Last week I had the pleasure of leading a workshop for a group of relatively new bloggers . This workshop wasn't at a conference - in fact, it was at the quarterly meeting of a company that believes so strongly in the business results of blogging that they've enlisted their entire company to participate - thereby increasing content, search results, traffic and leads in a dramatic way.
Interestingly, this company isn't a gen-X led tech company. North Short Pediatric Therapy (NSPT) is a very traditional business with a big goal of helping 10,000+ kids through different types of physical, occupational and even mental therapy .
Their team of bloggers? Doctors, nurses, therapists and even the ladies holding down the phones at reception are part of the marketing machine that has helped this business grow from 2,000 visits per month to 12,000 visits to date.
The major takeaway is that ANY business can enlist the power of their entire team to increase blog volume, variety and quality to can get found by more potential customers . The NSPT team learned that blog frequency has a direct correlation to customer wins - and that motivation is what's driving their team to work together to grow the business and help more kids.
Most people didn't grow up blogging, are intimidated of writing for public consumption and don't see it as 'part of their job'. So, how can you make blogging a team sport in your business?
Educate Bloggers on the Why & How
A little bit of education can go a long way. David Michael, the CEO of NSPT, invested a few hours in each of his 30+ staff to ensure that they got the basics of why blogging has value in terms of both thought leadership and SEO. For these experts in the medical field, most of what we talked about was totally new information and opened their eyes to the rationale behind frequent blogging targeted at specific audiences and keywords. Consider doing a team review of educational blogging resources and running your own discussion group to lay out the core reasons to blog and diffuse some of the common misconceptions.
Cure Bloggers of the Curse of Knowledge
The knowledge locked up in the pinky fingers of these medical experts is more than I'll ever know about pediatric therapy. But when they think like clinicians, they tend to think it's all old news. Ensuring that team members understand that what they know is probably NOT common knowledge to their customers is what expert blogger, Marcus 'The Sales Lion' Sheridan, calls curing the curse of knowledge . The simplest FAQs that you answer everyday can make some of the most powerful posts because everyone wants the answer. During the workshop, we uncovered that the receptionists get some of the same questions everytime a new patient calls in ... they are a wealth of knowledge that was going untapped.
Brainstorm Personas & Titles
Once the group had a grasp of the basics, we broke up into small groups to define personas, detailed descriptions of specific target audiences , and brainstorm a list of potential blog post titles. The room was abuzz with energy as team members discovered that they weren't just writing for 'Mom', but also Dad, Grandparents, Teachers, Referring Physicians and even Clinicians they needed to recruit for growth. Each group came up with a great list of 5-10 content ideas that ranged from blog posts to even ebooks and left the day with a treasure trove of SEO friendly starting points . Having that list on hand when bloggers block strikes can be particularly helpful.
Create an Editorial Safety Net
Experts in medicine, science or even manufacturing don't spend most of their days thinking about stellar headlines, proper grammar and clever copy. But, they do have brilliant minds. NSPT and HubSpot too encourages team members to blog to their best ability and then has one person act as 'blog editor' to help with any fine tuning that's needed to ensure both the bloggers and the blog put their best content forward. When your team knows that there's a second set of eyes to make tweaks or even provide more meaningful feedback, they become more confident about quickly sharing their thoughts. If you recruit others to help you blog, be sure to set up a lightweight editorial process before a post goes live.
Most important - when your team is blogging and helping you grow your business, recognize their extra effort and wins! Not only are these experts building their personal brand, but in many cases, their content can draw hundreds or thousands of page views and a lot of leads. NSPT holds a quarterly contest for the top three bloggers who draw the most views over a quarter with real prizes, like Amazon gift cards, for the winners. Since more blogs = more views and better blogs = more shares, these small contests help motivate and provide a great chance to applaud and learn from peer best practices on a regular basis.
If you are a marketer or business owner who has embraced blogging for business but struggle to generate enough content to scale your efforts - think about how you can involve your whole team. Please share your tips and tricks on getting more content to your audience - we'd love to hear more!
Image courtesy of Woodleywonderworks