Federal Communications Commission Security Tips

It’s true: large companies can be targets for cyber-attacks. We’ve heard of the attacks on Facebook and Capital One, but what about the smaller businesses? According to a recent study, two-thirds of executives believe cyber-crime won’t affect their small business. Many of these same businesses have no cybersecurity strategy plans in place at all.

Train employees in the business’s security principles.

Every business should have basic security services in place. For example, always use strong passwords. Implement guidelines for using the internet and rules on how to protect customer information.

It’s also important to protect information, computers and networks from cyber-attacks. Make sure the employees in your office have the latest security software on their computers. Also, only use updated web browsers and operating systems with the best defense against viruses. If software updates are available, make sure they are installed. It’s also important to provide a firewall security system for your internet connection. Do some of your employees work from home? Then, ensure their home systems are protected.

Mobile devices can also create a significant security risk.

It is important to require users to work on password-protected devices. Create a mobile device action plan by installing security apps to prevent criminals from stealing personal information.

If it’s important information or data related to the business, make back-up copies. In any sized business, it’s crucial to back-up your data. Word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files and accounts should be backed-up. Automatically backing up the information if possible. If that is not possible, then back-ups should happen at least weekly. Also, store copies off-site.

Laptops can be an easy target for theft.

It is important to secure them when not in use. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee using a shared computer. Also, require strong passwords. Trusted IT staff and key administrative staff should be the only ones with access to the passwords. Additionally, if you have a Wi-Fi network at work, it should be secure and encrypted. You can hide your Wi-Fi network as well so it cannot be broadcasted.

With your bank, make sure the most trusted validation tools are in place.

Every bank may have different standard policies when banking with them. It is important to know what anti-fraud services are in place. It’s also important to limit which employees have access to data and information, including credit card information. Try not to always use the same computer to process payments.

Employees should only be given access to systems they use on a regular basis.

They should never be allowed to install system software or programs without authorization. Passwords should be unique and changed every three months. If you have questions, refer to your vendors that handle sensitive data and see if they offer multi-factor authentication.

There are many IT professionals that can help you with your cyber security plan. By having a strong communications plan in place, it’s likely your data will be safe and secure.

At Cork Tree Creative, our web developers, Jessi and Erica, work with our clients to develop secure websites and routinely manage those sites to maintain their security. Contact us today for more information.

Oh, the ‘pound’ sign. How far you’ve come. For those caught up on important (not so recent) social media trends, it’s a hashtag. We also mustn’t forget it’s the universal number sign. However, when used as a hashtag, this multi-faceted little symbol has far more power than the number or pound sign ever had. Here’s how you can harness that power for good on LinkedIn in a digital age.

Using Hashtags on LinkedIn

What is a hashtag anyway? Think of it as a powerful categorizing tool. More specifically, a symbol to group together like content that lives on social media. Somewhere around the year 2007, Twitter users were in a frenzy about how content was displayed across the platform. It was a big jumble of topics, with no rhyme or reason. In an effort to control the chaos, hashtags were thrown into the mix. Now, posts on Twitter that contained keywords or phrases preceded by a ‘#’ symbol could be displayed in one, cohesive place where interested parties could find them. All you had to do was search the keywords in the search bar, and it would pull up related posts, mentions, and other media with the same tags.

While use of the hashtag for categorizing topics was born on Twitter, other social media platforms quickly followed suit. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest also allow for content on their sites to be grouped by relevant hashtags. Groups that can benefit from adequate use of hashtags differ with each platform. If you’re a business or individual that needs to network and sell themselves professionally, LinkedIn is a solid place to start. If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, think social media platform geared towards showcasing a professional identity.

Depending on your target audience, LinkedIn could be the best or only platform for you to shine. And shining bright on LinkedIn involves the proper use of hashtags (among other things). LinkedIn suggests using hashtags on its platform to establish credibility, reach people who value your offerings, and to network and start conversations over shared goals and interests.

Do Hashtags Actually Help?

Yes of course, we wouldn’t be talking about them if they didn’t. One of the best ways to reach your audience in this saturated market is to target yourself to the people or entities that care. Why would you want to sell hair products to a bald person? Or a car to someone who only wants to use bikes or public transportation? Once you get a lock on your ideal audience’s wants and needs, you can really use hashtags to your advantage. Additionally, LinkedIn is a great place to do it right now because according to their user data from 2020, only (approximately) 1 to 2 percent of users are even creating content regularly on the platform. This gives you even more room to stand out versus on other social media.

How to Use and Add Hashtags

Believe it or not, there’s a method to the hashtag madness, especially on LinkedIn. Being more of a showcase for businesses and talent, the content you post should be targeted, organized, and relevant to your audience. Not only must the tags be relevant, but they should also be work-appropriate. What works on one social media platform could jeopardize someone’s business on LinkedIn.

Where Do They Go?

Hashtags can go anywhere you can write words. They go on your own LinkedIn posts, shared articles, comments, groups, messages, videos, images, and job postings. Anything that has a text box can contain a hashtag, but that doesn’t mean you can just put hashtags anywhere and they’ll do what you want. While hashtags can go in comments and articles, this type of content doesn’t show up in search results. Try to keep hashtags at the end or embedded in your posts, media, and shared content. Hashtags aren’t meant to replace copy and shouldn’t be used as an alternative. This also appears unprofessional. One way to get the jump on where to place your hashtags is to write out your post, and then embed them where they make sense. They’re supposed to be used to complement and clarify your writing, not to replace it.

How Many Should I Use?

You may have assumed by now that the number of hashtags you should use on your LinkedIn posts also matters. You don’t want to have too many keywords; this will dilute your topic and can confuse your audience. Keep it concise, LinkedIn recommends the use of about 2 to 3 hashtags in each post. There’s technically no limit to how many hashtags you can use but try to keep it short and simple with what matters most. Each industry varies, however, so if yours could benefit from more than 3 hashtags, don’t limit yourself, but also don’t get out of control.

Long or short-tailed keywords?

During your hashtag research, you must decide on whether to use long-tailed keywords as hashtags or use one-word or concise hashtags. Longer words or phrases have the advantage of less competition but are also in fewer search results. Concise, one-word, or popular keywords will have higher search volume but bring more competition. Understanding what type of hashtags to use is an evolving process that must continually be tested and evaluated.

What are the popular LinkedIn hashtags?

This really depends on who you’re targeting, as different buzz words will matter to different niches. Use hashtags exclusively depending on the specific post, versus your entire brand.  Are you a shoe company looking to sell comfortable sneakers to working-class folk always on their feet? You can do research on bigger companies doing the same thing. What hashtags do they use? Note selected hashtags on their posts with high customer engagement. Start following these hashtags and do a deep dive on all content in this niche. Following hashtags is as simple as searching for it on LinkedIn search, clicking it, and then hitting follow once you are on the related search results. Here you can start to build a robust list of related keywords and phrases to test out on your LinkedIn posts to see if their hashtags resonate with your audience.

How do I track LinkedIn hashtags?

Researching and following hashtags on LinkedIn is a good way to get an idea about popular keywords and phrases in your niche but in order to access specific hashtag metrics and data on your LinkedIn content, you’ll need to use a media monitoring tool. You can monitor the hashtags you follow and see how many people also follow it, but that’s about it (for now) on hashtag metrics from content produced directly on LinkedIn. If you don’t use a monitoring tool, you can simply observe engagement on your content by taking notes on how many people interact with your posts. Metrics you can find include reactions, shares, follows, and comments.

Dos and Don’ts with LinkedIn Hashtags

Here are a few important things to avoid when utilizing hashtags on LinkedIn. Make sure you do not:

Here are a few tips and things to remember when drafting up tag ideas. Try to:

Can’t figure out hashtags? We can help. Cork Tree Creative has a knowledgeable team that specializes in the evolving nuances of social media. Your online presence is important and can be the difference between brand recognition...or rejection. Make sure you’re getting it right the first time. We can help you brainstorm which tags to use, where they should go, and how to get you right in that visibility sweet spot.

So, you’ve finally taken a look in the mirror and realized it’s time. Time to consider search engine marketing and give your website the innovative update it deserves. Even if you’re a startup with no website at all, you’re clearly executing proper due diligence and researching about marketing agencies and how they could possibly help your business idea thrive. While there are many smaller agencies out there that provide parts of what’s needed, you may need a full-service marketing firm that’s stocked up with offerings in a “one-stop-shop” type fashion. Learn about the structure of a digital marketing agency to determine if it is a good choice for building your business.

The Roles and Levels of Service at an Agency

There are two main parts to a well-oiled marketing agency machine, and both need each other to function best. These parts encompass specialties in business operations and creative strategy.

1. Operations for digital marketing agency

People who fill these roles will plan and manage internal and external business operations. You have to take care of your own house before you can help others, right?

Internal Agency Operations

Internal operations make sure the firm itself is always running efficiently. Therefore, this division must consist of extremely organized and trustworthy individuals who excel at time management and enforcement. This can include a range of positions from the chief marketing officer, to financial and project managers, to IT and accounting. People who fill these roles wear many hats and may also help with other projects across the company.

External Agency Operations

Client-facing positions will make sure the firm takes care of accounts in a timely, effective manner. These roles can involve business development and planning, sales, account and client managers, and supervisors. Typically, people in these positions are the liaisons between the marketing agency and the client. They ensure business, project, and deadline goals are met and executed on both the client and agency side and offer support when needed. Naturally, these people must be friendly and easygoing, but extremely organized, diligent, and dependable.

2. Strategy for digital marketing agency

Those who handle creative strategy aim to advance the client’s projects according to established goals. This consists of teams in the creative, media, and technology departments. While external operations teams attain and manage customers and ensure their campaigns run smoothly, strategy is the campaign. This can encompass a range of roles throughout the department. Managers of creative strategy must also be analytical and critical thinkers that monitor the metrics of projects and ensure they’re efficiently sending the right message. Also, they come up with campaign ideas and coordinate with client operations, create content calendars, and assign projects to the rest of the team.

Creative Services Department

Creatives involve a range of roles. For example, the creative team can include writers, editors, social media managers and graphic designers. They make projects appealing while ensuring they are both relevant and effective. They usually submit their work to managers for review, who in turn, pass completed work on to client account managers.

Media Focused Marketing

Media-focused teams handle the visibility of marketing campaigns. This can encompass UI / UX design, website development, graphic design, videography, photography, as well as ad and media creation. They also work in TV, radio, broadcast, billboards, magazines, and digital transitions. Employees must be well-versed in evolving media trends and understand how they affect the client’s business.

Technology Agency Management

While strategic managers monitor and report campaign metrics, the technology team puts them in place and ensures all related tracking applications are integrated seamlessly throughout all platforms. They place email and ad campaigns, buy ad space, integrate platforms and systems, and facilitate appropriate marketing automation and software implementation. People who fill these roles must have a love for technology and analytics, with a creative and strategic eye for how best to utilize them across different campaigns.

If you have a big idea that needs the tender love and care only a full-service marketing agency can offer, you’ve come to the right place. Cork Tree Creative has multiple specialized capabilities you can pick and choose from to help your business hit the ground running, right from the start.

Open fast… or die slow. If you want to hit them where it converts, you’ll have to do it in the subject line. More specifically, the email subject line. Anyone sending a cold (or warm) email these days has to navigate the spam waters all the way through to the right person’s eyes. Even then, the outreach team’s job isn’t complete. Why? Because everyone who reads emails is basically trained or annoyed into avoiding anything that even remotely looks like spam. Thanks a lot, aggressively pushy and intense email marketing campaigns. Never fear, curious marketer. Here’s how you can get it right the first time.

How to Think of a Catchy Email Subject Line That Converts

When the target audience reads your subject line, ya gotta’ make them feel it. It’s what gets the people going after all. If you don’t capture their trust and attention in the first few seconds, you’ve dropped the ball. Odds are, they’ll probably mark you off as spam (mentally and literally) and move on. To avoid that dreaded, wasteland of a folder, consider this:

Offer target audience something worthwhile.

What’s your pitch? What will you say to get them to open the email? This is one route you can take when drafting an email subject line, but it is not the only way. If your campaign is to grow awareness for your product or service, then you could offer a discount in the subject line.

Get personally relevant.

No matter where you are in the sales funnel, getting up close and personal to your audience is always a good way to grab their attention. What pain points do your customers have? Offer them a solution. For example, if your customer always buys sneakers from your shoe store, it’s probably not the best idea to brag about new dress shoes in your subject line.

Don’t establish urgency.

Act now! Don’t let time go to waste! So many marketing “gurus” think that establishing urgency will get your customer’s FOMO at an all-time high. But, that is not always the case. For some demographics, maybe. But, these types of subject lines reek of spam, and that isn’t even the worst of it. For those who open the email anyway, prepare for disappointment. Odds are, what you’re offering in the email body isn’t as cool as what they thought they’d get from your vague, urgent subject line. If you do choose to follow this path, make sure you’re as upfront as possible and don’t embellish just for an open.

Maybe use their name.

Sometimes this looks spammy, mostly it doesn’t. However, don’t use their name for every email… but do use it… and use it often. For example, you should use a customer's name when you’re thanking them or being sincere. Definitely use their first name in the opening of your email, but body templates are a talk for another time.

K.I.S.S.

Keep it sweet and simple. Subject lines are supposed to be light and concise. You also can’t have it getting cut off if your customer reads the email with their mobile device or a minimized browser. For best practices, subject lines shouldn’t be longer than 30 characters. Test send the email and check for yourself. To sum up, the shorter, the better. Chit chat is for inside the email.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Brainstorming Email subject lines

If you’re like most people and have issues coming up with brilliant email subject lines, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few helpful questions to consider when coming up with catchy email subject lines that will get your customers clicking “open” in no time.

We find that if you ask yourself the right questions during brainstorming sessions, sometimes the creative juices come pouring right out.

Measuring Email Subject Line Success

Anyone can say they have a stellar email marketing campaign with the best open rates in the biz. But how do you prove it? How is success in an email marketing campaign measured exactly? We just said it: open rates. However, that’s only half the battle. Motives, click-through rates, and engagement are also important. Ensure your email marketing software keep tabs on the following metrics:

If you’re thinking of starting a successful email marketing campaign, make sure you’re using decent tracking software that will answer the questions that matter. In conclusion, paint a picture of your clients and their dreams, make them come true, and you’ll have a loyal customer for life.

Need Some Guidance?

If the whole e-mail marketing thing seems a bit out of your wheelhouse, you’re not alone. Get out of the driver’s seat and let us take the wheel. Cork Tree Creative’s savvy marketing team knows what works and can put their bright minds together towards amplifying your e-mail marketing campaigns to crowds that matter. We create customer personas, A and B test, track important metrics, and get you where you need to be. Contact us today.

How business owners should handle social media

Published just this month, Fox Media reported that studies now indicate social media may actually have some tangible benefits in the workplace. This surprising study poses an important question. Now that social networking is here to stay, is it better to offer employees appropriate training for using social media instead of banning it from the workplace?

Keeping all social media forbidden is not exactly easy.

Before social media, there were numerous ways employees could get distracted at work, including water cooler gossip. Social media is the same thing with a twist! Social media can keep us informed and connected personally and professionally. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn can generate sales leads while also informing us about industry trends and competitors. Therefore, it just makes sense to know what people and businesses are doing in similar industries if we want to stay current ourselves.

Taking a customized approach in the workplace is key.

It may not make sense anymore to completely prohibit the use of Facebook from your employees' work computers. Fox Media's study indicates that social media platforms can generate stronger bonds between co-workers. Therefore, it can cultivate a better working environment. A positive workplace helps to make companies successful (and employees happy too).

Social Media in the workplace conclusion

Maybe it’s time to take more of a proactive approach on how it can help your organization grow. The team at Cork Tree Creative can sit down with you and discuss your needs. Do your employees have LinkedIn profiles to help them network amongst others in your industry? Is your staff aware of industry trends? By putting a social media policy in place, you will be able to teach your team the proper way to use social media. Contact Cork Tree Creative, Inc. We can discuss how social media is changing the way many businesses are working today. Call or email us at (618)656-7333,  www.corktreecreative.com or find us online on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Public Relations Tips for College Graduates

After the excitement of graduation wears off, it seems that all you’re left with is nothing but free time. Now it’s time to get a job, right? Before you send out your resume and pick out your best interview clothes, there are a few things you need to do to make sure you are as prepared as possible for the job hunt. Let’s face it - we can all use polishing every now and then to better ourselves in an effort to land the dream job.

Clean up your social media profiles.

Your professors and parents have probably passed along this tip. You grew up during a time when social media was a part of your every day life. You are programmed to update your friends and family on daily occurrences, even if they weren’t all that important. Employers can and will search for your profiles to get a better sense of who you are. Make sure you comb through your posts and photos and take out anything that may not represent you in the best light. And don’t forget to create and update your LinkedIn profile!

Keep your Portfolio up-to-date.

As a senior, you should have a portfolio of all the work you did during your time in school. You don’t have to keep every single thing you created in the last four years; however, it’s important to use your portfolio to showcase your absolute best work. Also, keep a current copy of your resume in your portfolio as well so employers will learn about you and be able to discuss your experience during the interview.

Be as versatile as possible

As you probably already know, there are many people who are applying for the same jobs as you…with the same abilities as you. It’s never too late to learn a new skill that will set you apart from the others. This will make you more marketable and more desirable to any employer. Once you’ve landed the job, look for ways to improve as well. You never want to stop learning.

Make as many connections as you can

Networking may sound very intimidating and daunting! And, it can be hard if you’ve never done it before. It’s best to do it while you’re still in college, but there will be many chances to network after graduation as well. Joining groups related to your career is a great way to meet people. You are able to meet professionals in your field that can lead you in the right direction. Invite a professional in your field to coffee and pick their brain. Even if they can’t get you a job, they may know someone who’s looking for someone with your talents.

Research anything and everything

Many aspects of public relations focus on research. When looking at potential jobs, research everything you can about that company. That will help you create questions during your interviews. With the versatility that the public relations field has to offer, explore all of the different jobs that are possible. You could work for a firm managing social media accounts or planning events for various clients. Don’t get stuck looking for “a job,” look for your dream job.

Don’t worry if you don’t find a job right out of college. Use these tips to sharpen your profiles and portfolio. Take the time to learn and perfect your skills. Reach out to as many people as possible to make connections. Read anything and everything you can about the opportunities in your field. You never know what you may find, and it likely will take time to begin your ideal career. Good luck!

5 Tips on How to Network for Your Business

Whether you are the Public Relations Director for a multi-million dollar corporation or an intern at a local marketing firm, networking remains a crucial element in advancing your career. Sure, social networking via LinkedIn and Twitter is important, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. What is a future employer going to remember more: receiving a “favorite” on their tweet or a firm handshake greeting at a networking luncheon? A firm handshake wins every time. Landing your dream job is not only about what you know, but who you know.

Here are some networking tips that will help you nail your next networking event.

Do your homework prior to the event

Research the event. Find out what kind of professionals will be attending and then make a list of the people you wish to speak with. Brainstorm some possible questions or conversation-starters beforehand. The more prepared you feel, the more relaxed you will be. Also, remember the CEO of a big corporate agency may not be able to do as much for you as middle-level manager at a local company. There is a much greater chance that the mid-level manager would be available to meet up for lunch and discuss job opportunities with you.

Take time to explore the crowd

Networking events can be nerve-racking. This causes people to sit at the same table with people they already know. When you do this, you are missing out! You are there to make as many connections as possible. Step out of your comfort zone and try to make your way through the entire room, striking up as many good conversations as possible. People like to talk about themselves and their job, so if you are struggling to find topics, ask questions. You will thank yourself when you are leaving the event with a handful of business cards and new connections.

Dress to impress

When entering a networking event, you are entering a room full of potential employers. Your outfit should represent the kind of professional you are. Invest in a business suit and nice dress shoes. Make sure that you feel comfortable in your attire, so that you can be confident when entering the room.

Bring business cards to expand your network

There is something personable and memorable about exchanging business cards, compared to asking to enter contact information into each other’s smart phones. A business card will be seen after the event is over. Giving someone your card is a natural and easy way to suggest a follow-up conversation.

Don't let your networking efforts be in vain - follow up

This is crucial, as it makes or breaks your networking relationships. Ask to meet again over e-mail or find your new contact on LinkedIn and connect with them. Show your appreciation and thank them for taking the time to talk with you at the event. You should leave every event with at least three people to connect with afterward. Make your original conversation even more memorable by suggesting a second. It can be a request to simply chat over coffee, or ask them to review your resumé. After a physical meeting, send a handwritten thank you note or email including something you learned from them. Be sincere, because expressing your genuine interest in someone’s career can go a long way in making a person remember you in the future.

Networking is an important skill in any work field, and with all skills, it takes time and practice. It can be overwhelming; however, the more networking luncheons, panels and conferences you attend, the more natural it will become.  Don’t be afraid to throw yourself into a room full of strangers. You never know, they might just lead you on your next pathway to greater success. At Cork Tree Creative, we are always striving to become better. Let us help you do the same. Give us a call at (618) 656-7333, find us on social media or online at www.corktreecreative.com

Tips for Making a Great Website

When designing a website, it is crucial to make your site appealing, memorable and of course, functional. If a user does not get a sense of satisfaction from visiting your site in the first 10 seconds, then on to the next website they go with the sound of a mouse click. Do you want to build a credible, respected website for your company? Here are some simple, yet essential elements to designing a successful website that your customers will love as much as you do.

A Website Should Have Responsive Design

This is one of the most crucial, and yet overlooked elements in website design. Every great website should have a consistent flow through its pages. This can easily be achieved with a navigation menu that appears in the same location across all pages of the site. The navigation menu should encompass differentiated pages that are important to the user such as home, about us, portfolio, contact us, etc. It is important to keep navigational menus to a minimum, not exceeding more than five menu items. Font size and style should be consistent on a page, so that all content is easy to read. All paragraphs should carry the same amount of space between lines. When designing and organizing a site, one should act as the user and make sure that it is both easy to read and easy to navigate.

Your website should include your company’s contact information. Whether it appears in the header or as a separate “Contact Us” page, make sure it is highly visible. Contact information gives your website a sense of credibility and legitimacy. If your company or business has social media pages, link them to your site. Your website is the gateway to your business, don’t let users stop there. Allow them to check out your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts with a direct link to the pages. Having these links in the footer of your website across every page is ideal because users will be able to easily access them.

Are you ready to take your business’s website to the next level? Contact Cork Tree Creative today about our web design services. Let us help you create a website that is easy to use, engaging and effective. We also offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to get your company to the top of the list on search engines. Give us a call at 618-656-7333.

Top Tips for Nailing a Marketing Interview

Job interviews can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you are new to the whole process. Here are some tips to help your interview go smoothly:

Come Prepared and On-Time

This may sound like a no-brainer, but many times people underestimate the time it takes to get to a job interview. Give yourself time for driving, plus half an hour to allow for finding the office and mentally preparing yourself. Take this time to review any questions you may have, turn off your phone, and make last-minute touch-ups to your appearance.

Dress the Part

This may be your one and only chance to make a good first impression. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, but let’s be honest – this isn’t the red carpet. Keep the perfume/cologne to a minimum and avoid distracting accessories.

Bring Your Resume

We cannot stress how important this is. Many managers and business owners will automatically not hire someone if he or she doesn’t take the initiative to bring copies of his or her resume to the interview. Not only is it considerate, but also it allows for an icebreaker at the beginning of the interview. Be sure to bring multiple copies of it in case there is more than one interviewer present

Practice Confident Body Language

A lot can be said by body language alone. A firm handshake, a smile, and straight posture radiates confidence and professionalism in a way that words alone cannot convey. Avoid nervous ticks like fidgeting, toe tapping, or playing with your hair. You want to show that you are calm and confident in your work.

End the Interview on a High Note

Ask questions. This shows you’ve researched the company and put time and thought towards the interview. It may be a simple step, but will leave your potential employer with something to think about after the interview is over. Remember to thank your interviewer for their time when the interview has concluded, and follow up a few days later with a thank you email. (If you really want to stand out, consider mailing a thank you card.) This gesture is not only polite, but keeps you on the forefront of your employer’s mind.

Be Yourself!

Above all else, be yourself. Sure - talent, capability, and proficiency is a big part of landing a job, but so is personality. You’re awesome, so sell yourself to your future employers, or in public relations terminology, “market” yourself. Marketing clients is something Cork Tree Creative is an expert at. In fact, we have recently been awarded Best Marketing Firm and Best PR Firm by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. Visit us at https://www.corktreecreative.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

How To Start a Company Blog

You already know the Benefits of Blogging for Business, but you may still be wondering: how the heck do I get started?! Blogging can be a step out of your comfort zone, but will likely payoff well for your business. Read on for some questions to ask yourself before you begin writing.

Determine Goals for Blog


Are you hoping this fresh content will garner new customers? Are you striving to better connect with your current customers? Do you want to showcase a certain section of your business? The goal of your blog will dictate the type of content you write and the audience you target. It is important to narrow down your specific objective before diving deeper into the blogging process. If the content you publish does not reach your goal, you will be dissatisfied with the results. Keep this goal in mind each time you write a new blog post.

Set a Schedule


Typically, company blogs start out strong during their first month when employees have a ton of ideas and are knee deep in gumption. You may end up with five or six blogs during the first few weeks and think it will be easy to maintain this pace.

But then a week goes by without new content, and that week can quickly turn into two or three months before you realize your blog has been seriously neglected. When your blog goes live for the first time, be realistic about how often your company can update it. Writing just once a month can still be beneficial for your business if the content is strong and unique. Of course, you can always strive for more, but it is better to have consistent, quality content than spotty, substandard content.

Consider setting a schedule such as posting one the first week of every month. Most web builders have the capability to schedule future blogs, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to post after writing. You can simply add them into the queue for the next month.

Establish Ground Rules


Most likely, you have set protocol for handling nearly every aspect of your business; and blogging is no exception. Having clear instructions keeps everyone on the same page and ensures consistency time and time again. Consider setting an average word count, deciding on off-limit topics, and choosing a writing style to follow - such as AP style.

Determine Who Will Write the Blog


Perhaps the most difficult part of blogging for companies is deciding who will write. You can assign writing to one single employee or create a team of a few qualified writers. If you are struggling to find employees who are willing to take on the task, consider offering an external incentive for creating content. Other companies utilize a rotation system. This way the responsibility of blogging is shared equally among office members. But, this can result in dissatisfactory content from employees who don’t have as much writing experience.

Blogs can greatly benefit your business. However, they can also be quite a burden or get lost among the many other tasks you and your employees have on your plate. That’s where we come in. At Cork Tree Creative, our experienced team members will maintain your blog with monthly, bimonthly or even weekly content that is unique and specific to your business. Give us a call at (618) 656-7333 to start seeing the results of blogging without the stress of writing.

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