Someone in your company has decided that in the interest of attracting more customers to the website and improving SEO, there needs to be a company blog. Not like the last one, that ended after a couple of posts. A real blog, once or twice a week, until the end of time.
“This will be your responsibility. Let me know if you have any questions”
The first thing you think is: “The company has plenty of content. Corporate brochures, product brochures. To start, I’ll just repurpose that.”
Don’t go there.
Most product and corporate brochures are more or less lists of reasons why the product or the company is so great. No one will follow a company blog that talks about itself, and Google will penalize it, especially if the company name is in it too often. Using content like that for a blog would be like choosing to go through the wall to get to the next room instead of using the door.
In this case, the door is what customers are interested in: how to solve their own issues.
Find the pain points
Go out and find the customer pain points that pertain to your industry (customers, partner, or end user pain points). As much as possible find the customer pains that your company is able to solve, but not only those. Here’s where you’ll find them.
- Read up on the issues that are discussed on industry association websites
- Study the presentation and training subjects of industry events
- Read other industry blogs
- Most importantly, if there is an area where people can leave their comments in these places, pay careful attention to them, and especially to their conversations. You will begin to see the kind of subjects that people will be interested in reading about in your blog.
- If your lucky enough to get out to industry shows, ask the people you meet there. If not, ask the people in your company who went what concerns they were hearing about.
- After finding a few subjects, start googling “problems with (put the subject here). You should get interesting results.
These subjects may not pertain directly to your company but that doesn’t matter. Don’t expect to have enough material to blog once or twice a week using only subjects that your company can address directly. Again, people can get bored quickly if your subjects are too focused. Here is a good article that can help you explain this to your superiors.
Industry news, newly released government stats, new regulations, seasonal events, even news that doesn’t relate directly to your industry but could affect it, these are all subjects that constantly renew themselves and sources of inspiration for your next blog post.
Once you have a better view of the subjects you can cover, start slotting them into your editorial calendar. Have your manager and your peers review/validate the calendar. They might have some subject ideas of their own.
Follow your stats
Periodically review which blog posts performed the best. Find these numbers in Google analytics, or if you also post your blog in LinkedIn or Facebook, look at their analytics. You will find subjects that are obvious favourites. Make sure to get back to those subjects regularly, under slightly different angles.
Finally, just stay up to date on what is happening in your industry. Take 15 minutes to half an hour a day, go to the news sites, the association sites and see what is going on. You’ll realize that for a company blog, there is a lot more subject matter than you anticipated.
Keep the faith.