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Sourcing Content for Business Blogs

Posted on Feb 21st, 2007
Written by Lee Odden
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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.