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3 Mistakes Your Corporate Blog May Be Guilty Of

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So, you’ve taken the plunge and launched a corporate blog.  Congratulations!  All of the people that have been telling you for years that it’s a must finally won out, right?  Now, the hard part is here…making it actually worthwhile.  If you just said “Wait, what?” I don’t blame you.  Nobody told you that it was going to be difficult and time consuming.  Nobody told you that it’s not just as easy as throwing up a random thought here and there.  So, if that was your strategy, think again.  Here are 5 common mistakes businesses often make with their blogs, and some tips on how to improve them.

Lack of Updates

Consistency is KeyFirst things first, if you have a blog, you have to update it.  No exceptions.  No taking weeks at a time off (hi pot, we’re kettle).  Consistency is key here, not only for readers, but for search engines as well.  Nothing can kill a little momentum like an extended gap of silence. 

Tip – Combat this by creating a lot of content at once and scheduling that content to be released on a set schedule.  Shoot for 2 blog posts a week starting out.  Sit down at the beginning of each month and map out 8 blog topics, content associated with those, and which images are needed.  This may be a full day’s work, but it’s crucial for consistency.

Lack of Original Content

Corporate blogs aren’t meant for just PR and news items.  Sure, adding some of those types of posts in from time to time can be beneficial to your branding strategy, but news and PR should not dominate your blog.  The truly valuable content comes from thought-leadership, interesting conversation, and new ideas.  Try to avoid reliance on the PR type of article, as that content is better used elsewhere.

Tip – Your corporate blog is your chance to showcase your expertise and explore interesting topics.  Utilize sales and marketing collateral, find and explain industry trends, or showcase case studies.  As a general rule, one case study can often times be broken down into multiple blog posts.  Focus on one specific topic per post and create a series.

Lack of Promotion

Promote your BlogYour blog is part of your website (hopefully), but it doesn’t mean that it will gain any traction without some amount of promotion.  Why spend all of the time creating this great, original content if you’re just going to publish and forget about it?  These posts need promoted if they are going to get any value whatsoever.

Tip – Social media is a great way to promote content and gain new readers.  Focus on popular topics (hash tags on twitter) and be sure to promote the post via a simple tweet.  Look for opportunities to guest post on other blogs and be sure to reciprocate as well.  Growing your following on social media can have a tremendous impact on your blogging. 

What are some other pitfalls for corporate blogs and how do you avoid them?  Sound off in the comments below!  



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Marketpath Featured on MTFW Marketing Podcast

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On June 20th, TJ Furman from Marketpath was lucky enough to join Lorraine Ball and Allison Carter of Roundpeg on their weekly small business marketing podcast, More Than a Few Words.  The topic was content creation strategies and why just having a blog might not be enough.

If you're struggling to come up with content ideas that are interesting, we urge you to listen to the podcast and formulate a plan.  You can listen to the full show here:
 

 

If you have any additional ideas or want to join the conversation, make sure to leave your comments below.

 

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Zen and the Art of Marketing Maintenance

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Maintenance is a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Maintenance of my lawn, house, vehicles, finances, children, diet, relationships, hair, and clothing are just a few of the things that must be maintained on a regular basis. Marketpath also requires regular maintenance of our finances, infrastructure, culture, client relationships, custom software, and much more. The key to success is maintaining items in small doses on a regular basis (i.e. performing small tasks here and there). The more consistent I am with regular maintenance, the more likely major problems won't appear. Failure to maintain each item in my life leads to neglect, which leads to me having to spend a lot more time and a lot more money which leads to great frustration.

Website marketing requires regular maintenancePart of the reason I've been contemplating the importance of maintenance is that I've been reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (yes, I stole the title for this post) - a philosophical novel that blends an attempt to define "Quality" and the importance of regular maintenance of our environment and our individual self.

Website marketing isn't all that different than anything else in our life. At Marketpath, we maintain our relationships with our customers and audience via our blogs, email blasts, social platforms, webinars, phone calls, and in-person meetings. I'm always pushing the importance of touch points and, if regularly maintained with good quality content, those touch points will result in a future sale or referral. Failure to regularly maintain  those touch points leads to a complete fall off of our audience engagement and an evaporation of sales and referrals.

Most marketers maintain a giant calendar with all the activity planned over the next few months. This is obviously important for the big items (trade shows and campaigns) but it is also import for the smaller, more easily maintained activities like blogging, social engagement, email sends, phone calls, etc. While these tasks may become slightly mundane or monotonous, they are still very important collectively over time.

If you fail to keep up your house it will fall into disrepair. Bringing it back to a normal state then requires more money, more time, and more frustration. Neglecting your website marketing efforts by not keeping a consistent schedule and constantly tweaking your message to keep your audience engaged will cause your marketing to fall into disrepair just as well. Then rebuilding the level of engagement you once had, or almost achieved, will require more time, more money, and more frustration. Keep it human, keep it consistent, and keep it meaningful.

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6 Blog Topics You Can Use Today

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Writers block? Perhaps this can help you find an easy topic for your next blog post. Six topics that might provide a jackhammer to get through the blockage.

1) What does your organization do best?

Every one has a core competency and strength. What is yours? Why are you the best at it? Avoid being overly blatant, though. Instead provide some examples of why you are the best and let your audience come this conclusion by themselves. Don't tell them. That just gets annoying. It might be fine for a rush hour radio commercial but not in a blog where people have purposefully visited because they want to learn more.

2) Write a mini case study about a recently successful project

​Surely you have recent projects or customer experiences that lead to a very successful project completion, order fulfillment, or successful fund raising. Whatever it is that makes your constituents happy can provide for a nice mini case study highlighting how it worked, who was involved, what went right, and why the customer had a permanent grin for the day or week.

3) Write about something that went wrong

​We all make mistakes and collectively, as an organization of people, we make mistakes. Tell your audience about one of those, how it happened, and what you did to fix it that potentially made that customer a lifelong customer. I would avoid telling the story about when you burned down the customer's house and enrolled them in the Jelly of the Month club to make up. It's probably best to keep the mistake a little lighter than that.

4) Highlight one aspect of your service

Pick one part of your service process and explain why it is important to the process as a whole. Even if you're in retail you have a service process. An example might be the process you use to stock shelves. What makes it complex? How does it change? Who performs the work? Or, if you are a strict service business, discuss how one small piece is critical and becomes the building block for the rest.

5) Write about an employee that has been a big contributor and made a difference

​Businesses and not-for-profits are full of people and these people are the difference between success and failure. Spend a little time to gloat over one of them. Why do they have an impact? How have they helped? Are they part of a bigger team that cumulatively and frequently performs outstanding work? This not only makes the face of your business more personable and human, it can also be a mini morale booster.

6) Write about your organization's history

​Perhaps you have an about us page that covers this but those are usually the mundane, boring textbook style histories that  are better used for a sleeping agent. Your story probably has more drama and emotion in it. You can talk about how you almost went bankrupt because you overstocked widgets and the widget industry bottomed out immediately afterward. Or maybe there was one particular client that made all the difference in your early success. How did you or the founder get the idea to start the business or organization? How many people worked there after one year? Two? Three? Ten? Tell a story, not an uninteresting, emotionless narrative.

 

There you go - six easy topics to write about. If you haven't noticed, I keep mentioning to be real. Don't skip  the juicy details because you think it might scare customers away - except the really flagrant events like burning a house down. Add some flavor to your stories and explain how you've become a better company because of them. That might just be interesting enough to read!

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