Compendium Blogware is a Software as a Service, organization-oriented blogging platform. This means that it concentrates on SEO, customer relationships and sales conversion, and incorporates administration features like editorial controls, restricting employees from posting anything they shouldn't.
The makers of Compendium held a webinar last week, in which co-founder Chris Baggot offered some advice to organizations regarding blogging for the coming months:
# ROI based on Search Engine Optimization (SEO): With organic search becoming a critical channel for customer acquisition, blogs are the perfect way to achieve high rankings on a broad range of targeted keywords.
# Widespread employee blogging: Organizations should free up employees to contribute to the corporate blog, bringing distinct voices and higher volumes of content to the resource. But...
# Control is OK: "The reality is that, in spite of what most "traditional" bloggers say, it is mandatory for organizations to have control over their content." A fair point. There's more on this topic on the Compendium homepage: "In an age of HIPAA and SOX and other compliance issues, when bad news (or embarrassing posts) can spread around the world in a matter of minutes, why would you want to give employees free rein to have their say?"
# Conversion goals: Most organizations have specific conversion goals for their web traffic and need to have the same conversion standards for their blogs. This means that blog templates need to have specific call-to-actions just like any other site. Additionally, blogs are unique in that oftentimes organizations will see higher conversions with their blogs than with their company Web site. Fresh content, a conversational tone and clean navigation all play a role.
# Social conversion: Social conversion is a theory based on an old Zig Ziglar axiom, "People buy from people." Customers trust other human beings more than they trust brands. The challenge is to find a way to expose a lot more of your humanity. The Web and blogging gives you that ability.
# Marketing democracy: Blogging is the great democratizer for corporate blogging. No one can buy their way up to the top of the organic search pages. Blogging technology is cheap, easy to use and doesn't require IT assistance or equipment. You only pay for consumption.
# Localization: Corporate blogging introduces the idea of geo-specificity, which benefits both local businesses as well as large enterprises that want to "act locally." Localization tends to lead to higher content relevancy and better search engine results.
# Spaghetti: A discredited strategy for any kind of marketing has been, "Let's throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks." With blogging, here's your chance. Corporate blogging is largely based on content and volume. By throwing a lot of content at the wall, you'll get to see what makes the biggest impact. You can also experiment with targeting a wide variety of search terms.
# Video: Nothing tells a story like video. As quality goes up and the cost and challenges of production falls, video will be an assumed component of every corporate blog.
# Data driven blogging: Today in the journalism and corporate worlds, blogging consists of disparate content based on individual authors. Collectively however, those authors within an organization probably have a lot of overlap on all kinds of topics and categories. For readers who care about topics versus individuals, they will read the topical blog regardless of the author.
"As we review this list, we can see that corporate blogging is just getting started," said Chris Baggott. "The entire concept of it as an effective and responsible marketing tool is still in its infancy. 2008 will be the breakout year, and we'll see a lot of innovation, benefits and even some mistakes. My advice is to embrace it all."
2008 will be the breakout year for corporate blogging? Spaghetti-ish, high-volume, keyword-focused content is still the way to go? Employees encouraged to contribute to the corporate blog, under editorial supervision?
Plenty to ponder in all that. I'm so vehemently opposed to some of Baggott's views, and so much in agreement with others, that there's a 50/50 chance I'll burst before I get to hit 'Publish'.
If y'all ever get to read this story, why not visit Compendium, then come tell us what you think below?