Guest Post: Client Blogs Offer New Opportunities for PR Firms in 2011

Now that 2011 is well under way, there are trends taking shape that may not have been apparent in recent weeks.

San Diego-based marketing agency Bailey Gardiner has identified another 2011 social media trend – blog strategy and management. In today’s guest post, Indra Gardiner, COO and co-founder of the firm, talks about what this trend means for clients and the work PR firms will be doing.

2011 Agency Opportunity – Blog Strategy and Management

In addition to the six social media trends to watch in 2011 posted on PRNewser, we see another trend emerging at our agency: client blog management.

By 2012 the percentage of businesses blogging is expected to rise to 46 percent as companies see the value in generating branded content. However, with so much competition, companies are realizing they need help with strategy and implementation. As a result, the role of the PR and marketing agency is evolving.

Many PR and ad agencies added social media management to their list of services in 2010, however very few offer blog strategy and blog management as part of their social media services. In 2011 this will have to change in order to meet the demand and needs.

Over the last few years we have helped clients launch blogs in categories ranging from pet care to health care to the environment. Some clients had us assist in design, keyword strategy, overall blog strategy and key audience development. We then trained their team and they took it from there.

Others realized they could not handle the ongoing management and we continue to assist in several ways. Let’s focus on two of the most fundamental aspects of
having a successful blog – content management and consistent SEO application.

Start by determining how often your client can commit to blog posts. Do they have enough content to post everyday or once a week? Consistent blogs have
editorial calendars with assigned writers so that the blog manager isn’t wandering
from office to office asking who wants to write next week’s post. Blogs are deadline-driven just like any other media outlet. We often manage our client’s calendars, looking at issues such as upcoming events, announcements, topical
news, research, and availability of writers. Many times we share in the writing as
well. Someone has to manage the process otherwise it invariably falls apart.

In addition to the daily management, blogs need consistent SEO training and analysis. Blogs provide outstanding fodder for organic search engine growth. But
that only happens if keywords for the blog are determined in advance of launch
and then consistently applied in each post.

Keywords should be researched to determine what words your client wants to be found for and what the level of competition is for those words. The people who write for a blog are then trained so they know how to write for SEO, how to link the posts and title images for SEO, and how to promote the blog in social media using keywords to garner link backs. If this approach is taken, the blog will rise in search over time organically.

If you haven’t checked out Lee Odden’s blog Top Rank, jump over there to find some of the best advice about SEO for agencies and their clients.