Are you responsible for your company’s blog? And are you struggling with sharing numbers that never seems to go up, no matter how awesome content you produce? And as a result, are you also struggling with determining how much content to actually produce — and how often to post?
Well, you’re not alone. There are a great number of corporate blogs out there that never seems to catch a break. Either they give up or they keep pouring time and resources into creating content that few people ever get to benefit from.
But I’ve got an alternative solution for you in this post:
Why Corporate Planning Isn’t Helping You At All
If you run a corporate blog, you might have decided to post 3 times a week, let’s say on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The main reasoning behind most content schedules can be traced back to — corporate planning. So why is corporate planning potentially ruining your content program? From a PR perspective, there’s a fundamental issue with corporate content planning:
It’s about what you want to say and when you want to say it. But are people really ready to listen to what you have to say just because you’re ready to say it? There’s no guarantee that people will rally around your messages or that they will share them with their friends on social networks. It just doesn’t work that way. Instead, there’s another way to think:
[ctt title=”Publish less + promote more = more shares / post!” tweet=”Publish less + promote more = more shares / post! http://ctt.ec/F7pQ0+ via @doktorspinn” coverup=”F7pQ0″]
Finding Your Engagement Bottom Line (EBL)
You’re a potential consumer and you land on a blog. You make an unconscious mental note of whether you like the blog or not. You scan the blog’s design, the visuals, the sales pitches in the sidebar and in the header. You might also scan the 5-7 latest blog posts.
And as you’re scanning those latest posts, you’re bound to notice any social proof (like shares, likes, comments etc.).
For example, when you see an excerpt for a blog post on the front page of a successful blog like Social Media Examiner, then you can’t help but notice that the article has been shared an impressive 2,577 times on Twitter:
“Tell me something I don’t know,” you might say. And you’re right, social proof isn’t exactly news to any of us. But the actual use of social proof is beside the point in this case.
This is because I can see that Social Media Examiner is an influential platform since they’re showing of tweet numbers consistently above +1K shares.
This “bottom-line number” of shares is, therefore, more important than the actual frequency of posting — from an outside-in perspective, that is.
Get +1K Shares (Or Whatever Number) On Every Blog Post!
Instead, imagine a scenario where a potential customer landed on your corporate blog and they could see how you got +1K social media shares on every post!
The answer on how to accomplish that is almost annoyingly simple:
- Post less.
- Promote more.
Say for the sake of argument that you post a blog post and then you spend 3 months just promoting it in various creative ways. If nothing else, a good portion of those +1K shares will be your social media posts.
So you could decide on an Engagement Bottom Line (EBL), i.e. a number of social interactions that you’ll make sure to hit before you’re “allowed” to post again.
A good place to start if you have basically no interaction whatsoever is EBL = 15 tweets.
(It could also be EBL = 15 comments or EBL = 15 LinkedIn shares or EBL = 15 social interactions in total — and so on.)
This means, that when you publish a new blog post, you’re not allowed to post again until you have 15 people sharing your link in one of their tweets. And then you hustle to make that happen.
You have all the control. The higher the EBL, the bigger the challenge to keep up with your planned content schedule.
Benefits Of Using The EBL Approach
So what happens when you decide on an EBL level?
- Promotional mindset. You get into the healthy habit of promoting your content which is key, especially for blogs with little or no traction to start with.
- Machiavellian logic. You hesitate to publish mediocre posts because lesser quality equals more time spent reaching EBL for you.
- Boosted social proof. Your potential customer will be more trustful of your content and, therefore, more likely to share it themselves.
After a while when you hit your EBL without having to do any promotion? First, congratulations — good job.
Second, now it’s up to you decide between these 3 scenarios:
- Stay happy at this EBL level and posting frequency.
- Increase frequency (post new content more often).
- Increase EBL level and get back to promoting again.
EBL Starting Points
Here are some questions for you to start with:
- What’s our EBL today?
- Are we publishing content too often based on how many that actually gets to see it?
- Should we go after a total number or focus on one type of interaction (i.e. comments, Facebook shares etc.)
- What would be a reasonable EBL level for us to go after in terms of time and resources for content creation and content promotion?
- Can we do a better job promoting our back catalogue of already published blog posts?