Fast, good, cheap is the classic triangle of constraints in project management. Say that you're expected to deliver on all three and you've got a problem. You'll surely fail unless you find a way to negotiate scope of work, or reframe expectations.
Maybe that triangle is not a really good premise for this post on creating content that is strategic, written well, and from expertise/experience, or is it?
For your business blog to raise about the noise and become a go-to customer destination, you need to have all three components working well -- a solid content strategy, expertise, and good writing.
Yet, you may not have people on board who can deliver on all three.
Good writing comes with practice
Many organizations are looking to communications groups to take on blogs for brands. Let's say you're looking to engage the developers, scientists, engineers, medical doctors in your customer base -- is picking marketers to do that a wise choice?
It's not enough to be able to articulate content in a way that is both informative and engaging. If you have little experience in the subject matter, your lack of expertise and lack of passion for the topic will not attract the right readership in your customer base -- and read like the rest of marketing materials.
No point having a blog to repurpose press releases, either.
Writing is a craft that is honed with practice and carries tremendous benefit for those who apply themselves to it in this age of digital media.Expertise comes from experience
True, today you can do term papers and even dissertations by researching information on the Web. And unless you have experience in the subject matter, you will not be able to answer questions, or add anything significant to the topic.
Not to mention that you'll hardly be original. Differentiation is important for brands to escape the commodity trap. To engage a loyal readership, a blog needs to have original thought, and the voice of experience.
No point having a blog about your product, though.
Sharing information that helps your customers do their job better is the way to go. It's the famous what's in it for me, and you will earn the opportunity to talk about your product or service in the context of being helpful. We connect with helpful, not with the product itself.Content builds context when part of a strategy
While you may have lots of different ideas about posts, you want to organize those ideas so they align you -- and your readers -- along a path to a destination. This is not just about having single calls to action.
Organizations are still learning about becoming media companies to utilize the power of pull vs. looking to move inventory with just ads and promotion. The way to make your blog a lead generation mechanism is to start it as a lead nurturing vehicle.
No point having a blog to post a bunch of content, if there's no thread or direction.
You'll end up confusing readers who may not know what to expect from you. Think of blogs as interactive sites where the interaction is driven by humans. Sure, you can be smart about keywords and search engine optimization (SEO). However, it's the people and a sense of direction that win the day.
You need all three to break through the pack and lead the way -- subject matter expertise rooted in experience, the ability to convey meaning through writing, and a content strategy. Together, these three elements help you move readers through connection to action.
What happens when you don't have internal resources that fit all three?
Do you train a copywriter or journalist for expertise? Do you help subject matter experts with writing skills? Do you delegate the content strategy to an agency or consultant?
What shall it be?
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.