Experienced marketers know that much of the cost in getting ‘up to speed’ with any campaign is in building ‘momentum‘. Momentum is defined in physics as the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity. Basically, for us marketers, ‘momentum’ means a campaign’s size and speed, measured by it’s ability to move forward with less and less effort.
Think of the momentum you build in starting your car from a dead stop, and where the costs are: When the light turns green you step on the gas a little harder than normal, and expend extra effort as the engine pulls against the weight of the car and everything in it. Eventually, you begin to take advantage of your momentum and can ease your foot off the gas pedal a little bit while still maintaining your speed. The effort you expended up front is now realized as optimization and efficiency.
It works much the same way with online marketing and SEO; much of your effort is expended up front, and as your momentum increases you’ll be able to take advantage of the fruits of social marketing and viral growth.
Here are three rules of thumb for building and maintaining momentum with your corporate blog:
1. Consistent Frequency
Create a schedule and stick to it! Establishing a consistent publishing schedule helps set reader expectation and establishes trust for your followers. Consistency in your publishing frequency will also build your SEO credibility and literally teaches the search engines to index your site more often.
2. Consistent Theme
As a corporate blogger, you are hopefully compelled to ‘stick to the knitting‘ as Lee Iacocca puts it. What he meant by that is to keep your focus on a single, narrow subject. Corporate bloggers have less of a problem with this than casual bloggers, but it goes a long way to keep your focus on a specific target, and not to vary with the subject of your content. Make your plan up front, refine it to the simplest form and keep your theme consistent. In this way you will define your target market by refining your theme to only what is interesting to the people you want to reach. You’ll also reduce the attrition you would otherwise find if your posts float from one subject to another. Like a favorite radio station, your audience wants to tune in to hear what they have come to expect. A change of format will obviously disrupt your momentum.
3. Constant Interaction
As with my car analogy, you have to expend some extra effort up front, but you can’t just take your foot off the gas once you get up to speed; you have to keep feeding the engine to maintain your momentum.
Interacting with your audience is critical for building and maintaining momentum. Everything from responding to comments to reaching out with announcements, invitations, and requests. An important form of engagement includes extending the reach of your posts by republishing to Facebook, Twitter and sites like Digg and Stumbleupon. Engage your audience so that they have a connection with you, and make every effort to invite people to join you.
You have to keep inviting people. As most marketers know, you will only convert between one and two percent of the people you approach, which means you have to approach a lot of people. Social media has changed the rules a little bit, and now you can expect that in some cases as word of mouth begins to roll around that you will get adoption from more people with less effort, but the effort needs to remain constant.
As you continue to develop your corporate blog, consider a plan to build your momentum. Make sure to build consistency in your publishing schedule and your theme so that your readers and the search engines know what to expect, and never let off the gas when it comes to engaging your audience.
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