The Voice of the Corporate Blog

Merchants often pose this question when we discuss implementing a widespread corporate blogging program focused on search acquisition: Who should be blogging at your company? Traditional blogging in business is usually about thought leadership or top-down thinking.

When multichannel merchants consider a blogging program, the primary benefit should be in search engine optimization.

We don’t need this current economic crisis to remind us that successful business requires that marketers compete at every opportunity. Understanding the search traffic and wide variety of keywords used by your prospects can show you exactly where the competitive battles are being fought.

Type in “vacuum,” and who shows up? There are more than 3 million searches made by people searching for the perfect vacuums every month, across perhaps 200 different keyword phrases. Target your blogs and their content to those keywords, this allows you to compete in as many SEO battles as possible.

Keyword research tells us what we should be blogging about, but successful blogging for SEO requires a large volume of frequently generated and relevant content. My research indicates a direct correlation to volume and frequency of content production and overall search volume.

Who should create that content? Your employees. When discussing the 2008 Edelman Trust Barometer report, Richard Edelman, CEO of the global PR firm, tells us that an employee blogger is five times more credible than a C-level blogger.

But ask yourself, who’s closer to the customer, products or services and issues related to your business? Then think about your retail locations. Retail employees interact with customers every day. What’s more, they usually actually live in the communities where they work. That proximity, that human element not only drives search traffic, it drives engagement.

If the social media phenomenon is telling us anything, it’s that people are less influenced by brands and more influenced by other people. Guess what? Your business has plenty of people who are smart, like their jobs, believe in their work and care about the customers. Free them, give them a voice—they want to help.

Chris Baggott is CEO/cofounder of Indianapolis-based Compendium Blogware.

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