, and cultivate your own brand voice.
@gregdixson To reinforce the brand, attract a readership, show authority, and often times provide content for their own site.
@AlanBleiweiss With a blog u can bring conversation from social channels to your site. Social channels may come and go, change. Your blog can be a constant in the midst of change.
@davidmalmborg What I love about these answers is not one person has said it’s to add more keywords to your site.
@KristiKellogg And … if it HAPPENS to coincide with a desirable keyword target, all the better.
@gregdixson Absolutely. It’s not just about keywords — it’s about offering valuable and compelling content.
@KristiKellogg There is no reason for a business NOT to start a blog. A blog is SO worth the investment. You can’t afford not to have a blog.
@paulaspeak Some industries don’t lend themselves to blogging. The CIA … and proctologists, to use an @Ammon_Johns example.
@victorpan Some businesses can alleviate phone calls to their customer line via their blog Blogs aren’t always about increasing leads.
What are some of the most important metrics that should be measured to determine the success of a blog?
@ThomasJArmitage I like when embedding media is within the posts and measuring those interactions. Videos plays. Downloads. Great to do A/B testing of conversions on-site during days with blog posts versus days without.
@RiaFiscina Avg Pages per Session, setting up events for half and whole article reads.
@davidmalmborg Avinash put out a great “Dashboard” post earlier this week, and think could be changed for the blog section.
@andrea_tuttle As someone else said, it depends on your goals – but I use CRM tools to track behaviors towards conversions.
@scottcowley I remember we used to track it through analytics at @seocom – conversions from blog subdirectory as landing pages.
@bloomreachinc Traffic, shares, engagement, etc. Also leverage in other areas (lead gen, PR, drafts for ebooks and other content.
@MatthewAYoung Engagement metrics like time on site, pages/visit, bounce, social shares, comments. RSS subscribers? or is that passe?
@RiaFiscina Definitely something to monitor.
@scottcowley Not passe at all, especially if you have a good e-mail marketing program that helps convert blog subscribers.
@alexpeerenboom I don’t think so. Marketing/SE Land mentions some of their highest referral traffic is Feedly. Shows me RSS still works in some circles. But it’s important to allow visitors different ways to subscribe/follow.
@scottcowley Been watching F500 corporate blogs – some removed the RSS feature in favor of e-mail subscriptions.
@alexpeerenboom Standard metrics: pageviews, time on page, etc. Engagement metrics: social shares, comments, retweets, etc.
@gregdixson oh yea comments too – a good indicator, although many sites doing away with comments in light of social.
@ThomasJArmitage I’ve also been seeing many move away from comments. Too much spam. And social is easier.
@paulaspeak I remember when @copyblogger turned off comments, preferring to engage in social media.
@gregdixson yep opting for Google+.Other sites too, facebook commenting etc. No barriers-users often signed in anyway
@scottcowley Metrics – # of leads/sales/microconversions from blog post entry pages, # of new visitors, # of backlinks to blog posts.
@shuey03 love micro conversions… something @avinash talks about a lot
@BruceClayInc Traffic first and foremost, especially traffic that results in conversions.
@realemilylouisa Gotta toss the social shares hat into the ring!
@GoBrandify People often overlook the ratio of returning/new visitors and bounce rate. Those can be telling of your influence.
@ramirez_robert Traffic, Retention (return visitors), Referrals (in the form of links) and Conversions (contact forms, time on page)
@KristiKellogg It’s also important analyze WHERE the traffic is going. What topics are your users most interested in? Create more of it. Another thing to consider is when, where, and how your blog/articles are being quoted. Good articles should be referenced. You can also use ClearVoice to easily see what articles are being shared most across sites (@CVContent). I dig it.
@paulaspeak The “most imp” metric depends on your goals, of course. But getting lots of engagement makes my day as a blogger.
@victorpan Good metrics will flag what your next step should be. Bad content to visitor intent fit? Need CRO? etc.
@andrea_tuttle Not trying for a personal plug, but I wrote about conversion KPIs and content recently. Might be helpful.
What are the core components of a solid blogging strategy?
@AlanBleiweiss Focus on Educating, evoking emotion, expressing unique voice to succeed in blogging.
@strydedotcom First, know your target audience, buyer personas, and their respective pain points. Don’t forget to repromote! Hitting publish and forgetting about the next day is such a waste of your time.
@ThomasJArmitage Especially now that we know exactly how many Twitterers are actually seeing each tweet (i.e. very few)
@paulaspeak Google Plus – favorite for this.
@MatthewAYoung Be current, be timely in posting, know the audience for which you write. Have excellent editorial staff – wink wink @BruceClayInc
@GoBrandify Solid posts with links within. Strong themes. Relevant posts. Reactive posts that create conversation.
@ramirez_robert Understanding personas and crafting content that will engage your target reader.
@shuey03 Defining your audience and building out buyer/reader personas should top the list
@RiaFiscina There are other parts, but I’m solidly behind annual audits, perhaps even semi-annually if you post a lot. This goes back to @KristiKellogg’s point earlier about knowing which topics hit home.
@gregdixson Agreed. Researching topics and then drilling down to individual posts forms the best strategies.
@realemilylouisa Make sure your content has a point and an opinion. Now is not the time to be meek!
@Tony_DWM Very common: posts that leave readers confused or underwhelmed. Reader mentality: does it help, inspire, motivate?
@ThomasJArmitage Nothing worse than finishing a post and thinking: “That’s it? What just happened?”
@Tony_DWM You can tell when authors live & breathe topics. The words, style, insight, depth command respect.
@AuthorityLabs Right, and less blah please! I would prefer 2 awesome posts a month than 20 just okay posts.
@gregdixson Knowing you audience!!! Serving them with consistently with well researched content which will resonate with them.
@BruceClayInc Consistency is a major component; you should be updating the blog 2-3 X a week. Other major factors are quality & relevance.
@alexpeerenboom Know your resources: who can write, who can create photos/videos/graphics, who can provide data. Keep them organized.
@scottcowley If you’re blogging for thought leadership, you have to bring something new to the table. Marketing bloggers still don’t get this. We’ve got a lot more thought followers than thought leaders in the blogosphere. Much more fun–in-depth research helps me become a much better writer and thinker in the process too. Important to remember that major corporations have many blogs–each targeting a specific topic/audience.
@ThomasJArmitage Assign writers, topics & deadlines. Great to have several people invovled (many perspectives). And know when to expect content.
@KevinWaugh A good component is accepting the idea of experimentation. Try new topics on the blog, something might stick.
@bloomreachinc May sound obvious, but quality writing. We added a “storyteller” (@mikecassidy) 6 months ago. HUGE jump. @mikecassidy’s ability to uncover interesting stories and engage sources has really been wonderful.
@ThomasJArmitage There’s def a difference between a [technical] writer and a storyteller.
@KristiKellogg This is a good time to point out who’s actually writing for a blog matters very much. Your writers should be TOP QUALITY. Hire journalists with proven track records that can write and research like nobody’s business. DON’T SKIMP in this area. Let’s just be real — author rank IS coming.
@davidmalmborg I think newsletters need to be on the list.
@GoGetterVette I agree,blog posts need to be sent out. Doesn’t stop after you click ‘publish’ Ppl need a sign up for updates.
@victorpan Cover an audience need better than everyone else, and do so with style. good storytelling gives you style points. Have a content promotion strategy. You know, so you actually do work that reaches people.
@gregdixson Yes, a sharing schedule for each piece of content (share more than once, cover timezones, etc.)
@strydedotcom Might be obvious, but edit and proof-read all posts.
@KristiKellogg YES to the people talking about proofreading — editors are essential, even it’s just one writer editing the other writer’s post.
@danbarker 1. intended audiences 2. content themes 3. frequency of above 4. promo means 5. tech 6. measures 7. review points
@HilaryB_SWK This is more “blogging best practices” than CORPORATE blogging best practices. There are limits to corporate blogging. Suddenly you have to be the voice of many people in a company–and having a clear personality can get tricky.
@dan_patterson Maybe break it up in different ways?
@HilaryB_SWK The content? such as give varying views on a single facet of the company/products?
@dan_patterson I was thinking more have a few different voices. Each “personality” covers a different aspect of the company.
@ramirez_robert BTW, @iPullRank has written the bible for IDing personas. Not exclusively blog relevant, but very useful.
When producing blog content, what types of content work best in a corporate environment and why?
@andrea_tuttle It depends on the industry
@GoBrandify Agree with @andrea_tuttle but if it shows that a company is truly knowledgeable about its industry, it will work.
@JoelKlettke Content format should be dictated by audience/objective not the fact that you’re a corporation. Asking “what format works for corporations” is totally backwards because it negates unique audience, subject matter, etc. This Q shows me how many marketers are stuck on “paint by numbers” solutions and so-called “best practices” that aren’t.
@Tony_DWM Very common: posts that leave readers confused or underwhelmed. Reader mentality: does it help, inspire, motivate? And the ‘unwritten contract’ is broken. Every post req’s a responsibility to know thy audience!
@AuthorityLabs Honestly, I just want to learn something, anything so I know I didn’t waste my time on the click.
@CVContent When producing blog content for any environment, the most important aspect is knowing your audience.
@gregdixson Corporate is usually long form articles, B2b info, Stats. The key is to find interesting ways to present sometimes boring info.
@BruceClayInc It depends on the industry, but across the board, though, a professional, informative & positive brand voice are desirable.
@bloomreachinc Context for whatever it is your company does. Cover the bigger picture where your people or tech make an impact.
@ThomasJArmitage I feel like long video posts & infographics work best for corporate. These readers want to learn moreso than just be entertained. Do the test: Would my target audience GAF? Is there a takeaway that makes readers want to share? Is it a pleasant read?
@danbarker First define ‘best’ based on intended outcome (sales, shares, links, idea promotion, goodwill, registration, etc).
@scottcowley Best content (from PR survey that @kelseylibert shared): exlusive research, breaking news, relevant.
@dan_patterson You’ll have hits and misses. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but also track what you’ve done to see what grabs attention.
@davidmalmborg Does content curation help or hinder your creation process?
@strydedotcom Helps! Creating blindly without looking what’s already out there is doing yourself a disservice.
@JoelKlettke TOTALLY depends on what you’re curating & why. If no unique value add, enormous waste of time.
@strydedotcom On the whole, a corporate blog will function very differently than, say, a travel blog. Tone and length come to mind first, corporate blogs might need to be more authoritative and/or informative.
@Tony_DWM For good examples of short posts that kick butt (not all need to be long) see @JoelKlettke’s blog. August is ‘short-post’ month.
@Thos003 With all this talk of blogs & content, we need to realize consumers control the media they consume today. Produce consumable media.
@KristiKellogg It’s also important for any blog to stand out & be interesting — corporate or otherwise. Offer something unique.
@paulaspeak Corporate blogs that are primarily promotional miss the mark. Need to mostly help, educate &/or entertain about your subject.
@scottcowley In some ways, doing curation WELL is harder than doing unique content well, since it requires really discriminant taste.
@victorpan Something with a SFW tag Data driven posts also make your readers feel smarter. e.g. #SFW
What are the most important things you can do to get your blog content seen by the right audience?
@strydedotcom Highly targeted social promotion, with great copy that reinforces the great content.
@CVContent Present content where your unique audience lives; they aren’t going to come to you!
@KristiKellogg Encourage sharing by collaborating w/ influencers. Their audience becomes your audience – & therein lie new opportunities. Invest in paid promotions, as well. Test and retest and retest again to achieve the highest ROI.
@GoGetterVette brilliant idea. Do u have tips on how to approach influencers?
@KristiKellogg Authenticity. & offer influencers opportunities 2collaborate that are mutually beneficial. We’re all in it together.
@ThomasJArmitage Must take time to craft social posts for the blog. Custom, branded image. Provoking headline. Easily shareable. Promoted w/ $
@realemilylouisa When you go to promote via social, vary you tone/copy on each platform it’s shared on.
@scottcowley How does BuzzFeed get the right audience? By making their headlines SO hypertargeted, resulting in immediate self-selection. Sometimes, it’s OK to say “this post is specifically for project managers in their mid-30′s in New England.”
@AuthorityLabs I love when people do that!
@scottcowley It’s like I’m forced to click if the headline is specific enough. And then I say “I can’t believe I fell for it.”
@bloomreachinc It’s a mix of social, email, paid, lead nurturing, PR pickups and enabling usage by account management, sales, etc.
@victorpan Be where they are. Know their habits. Try out similarweb – add social and display ads. Email… be everywhere!
@KevinWaugh Promote on social properly, don’t use same terms between them and expect results. Also use rich snippets in each network.
@gregdixson Social sharing to get eyeballs. Ensure everything is formatted correctly – especially facebook OG tags.
@BruceClayInc The starting point for getting your blog content seen is research — find out where your desired audience is and be there.
@stonetemple Email still works, but other channels are often better. InMail is really good, as is G+ since you can DM there.