5 questions to answer before deploying your new enterprise blog site
So, you’ve decided to launch a new blog site for your company. It makes good sense. Blog posts offer an efficient way to engage customers, prospects, partners, and employees. You can use blogs to establish thought leadership, announce new products, share success stories, and more. And in many cases, you can create blog posts faster and more easily than producing many traditional assets.
It’s no surprise, then, that blogs are among the most popular formats for content marketing. In a Content Marketing Institute survey of B2B marketers, 79 percent of respondents reported using blogs for content marketing.
Blog platforms such as WordPress and Drupal have made setting up an enterprise blog site simpler than ever before. Your IT group can help you install the required software and show you how to use the administrative portal.
But deployment is just an initial step. Managing your new site will require a decent amount of ongoing work.
Ask—and answer—these five questions to determine whether your team has the time and resources for managing your blog site over the long term.
1. Can you continuously manage a schedule of blog posts?
Keeping your readers engaged requires a steady stream of posts, preferably from a variety of authors. You might decide to accept submissions from various executives or subject-matter experts as they come in, but you should also establish a schedule for posts that stretches at least a week or two into the future. Scheduling posts in advance will help you optimize the arc of campaigns and avoid having too many similar articles posted in quick succession.
The amount of posts per week will depend on several factors, including the number of authors who can contribute articles. But regularly aiming for at least two to three posts per week will encourage your readers to keep coming back for more.
Managing the schedule is not a full-time job in itself. Still, it could require some work every day as you find the best spots for planned articles and help ensure that each article moves through the production process in a timely manner.
2. Can you ensure a consistent tone while being true to each author’s voice?
You might want each author’s distinctive writing voice to shine through. At the same time, however, you’ll need to make sure all posts adhere to your business’s writing style and tone. You or a member of your team will need to serve as an editor, not only fixing typos and correcting punctuation but also maintaining consistency across posts. Just like a managing editor of a magazine, this editor might need to rewrite sentences, query authors when clarification is needed, and do whatever else is necessary to shape each post for publication. In some cases, separating this editorial role from site administration, schedule management, and other tasks makes the most sense.
3. Can you easily incorporate media and optimize content for posting?
Once you’ve got some great content, you’re ready to prepare that content for publication on your site. The first step might be as simple as creating a new post in your administrative tool, pasting text into a box, and making formatting changes. You’ll probably need to select keywords—terms that you know your audience will search for—and make sure they are incorporated in the right places, such as the display type, abstract, lead paragraph, and hashtags. In addition, you’ll have to denote the author (and add an author profile if one doesn’t yet exist), fine-tune the automatically generated URL, and create a summary of the post.
You’ll also want to incorporate media. That process could be as easy as choosing a photo from a media library, if you already have one set up. Or you might need to work with a designer to find or create a new image, size it correctly for your post, and upload it through your administrative tool. To add something more sophisticated, such as audio or video, you’ll need to plan ahead to produce the content you have in mind.
Take the time to preview the post before hitting “publish.” Make sure it looks the way it should on a desktop browser, tablet, and smartphone. Is something not quite right with the layout? You might need to go back and tweak some HTML code.
4. Do you have the time required for promoting your posts?
Some of your readers will come back to your site regularly to find new posts. But you should also promote each post through social media and by email. Create a few short teaser posts for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other media platforms that you and your audience use. Send an email to customers for important posts and consider generating an email for your employees, alerting them to a new post and encouraging them to share the post through their own social media pages. You could even provide employees with a summary of the post and sample tweets or LinkedIn blurbs for their use.
Promotional posts, emails, and summaries are vital for ensuring your blog site stays at the top of mind for your audience. To maintain consistency, craft this content as part of your editorial and production process rather than asking individual authors to contribute added material.
5. Are you prepared to maintain the site so content doesn’t go stale?
Managing a blog site requires a fair amount of ongoing maintenance. For example, you will need to review, approve, and respond to reader comments. In addition, you might want to incorporate banner ads or post time-sensitive promotions. Over the longer term, you’ll likely need to update links and product names, retire posts that are no longer relevant, and add or remove authors. You might also want to periodically refresh and redesign particular pages on your site.
Plan for a few hours of site maintenance every week. Creating and posting ads will require more time. And making significant changes to the site—such as redesigning pages—can demand a substantial time commitment, especially when you factor in design work, any necessary coding, and page testing.
Have you considered outsourcing?
Managing a blog site can require significant time and resources. Depending on the volume of posts, your team could easily spend 40 hours per week scheduling, editing, preparing, promoting, and maintaining the site. You might need to invest even more time—and use additional resources—for creating media, fine-tuning code, and undertaking any larger-scale refreshes.
If you’d rather focus your team on other tasks, consider offloading at least some of these responsibilities to outside experts. For example, you might benefit from outsourcing editing, design, blog-post promotions, or site maintenance while managing the schedule and collecting drafts internally.
TDA Group has extensive experience creating and managing enterprise blog sites. Want to learn how we can help you? Let’s talk.