When your day as a marketing manager is full of competing priorities, it can be difficult to set aside time to write your company blog. But when this critical component of your content marketing falls to the bottom of your to-do list several weeks in a row, you can bet you’ll start to lose some traction. It’s just a matter of time before website traffic starts to dip and potential customers start looking for it elsewhere.
For many companies, the solution to this problem is to bring employees on board to divide and conquer the editorial calendar. But while this comes with several significant benefits such as an increased diversity of voices and experience, it also comes with some hesitation: you may find yourself trying to recruit shy writers, busy executives, or people who just plain don’t want to write. What should you do?
Why You Need Diverse Subject Matter Expertise on Your Company Blog – A True Client Story
It’s important that subject matter experts in your company have their voices heard on the company blog. This idea became crystal clear as one of our account managers recently did some research for a client. As the account manager interviewed our client’s actual customers, it was clear that when they thought of our client’s company, they thought of one particular person – the CEO of the business.
The CEO was the company spokesman, made sales calls and was the “thought leader.” The problem is that there are other subject matter experts in the company that aren’t as well known because they haven’t had a way to widely distribute their thoughts until now.
Their customers – though completely satisfied with the service they received – wondered what would happen if the CEO left. The CEO clearly has a great reputation, but what about the other employees? Many of them have expert level mastery of the industry, too.
One recommendation we have for this client is getting others in the company involved in thought leadership. Yes, that means contributing to the blog regularly. But it also means sharing information on their social media accounts, writing for the company newsletter and more. Eventually this could lead to speaking engagements and true thought leadership in industries where they are targeting business development efforts.
It will allow the company to develop business and grow at a higher rate because everyone in the company to contribute.
Do These 3 Things To Get More Voices and Perspectives in Your Company Blog
Fortunately, hesitations to blogging and writing other forms of content can be overcome with the following three approaches to get more people involved.
1. Recruit specific voices.
“Everybody write!” is not an effective way to blog. Not everyone has a gift for writing. Not everyone has enough customer interactions to be “in touch” with the customer. Instead, your blog should be curated collections of voices that answer customer questions in their own unique style.
For some companies, this means gathering at least one person from each department and coaching that person to write with a unique voice. For other companies, that means that a writer or editor interviews subject matter experts and writes for them (see #3 below for more information on the interview approach).
2. Create a flexible calendar.
Giving subject matter experts a deadline can make blogging feel like a burden, but assignments without deadlines often disappear in the busyness of everyday tasks. Instead of either of these extremes, meet your team in the middle by adopting a flexible editorial calendar.
When you’re ready to bring in new voices, establish themes for each month or quarter and then ask each team member to deliver one or more blog posts before the month or quarter begins. Then schedule out the blog posts between that date and the next monthly or quarterly deadline.
Planning blog writing with a casual yet structured approach allows your team to contribute frequently without feeling like you’re adding to their job description because they can write on their timeline.
3. Embrace the interview.
The number one complaint most marketing managers get from fellow employees is that they’re simply too busy to contribute. That’s understandable, considering that many employees were brought on for their expertise, not their writing skills. However, the very thing that keeps your coworkers busy is the very reason they need to contribute to the company blog: they have a lot of experience and a lot of information to share.
Rather than asking subject matter experts to compose an article for the blog -- which is a time-consuming task for even the most experienced writer -- embrace the internal interview. Schedule 10-15 minutes with the coworker you’d like to feature on the blog, ask a few questions, and develop a blog post based on that conversation. That way you can feature your expert’s opinion without asking them to set aside 1-2+ hours to compose their thoughts.
If you’re blogging, it’s because you know it’s a valuable tool in your content marketing arsenal. However, successful company blogs rarely rely on one lonely marketing manager to keep them updated. Implement these ideas to bring your whole company on board with your blogging effort.
If you don’t already blog, don’t have someone to lead the effort, or if you lack that strong digital presence that makes you a leader in your industry, maybe we should talk and determine next steps for your company. You can schedule a time to talk here.