Now that the blog for your architecture, engineering or construction (AEC) firm is set up and ready to go, how effective will you be at consistently creating the valuable content that draws targeted online visitors to your AEC blog and website?
Here are some tips to creating and maintaining the right mix of quality and quantity of content for your AEC blog:
1. Develop a Plan for your blog that includes goals tied to the company’s strategic initiatives & target audience. For instance, are you rebranding your firm, entering a new market, developing an online social media presence, targeting a specific market or client group, or supporting a specific initiative, like a integrating social media with public relations efforts.
2. Define your voice. This entails knowing your audience. Most bloggers develop personas (watch for our upcoming blog on this topic) and key search words for their targeted audiences.
Think about how you will be talking to your audience. Is the blog written from one person’s identity – your CEO, perhaps? Or, is it shared by business unit leaders or all staff levels? Will you curate content as well? Are you confidently telling your readers something, are you reporting on a specific issue, or are you just a laid back person explaining something casually?
In addition to voice, consider the length of articles, the types of graphics, etc, and create editorial guidelines for consistency over time as well as a reference for your team of writers.
3. Set quality & quantity standards. Form an Editorial Board to help identify appropriate topics and the frequency of entries and to identify potential writers inside and outside your organization. While the general rule-of-thumb is 2-3 blog entries per week, many small to midsize AEC firms will find once a week or once a month more do-able. The key is to provide content that is useful and valuable to your target audience. Inundating them with trivial information could degrade the value of your brand.
If you curate content, how often will you include others’ content, what type of content will help you reach your goals, who is responsible for vetting the information and source?
4. Create a schedule that includes the topic, key words, targeted personas, graphic format and content, as well as the author/responsible party.
Use the information gleaned in the Persona development stage to guide the topics. Hold monthly Editorial Board meetings to brainstorm and vet topic ideas. What are trending issues, what have past readers commented on, what information are your targets asking about, are there reports and lists that would be particularly helpful to one of your target markets?
To reach the right mix of quantity and quality content, you’ll likely have to consider training and incentivizing inside writers and/or hiring ghost-bloggers to keep your content machine well oiled.
5. Conduct a Metrics and Time Audit. Once you’ve published a few blogs, thoroughly review the metrics. What topics and keywords seem to bring in the most traffic? How much time are visitors spending on your blog? Are they following your links to previous entries, white papers and articles? Think about how much time you’ve devoted to the blog? What adjustments should be made?
The key to creating and maintaining content on your blog is to have specific goals in mind first and foremost. Knowing your audience and the information they seek is paramount. But the key to maintaining quality content is to develop a culture of content internally and externally. This often includes curated content, but to reach the right mix of quality and quantity, many firms are turning to ghost-bloggers who share your news under your thought-leaders’ name and brand. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about creating and maintaining quality AEC blog content for your target audience.