Look around at the people within your organization – the marketers, product managers and management team – why did you choose to hire them? They were hired because they are the best of the best. Those employees who are helping with your company’s success on a daily basis are some of the biggest assets within your organization.
More than ever before, it is important that brands build a strong online voice in the digital space through social media channels and content creation. However, companies often stumble when it comes to blogging simply because they lack the material. Little do they know that they already possess a team of qualified resources to help power an editorial calendar. I once heard the expression that “we are all marketers.” When it comes to forming a company blog, this is absolutely true. The employees within the various departments of your company should be the suppliers of your blog’s content. After all, they know your products and services, customers and are closest to industry trends. Consider challenging your employees, inviting them to potentially step outside their comfort zone and try their hand at blogging.
However, no one becomes a blogger overnight. Before anyone represents your company online, they need to understand why a blog is important to your organization, what the goals are that you wish to achieve, and the do’s and don’ts for contributing. Here are the three steps needed to make sure your bloggers succeed:
1. Establish the Support System
In my experience, potential writers are often nervous about expressing their expertise and opinions on the company blog. This is why it is important to lay out the plan and expectations ahead of time. When reaching out for potential bloggers, start by explaining the details – how often they are to contribute articles, what topics should they cover and what the best practices are for developing ideas. Provide a template that outlines the blogging process and helps your new writers understand the basics to forming an effective blog post. More importantly, content creators, especially newbies, will need the support system of your marketing team. When building your team of bloggers, it is crucial that an open dialogue be established immediately. Once that open relationship is made, it’s easy (and not as intimidating) to bounce ideas off one another, edit each other’s work and make suggestions for improvement that come across as positive rather than threatening.
2. Listen and Become Connected with Company Culture
As stated above, the people within your organization are the experts when it comes to your products and services. However, before anyone contributes articles to your blog – even those with years of experience – it is crucial that they take the time to listen to what is being said online. Whether its questions customers are asking, what your company is sharing on its social media channels or remarks from peers and thought leader, taking the time to research the conversations already occurring will strengthen the quality of your in-house bloggers. Becoming acquainted with the company’s online voice, the audience being engaged and the current priorities your customers are facing will ultimately make those individuals even greater assets because they will be fully briefed before they even write that first blog post.
3. Remember to Encourage and Say Thanks
With the creation of a blogging network comes a constant flow of new, insightful content through which your organization can establish thought leadership and strengthen its online voice of your organization. However, it in order to keep the ball rolling, remember to share in the successes. Career development should be a number one priority for every company and the fact that you are encouraging employees to share their ideas and enabling them to build their thought leadership is a true triumph. Whether it’s a handwritten note, recognition at the quarterly staff meeting or their favorite drink from Starbucks, take the time say thanks. After all, these bloggers are not only assets, but also the people who are humanizing your brand in the digital space.
Finally, ensuring your new blogging team knows they have the support and encouragement of an experienced editor and/or writer, they can focus on capturing their expertise and not stressing over form and structure.