Porter Novelli

This post originally appeared on the PNConnect Blog.

Why is corporate blogging important? I can list a number of reasons about telling your own story in your own words, building a direct-to-audience channel, engagement, etc, but so often it’s about search and content decay.

In very simple terms content decay is the outcome of putting all your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks that are not indexed by search.

Sure, your ‘real time marketing’ gimmick might get a bunch of shares over a few hours, but then it’s gone, for good. You’ve spent all that budget and time for a flash in the pan. And 48 hours later you’re asking yourself, “Now what?”

So, Now What?

Developing a hub and spoke model that connects an owned media channel such as a blog to your social network activity solves this.

SCEAHubSpoke

This model provides both short-term and long-term value to all your content.

Publishing original content on a corporate blog and then promoting and syndicating effectively across social channels will initially drive that short-term engagement. It starts conversations, influences coverage, manages a crisis or any number of other tactical gains that ladder up to strategic goals. But then that ‘attention’ begins to wane. We’re all on to the next thing.

For consumers it’s the next thing in our Facebook feed from our friends or another brand we follow. For the brand it’s the next item to be published/promoted. Remember that great thing Brand X posted on Facebook last Tuesday? Yep, neither do I. Since that content is NOT indexed by search it’s almost impossible to find.

By having an owned channel that is indexed by search, the long tail begins to kick in. That original piece of content is now drawing in search traffic, day in and day out for the foreseeable future. As your content archive grows it’s search value grows as well.

For some clients that we can track direct sales via social/content activity, we see a similar pattern illustrated by the chart below:

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 1.46.11 PM

Revenue generated in the first 24-48 hours is driven by social network activity. This may be our initial Facebook post and Tweet and subsequent shares withing our audience. Then this activity almost flatlines after the second day. Now, search has it’s day, or should I say days/months/years. The revenue generated by inbound search soon eclipses the original social activity.

Have your cake and eat it too? Perhaps.

Postscript

In prepping this post a few members of the PNConnect leadership team highlighted Paul Gillin’s post about the growth of corporate blogging among the Fortune 500. Paul cites the 2013 Fortune 500 Are Bullish on Social Media report from Nora Ganim Barnes at the Charlton College of Business Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

My simple response: This just proves the importance of search and battling content decay.

My somewhat longer response: It’s nice to have additional validation to the approach we’ve always taken with client programs. Put a strong content program at the hub of your activity and you can’t go wrong.