Why should you start a CEO blog?
- To build an authentic channel communicate to all stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, competitors, regulators). A blog gives you more leverage to communicate to all these stakeholders at the same time.
- To give the business a personal and public face.
- As a way to build and accelerate relationships – if trust is critical to your sales process.
- To educate the market about the problems that you solve.
- As a key sales tool, if you’re selling complex products that require education.
- To build industry leadership and get invited to speak at conferences, and quoted across the media.
- There’s no better channel to build thought leadership.
- To get your point of view across with more depth and nuance than is possible in the media.
- As a key channel for your business to get found (through search engine traffic).
- To start conversations with clients at scale. You can open a conversation with many clients at one time.
- To generate more opportunities for PR. You have a number of interesting opinions on record which can generate future opportunities to be quoted and give opinions.
- To build trust. Content builds relationships, which leads to trust.
- In today’s market, there’s more choices than ever before. This increases the barrier to purchase, which means that trust before purchase is more important than ever.
- To stay front of mind with clients and prospects – so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re front of mind.
Why shouldn’t you start a CEO blog?
- If you’re not prepared to be authentic. You must share the highs and the lows of your role.
- If you expect that it’s a PR only activity that can be completely outsourced.
- If you can’t dedicate the time to blog, at least once a month.
- If you’re not prepared to make a long term commitment.
- If you’re not prepared to be entertaining, and see the funny side from time to time.
The benefits of CEO blogging
- You will building personal, and company reputation.
- Increasing intimacy with potential customers, leading to faster sales closes.
- A key lead acquisition channel (especially in B2B).
- A strong foundation to power content marketing and amplification strategies (especially in B2B).
- A practical way to improve your understanding of the social media and the technology landscape.
- Content can be redistributed to power all of your social media channels. If structured well, a blog should be usable across all of your social media channels.
- An authentic channel to communicate in times of crisis (as demonstrated well by Royal Caribbean International’s president and CEO, Adam Goldstein).
- You’re creating a platform to define the industry agenda.
The risks of CEO blogging
- Your blog will become a direct vent point for customers – not all of whom will make rational, structured arguments. You will see comments that aren’t necessarily sensible or related to the article you’ve written.
- Compliance risks. You need to be careful about what you’re talking about, especially if you’re publicly listed.
- Your blog will be read by all stakeholders. That means your employees, customers, journalists and competitors. Your views need to be consistent and defensible to all.
- Posts can be taken out of context. Everything you write is a directly attributable quote.
Important considerations to think about
- The economics of content. 80% of your returns will come from 20% of your posts.
- Headlines are critically important. Learn about the principles of great headlines for blog posts (or find someone in your team who has time to).
- To get your blog shared, you need great images. The best images are those that you take on your mobile phone whilst walking round inside your business.
- Get buy in from the marketing. CEO blogging is not just a marketing tactic. But there’s always a substantial marketing angle – and it’s important to have alignment with the marketing team.
- Succession planning. Is the blog personally owned, or property of the company. Will it move on with you?
- Tracking success. Make sure you’ve got an analytics framework in place to measure success.
- Alignment and positioning. It’s important to get alignment between what you write about and what the business offers.
- Don’t be boring. Would you read this (really)?
- Don’t be too formal. The right topics are conversational.