Lee Odden

Sourcing Content for Business Blogs

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Blogs are useful for many marketing and communication purposes. They’re also useful simply as software that manages content. Businesses can use blogs to communicate a corporate vision, to build thought leadership corporate-wide or for subject matter experts. Blogs can be very useful in support of public and media relations efforts and they are certainly excellent tools for making a site more search friendly with fresh content that attracts incoming links.

One of the best resources for blog content comes out of interactions with prospects and customers. If an organization can tap into the flow of dialog that happens between front line employees such as sales people and customer support there is an abundance of valuable content available. If customers and potential customers have questions about certain topics, then it’s pretty likely that many others will too.

Many times, an organization is already capturing this kind of information formally or informally. All it takes is a few phone calls or emails to the right people/departments in the organization to start leveraging the insight that comes from those interactions.

Most often this kind of content comes in a question answer format, but it doesn’t have to be presented that way. Lists of tips, indicating trends or creating a series of posts based on a theme are all viable options. Q/A style content is also great for building up a FAQ, or frequently asked questions content. Doing so with keywords in mind for post titles and category labels along with attention to how you link posts to each other can bring significant SEO benefits as well as provide a great resource for people searching for solutions your company has to offer.

It’s really a win win win situation. Leveraging or re-purposing current activity for blog content saves the company a lot of time, the nature of the content is synonymous with the kind of information prospects and/or clients are looking for and aggregating the content with keywords in mind using a structured blog format makes it easier to find on search engines.

Obviously, the source of this kind of information needs to be anonymous. No client or prospect wants to see their name on a company blog after calling a help desk or sales office to ask questions and no business wants the legal implications.

Making the capture of Q/A content part of a normal business process can also fuel internal knowledge base or CRM applications. Sharing this information with support and sales staff via a central repository can be quite helpful for daily interactions and in many cases, is already a function being performed.

While many companies are interested in starting a business blog, the question of how to source content efficiently often stands in the way. Leveraging information capture and distribution activities that are already occurring within an organization is one of the best ways to find the most useful and productive content for business blogging.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Nice post once again Lee, I can definitely relate to this

  2. That’s the whole point DofAm, to cultivate interesting content. However one person’s junk is another’s treasure so it would take some testing to see what works. Also, this isn’t theory, it’s in practice.

  3. I think you are right, but there must be one caveat. Does the content interest the client or target audience? If so, amen. If not, don’t repurpose it just to throw something (junk) out there…

  4. I definitely agree that a blog can be a great way to share FAQs with current clients and also frequent ones. I’ve made a post on my blog that is video feedback from a recent event. We use the video for two reasons: to show current clients what their target market is saying about their support and also to show prospective clients what we are doing. I’ve also started using blogs as a way to put my notes in to an organized format: I can store them in one place and also share them with readers which can encourage feedback and more insight than I may have even seen. I’m going to try more Q/A type blogs too. Posting new ideas and asking others how to work things out is a great idea to encourage comments and inbound links. Thanks for the post and comment on my blog.

  5. Nice post. I wrote about sourcing content this morning.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Sourcing content for business blogs – A good reading for companies that are looking to promote their products through blogs. […]

  2. Sourcing Content, Marketing, New SEO, web 2.0, SMO, aimClear says:

    […] Whether one refers to the evolution of organic optimization stratagies and link building tactics as “New SEO,” “Web 2.0, ” social media, or any other catch phrase-at the end of the day successful website marketing comes down to creating valuable, predictable, and intentionally optimized content that people like and utilize. Everyone’s Got the Same Question. Yesterday I visited with 4 unique Minneapolis clients to check in on their projects (another classic 15 hour aimClear day). A significant percentage of each appointment included confronting the classic chicken-and-egg-like conundrum of exactly where content should ideally originate. We counsel our clients to do whatever it takes to generate a consistent flow of valuable content to publish on their websites. Whether the content managment platform is a blog , virtual press room, updates to site pages, a podcast feed, email campaigns, optimized press releases, or social media campagins, we want our clients to publish early and often. (Read Lee Odin’s post on sourcing corporate blog content.) […]