5 Reasons Your Company Blog Sucks
Starting a company blog can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It’s starts off with good intentions from all involved, fired up with great ideas and a commitment to making it a success, and then the reality of writing content every week, getting it published and promoted sets in.
The following are key reasons why some company blogs fail. If you’re about to start a blog for your organisation you might like to learn from these and ensure you don’t make the same mistakes! For those companies that aren’t getting the ROI they expected from their blog, does any of this sound familiar?
Why Is Your Company Blog Failing?
- Content Doesn’t Get Published (or created)
One of the biggest challenges for marketing managers, especially in larger organisations, is getting sign off on blog posts. This ranges for getting content created in the first place, especially if employees and senior management are asked to write posts, to getting posts approved by the powers that be. Although businesses are recognising the importance of content creation, often the process of publishing it is fraught with hold ups. So how can these be overcome?
- Get buy-in from senior management: First and foremost it’s vital that senior execs understand the objectives of content creation. Not just a ‘everyone else is doing it’ reason, but a compelling business reason that makes creating and publishing blog content a priority. This can then be conveyed to all other employees who are involved in the blog.
- Demonstrate value to employees: It can be a tall order to get team members to contribute blog posts; their priorities will naturally be to do their core role within the organisation. But if you can demonstrate how writing blog content can help them in their role, they may move it up their list of things to do. Perhaps writing that blog will give them the resources they need to share with clients, or help build their authority in their sector? If you can present a good case for writing a post, it’s much more likely to get written.
- Identify interests and expertise: Don’t expect inexperienced people to write on demand about subjects they don’t much about. Instead concentrate on what they do know and how it relates to your target audience – it will result in much more compelling blog posts.
- Make blog writing easy: Even experienced bloggers get writer’s block so it’s no surprise that your colleagues and staff without copywriting experience may struggle when faced with a blank page. Therefore some guidance may be necessary. This could be involve a Q&A that you can write up on their behalf, a list of bullet points that you would like them to address, or a 3rd party resource such as a video or infographic that they can share their opinion on.
- Split the workload fairly: If you can avoid it don’t rely too heavily on just a few core members of staff to generate content. If you schedule your content well in advance you should be able to divvy it up amongst the team so that everyone has plenty of time to write their post, and their turn doesn’t come around too quickly.
- Outsource your blog content: If the above methods fail, or if your team really don’t have the time or resources to generate their own content then a ghost blogger is an excellent solution. Make sure that they embed themselves in your organisation so they really understand what you do, what you stand for and what your target audience wants.
- Assign one person to approve posts: In my experience the most streamlined blog processes involve one person (usually the marketing manager) reviewing and approving blog posts. Often this individual will assign ghost written content to a team member without running it past them first. This works if the blog writing is excellent, and if the marketing manager understands both the company’s objectives and ethos, and what the blog needs to achieve.
- Blog Content Isn’t Written For Your Target Audience
Another mistake that gets made with company blogs is that content isn’t targeted at the right audience. Or that it doesn’t address the needs of that audience. The following three factors can impact on this, and it’s usually down to a combination of not really understanding what the objectives are for the blog or individual post.
- Content is written for peers and industry colleagues: Writing for others in the industry can be a very satisfying experience because they are far more likely to engage with your post than perhaps your customers will. But are these readers going to convert into leads and sales?
- Content doesn’t address your customer’s needs: We all make presumptions about what our audience wants to read about, and if you have a good understanding of who they are you’re more likely to pitch it right. This is why it’s important that anyone who doesn’t actually deal directly with customers or clients (often the marketing manager themselves) speaks to those who do to get a clear picture of what content will appeal and convert.
- Content is too promotional: Another mistake is to use your blog as an opportunity to sell. Blogs are not sales pitches, it’s more about getting your audience warmed up, pointing them into the infamous ‘sales funnel’, building relationships and maintaining existing ones. Blatant sales pitches are the antithesis of good blog content and will result in your bounce rate going through the roof.
- Blogs Posts Aren’t Personalised
Another characteristic of a good blog is personalisation. For the reader they should feel like they’re getting a bit of inside information, that they’re having a conversation with you, and that you’re sharing some insights tailored for them. It’s also an opportunity to ‘get to know’ the people within an organisation, to relate to an actual person just as you might if you were meeting them in person. Check that you’re not doing any of the following:
- Using ‘admin’ as your author!
- Writing using the royal ‘we’,
- Using too much jargon or technical terminology for your audience,
- Writing in a stuffy impersonal ‘corporate’ way.
- Blogs aren’t getting properly promoted
If you’re getting everything above right and your blog is still not meeting your objectives it could be down to your promotional efforts, or lack of them.
When I meet new clients one of the key things I’m interested in is how blog posts will be promoted once they’re published. Do you have an active social media following? Will your employees be able to help promote the content on their professional profiles, or into social media groups and communities? Do you have an email newsletter or any other email campaign that can be used to promote the blog posts?
You can’t hit publish and expect everyone to come. Instead you need to give your content a helping hand. Therefore alongside your blog you should also be looking to grow your social media community and mailing lists. The good news is that your blog can help you do this by providing content to share across these channels.
- Your blog isn’t converting
Finally, what if you’re getting traffic to your site and great engagement on your blog posts, but that’s where it ends? No one is going on to buy your products or take the next step to work with you.
Could it be that you’re not providing them with the tools to do so? Perhaps you’re not signposting them to the next stage of your customer journey, or not taking the opportunity to capture their email address and get them into a lead nurturing campaign?
Here are 3 things to consider:
- Call To Action (CTA): are you giving readers instructions on how to take the next step? Could be to read another blog post that’s designed to convert them further, point them in the direction of a case study, a sign up form for discounts and offers, or simply to pick up the phone and call you. They’ll need a compelling reason to do so, so give them one.
- Design of your blog / website: could this lack of conversions be down to the design of your blog? Perhaps you could use the sidebar better to include a CTA, links to other areas of your site or testimonials that address your target’s key challenges and your solution.
- Sign up opportunities: as well as including a CTA within your blog content to sign up to your newsletter, there are other ways you can capture email addresses. You could offer a download, use a sign up form in your sidebar or footer, or pop tool such as Hello Bar to get email addresses before readers navigate away from your site.
Would you like a free blog audit to see how you could improve your content marketing and turn your blog around? If so sign up below.