When and why did you start blogging in the company?
We really began blogging at the beginning of 2014. Although we had a lot of experience in our team, Consult as a business was relatively young. We thought blogging would be a good way to show off our expertise and build credibility quickly, as well as increase brand recognition.
We'd also just appointed a board advisor who had a lot of experience building recruitment businesses by embracing social media and content marketing, and he gave us some great insights into the craft of blogging.
What kinds of things are you blogging about now?
We write about all sorts of things - from interviewing tips, to mindfulness, to social media, to accounting, to how to handle a resignation in your team. Anecdotal feedback and website analytics are key to us understanding which blogs resonate with our readers.
What are some of the challenges you've encountered in the business through the process of blogging?
One is consistently finding good ideas for posts. Something we've found helpful with that though is having our consultants, who are having conversations with our target audience every month, feed back trends or issues to our digital marketing manager.
Another is consistently writing great content. We publish a mix of posts written by our digital marketing manager, and posts written by staff and guest bloggers. A lot of people within the business and potential guest bloggers will have excellent ideas, but not all of them will be great writers, so this often means working closely with contributors to polish their ideas.
I'd say a final challenge is getting team buy-in. We've discovered a lot of our digital marketing success depends on figuring out where our audience hangs out online. For us, that's mostly on LinkedIn. Our consultants have thousands of relevant LinkedIn connections between them, so we've spent a lot of time promoting the benefits of our digital marketing efforts to our team, and getting their buy-in. They've been crucial in getting our content in front of the right people.
On the other hand, what are some of the benefits blogging has brought to the business?
Since we started blogging, we've had a 400 per cent increase in traffic to our website, and today 70 per cent of people enter our website through our blog. So I don't think it's a coincidence that during this time our revenue has increased by 265 per cent.
I think blogging has also been a brilliant way to build goodwill and loyalty with our candidates and clients. When they get a blog update in their inbox, or see our updates on LinkedIn, they feel connected to the business, and it keeps Consult front of mind.
What key elements do you think make for a successful business blog?
Content that's about the audience, not the business: We rarely talk about ourselves on the blog. Instead we spend a lot of time thinking about what's going to be helpful for the type of people we engage with, and we aim to deliver that.
A regular schedule: We post twice weekly. Not everyone will have the time or resources to do that - once a week or even once a month might suit you better - but you need to choose a manageable schedule and stick to it.
Good writing: Now that the internet is saturated with content, the writing's got to be really strong and relevant to your readers. We've been lucky enough to have converted our digital marketing manager Ellen from a recruiter to content queen. This means she understands the business but she also can convey our company's tone.