Many excellent communications campaigns use blogs as story-telling tools, but too many blogs are floating around the internet that haven’t been updated for months. You imagine the blog creators were full of excitement, set up a basic blog format using a site such as WordPress.com, Blogger or tumblr, published a first post and thought, Voila! Smooth sailing from here, right?
A blog only is as good as the strategy and plan guiding it. Before hitting publish, you need to be clear about what you want to accomplish with your blog. What will success look like?
Reasons for a blog may include establishing thought leadership in your industry category, self-publishing news, providing added-value service to clients, raising awareness about important issues or engaging new audiences. All the content you publish should support your goals.
To measure success, we recommend evaluating multiple touch-points, such as reader comments, content spreading on social media, numbers of readers and blog traffic.
You also should plan content development. Look to your key messages and values to help you indentify the stories you should tell. If your staff members are the key to customer service, consider profiling them. If your brand is committed to supporting the community, write about your involvement. If you have a major event coming up, think how you can advance it through teaser posts.
Get a calendar and mark it with your content ideas, including time-sensitive promotions such as new products and services, special events or campaigns. This content calendar becomes your map, ensuring you are prepared to keep your blog updated.
Like all communications efforts, success is dependent upon solid planning. CFM strategists can demystify the process, from strategy and planning to logistics and technical elements.
1. Why do we want to start a blog? How does a blog fit in with our communications plan?
2. What will success look like?
3. What do we want our content to communicate?
- Product/service information
- Thought leadership
- Unique selling points
4. Why will people read our content?
5. What blogging platform will we use? Who will customize our blog to reflect our brand look and feel?
6. Who will create blog content?
7. Who will publish blog content?
8. Who will monitor our blog for comments?