In my industrial marketing consulting work I am often asked to answer similar questions from my manufacturing clients. One of the more frequent questions I hear is, “Should we have a company blog?” Unlike many industrial marketing-related questions which come in various shades of gray the answer to this question is yes, but with some important considerations.
As the old bromide goes, forewarned is forearmed. There are a lot of areas you need to think through and discuss before even considering setting up a blog for your company. I believe the following three considerations top the list. Based on your answers you may want to start blogging today or you may run for the hills.
Blogging can be time consuming
This is, without question, the single biggest consideration when contemplating a blog for your manufacturing company. Blogging entails writing. Writing can be very time-consuming. Writing is also an activity that can’t be done while you are trying to perform your other work-related duties. Good writing requires concentration and peace and quiet. These two requirements are rarely available if you are spending your day putting out fires.
OK, so what about podcasting on your blog instead of having to produce written content? Ultimately these ways of producing blog content also need to be written first. At the very least you will need to follow show notes, talking points, or a script so you can stay on task. Then you need to get your podcasts properly produced, optimized for your blog, and uploaded which will add even more time.
Before even considering a company blog as part of your industrial marketing practices be certain you do not underestimate the time it takes to write. Depending on your situation it may be 30 minutes to two hours per post.
Your blog needs to have a hook
When considering a blog for your manufacturing company it’s always a good idea to decide what you want to use as a hook. This simply means that your blog will have a unifying theme. The hook answers what your blog will be known for in your marketplace. Do you want your blog to be the fastest with industry-related news? Do you want your blog to be the most informative source about innovations within your industry? Do you want your blog to be the leading source of really useful content in your industry? The preceding are some of the more common hooks.
When considering a hook for your blog be certain it is not overly general that it is unfocused or so narrow that after you have produced six posts you will run out of things to say. Remember, you want your blog hook to enhance your industrial marketing.
You must blog on a fixed schedule
Another blogging best practice is that you need to stick to a fixed publishing schedule. I can tell you that one blog post per month will do little for your industrial marketing. For best results you will need a new blog post at least every couple of weeks although I would recommend a weekly publishing schedule. Be mindful that when you start a company blog everyone gets behind it and are more than willing to produce content. I can promise you that after your company blog has been online for six months or so your staff’s enthusiasm for content production will be vastly reduced.
Before taking the plunge into blogging map out a three to six month schedule for post topics and assign responsibilities for producing the content. Having a 90 day old blog post showing up on the top of your blog as the most current hurts your credibility and may well damage your brand.