Posted in Corporate Blog on 31. Jan, 2012
So you’ve been running your corporate blog for a while and, owing to regular posts, good content and some spot-on SEO work, you’re generating a healthy readership (judging by the ‘hits’ anyway). But are you still using your corporate blog to the max?
Your corporate blog, as we’ve discussed before, is a great engagement device. It is one of the few brand-building tools that lets your brand interact so closely with your target segment. That is the potential; but how much of it are you utilizing?
One of the ways to better gauge just how much of a readership your blog really has (as in readers Vs mere visitors) is to really use the comments section to encourage reader feedback. This is a great way to actually get the engagement process flowing with regards to your corporate blog. Of course, it helps to keep in mind that your corporate blog is merely a platform for engaging with your organization’s brand in a broader sense. Merely engaging the reader to the blog, which may be enough for a regular blog, isn’t an end to itself in case of a corporate blog. From the SEO perspective too, comments are important as search engines tend to ‘trust’ blogs with comments more than the ones without.
First of all, a lack of comments doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of your content, just that you need to somewhat alter your approach. It’s all about putting your stuff across in a way that encourages participation. So while you’re posts may be informative and authoritative, a little modification to your writing style that leaves room for discussion may go a long way.
Here are some ways to get your readers more involved:
Pose a Question on Your Corporate Blog
Sometimes readers don’t know what to comment about. A few nice ones may thank you for the information and so on, but that’s not quite engagement. The question should be relevant to the particular post, but you can also find a way to work in a broader angle as regards your corporate blog or your organization. It is best placed at the end of the post, for the sake of pertinence, and also because that’s where it is likely to have the maximum potential for attracting attention.
You can take interaction to the next level by actually asking them to contribute to a seemingly incomplete post on the corporate blog. Maybe you can even make it into a game or contest of sorts. The basic idea is to leave a post open-ended. A list, for instance, which corporate blog readers can add to is a good idea.
You must be quick to reply to a readers’ comment; the least you can do is thank them if further discussion isn’t possible. This actually leads to a feeling of ‘engagement’ with the corporate blog on part of the reader, as they’d feel that their opinions are being taken seriously. A failure to do so is liable to put a reader off. Try to address the comment poster by name and don’t forget to give the good comments a pat on the back; which brings us to the next point.
Corporate Blog: The Carrot Approach
As an aside to the previous point; some comments deserve more than just a thank you. And sometimes, you can go the extra mile to convince readers to really work their brain cells and to overcome their hesitation. A contest for best comment, the promise of reward, and following that up with action is what’s often required. The prize can be as simple as the commenter (or comment) being featured prominently in the next post.
These endeavors may, in some cases, come across as desperate due to their overtly obvious nature, so go easy on them. Their rarity in itself has to be an attraction. With the advent of social networking, it has also become possible to do this a little less obviously. The Facebook plug-in for your comments section, for instance, would ensure commenters try extra hard just for bragging rights (and likes).
Your corporate blog has to be more than an organizational diary or newsletter. It brings your customers, both existing and prospective, closer to your business than anything ever has before. Use that to gain an insight on consumer preferences that wasn’t available through the best of statistical market research till now. Your corporate blog can do all that and more.