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Co-Founder of ShortcutBlogging.com
Easy Blogging for Busy People
Most of our clients for Shortcut Blogging have a strategy in mind when they engage with us. Their goal is usually a simple customer engagement or credibility building exercise. A few use us for SEO content. Since we use an interview model for our source, the SEO tactic is simply to write the keyword phrase on a post-it and stick it to the monitor during the skype recording. ;-) This ensures that either the client or the interviewer will use the phrase in conversation. It ends up being quite natural instead of a forced post around a keyword.
I like this prespective. Many companies simply start firing away with tactics before considering the big picture. We build a small company focused on providing a packaged content production service. Our goal was to create content from the mouths of the company's internal experts without forcing them to write. We don't offer full service social media management, but we play well with those who do.
A powerful message, Mark. We offer a free tool for helping people do a brain dump of topics that they can blog about. For regular visitors, we require an optin.
For people here, who would just like to quit banging their head against the wall trying to think of topics, just go to my site and put "/outline" after the dot-com.
And hey, if you want to opt-in, that's cool too.
A bit about the exercise: You print out a 6-page fill-in-the-blanks PDF, then carve out an un-interruptible block of time (an hour is perfect) and watch a 37-minute video. By the end of the video, you'll have 64 kick-ass blog post topics and a bad case of writer's cramp.
If you feel that the exercise was helpful, let me know....and share it with someone.
This is great advice. I'd say the biggest risk is that the organization has a CEO who came from outside the industry. In that case, the content focus should be leadership and inspiration. If you do ghostwriting, you'd better be confident that your ghost won't dig up the bones of somebody else's writing and try to pass them off as genuine.
For CEOs who are experts in their fields, came up through the company, founded the company or are simply well-known in the industry, we've found that there is simply no replacement for the words that come right out of the CEO's mouth. If the CEO doesn't have time to write, our Shortcut method can help produce weekly content via a podcast-sourcing model. We pair the CEO up with one of our broadcasters and conduct a monthly recording session (about an hour per month) where we glean a month's worth of topics in an interview. We transcribe and then edit the raw transcription into a series of blog posts that are crafted to be in the CEO's writing "voice". Of course, the audio can be utilized (if the CEO is comfortable with it) as a public-facing podcast as well. That's 2 pieces of unduplicated social content. In fact, if SEO is your goal, we suggest publishing the raw transcript along with the podcast for a total of 3 unique pieces of content. (the rewritten blog post is different enough that the search engines flag it as duplicated content.) For one of our clients, the CEO and President both participate in the interviews, and we publish only under the CEOs byline. Obviously, they don't use the podcast version, but they are happy with the results as it lets them fill in the blanks that the other might leave out. In their case, the CEO is the "inventor/developer" and the President is the Operations guy. It gives a great mix of insight, vision and process.
I love seeing good CEO blogs.
One problem is that information seldom flows out of a healthcare organization from the mouths of people who actually know anything about healthcare. It's usually marketing departments.
If these companies would actually do something to get their real experts blogging, they could take strides to endear themselves to the public instead of looking at the public as so many sheep to shear.
The problem is that most of the "experts" simply don't have the time to do the kind of engagement that is required in a successful social media initiative.
At Shortcut Blogging, we've developed a way to get content out of the experts in a very efficient manner. Once you have it, the marketing wonks can parcel it out in company tweets and facebook pages. People want solid information from people who actually know what they're talking about.
I know you mentioned it, sort of, but the simple fact that you OWN your blog posts is a really big deal.
PPC is "rental" ROI. Quit paying rent and you quit getting results. Once you have your blog posts, you can repurpose them, rewrite them, update them and continue enjoying their benefits.
Lack of ideas should not be a bar to blogging. If it's ideas you need, just use our outlining exercise at www.shortcutblogging.com and you'll have 64 new post ideas within the hour. Really. (no charge)
If lack of time, lack of writing skills or lack of confidence are holding you back, we can help out as well.
I love your ROI calculator. Thanks for posting about it!