Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion recently asked, “What Does the Face of the Blogger of Tomorrow Truly Look Like?.” He concludes that corporate blogging shouldn’t be limited to the PR department and the English majors. In fact, he suggests that blogging should be in the realm of “average” employees sharing what they know best.
But, whoa! Who wants to be “average”? Not you!
As Sheridan rightly points out:
Some will point out frivolous studies talking about how much less companies are blogging today than last year. And frankly, that’s quite alright with me. After all, this vision applies to the top 10% of every industry. It applies to the leaders, the trend setters, and the standard bearers. It applies to the best.
It’s no wonder that corporate blogging remains an area dominated by top players. Implementing a content marketing plan with blogging as the centerpiece requires a significant time investment. Two tasks in particular require significant time: creating original content that follows G.I.V.E. principles and curating external content that is relevant and valuable to the audience.
Remarkable Results Await
What keeps companies from unleashing their employees to blog if there are so many advantages?
We know the answer: fear.
- their employees don’t have the chops
- that time invested will be a waste of resources
- the content produced could reveal someone in the org isn’t so bright (or some similar fear concerning “appearance”)
Most internally driven corporate blogging fails precisely because it is “too big to fail.” The approach is wrong and the execution is worse. Instead of building content assets over time, they give up.
In another post Sheridan writes, “Stating that ‘Blogging is Dead’ is like saying ‘Great teaching is out of date, antiquated, and a useless practice.'”
Last year, I worked with the Content Marketing Institute to write a case study (PDF) about Incept, a company that gives employees the freedom to use social media on the company’s behalf. Employees who excel are offered (rewarded) with front-facing blogging roles. Also last year, I worked with a colleague to create blogging guidelines for a large multinational company. These experiences showed me that tomorrow’s bloggers don’t even realize blogging will soon be an expected part of their job. It also revealed that most companies are still unwilling to create or adequately support internal blogging teams.
Future Bloggers Right Under Your Nose
So, who are the future bloggers if a corporation isn’t quite ready to let the employees, the “average workers,” be seen and heard publicly on the corporate blog?
At SixEstate, our entire business is built on supplying clients with crisp, clear brand news — corporate blogging. You might assume that I’d insert a sales pitch here and suggest you outsource this work to us. You’d be right, partially. I would suggest you hire a team like us because we have a proven, economical system that produces excellent content and excellent results.
It would be wrong to assume that we’re against corporate blogging emerging from inside of an organization. Some of our best clients already have internal bloggers — so-called “average” people who are actually subject matter experts in their fields. We provide the framework, system, and people to make these new (and future) bloggers shine.
Tomorrow’s blogger is already in your corporation. S/he is an asset you haven’t realized. Don’t be too hasty and throw the bloggers out with the bathwater.
Katie McCaskey is SixEstate’s content director. She tests real-world application of content marketing techniques using the cafe she co-owns as a laboratory. She was Tech Editor of Chief Content Officer, 2010-2011, and contributes to the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with her on Google+ or @KatieMcCaskey.