Blog Analysis: GuideSpark
GuideSpark has been making news for their unique product.
You probably know that video is becoming a major part of our communication.
Many people have a smartphone today and that has allowed more people access to video. And if you’re a business many of your employees probably have a smartphone or a computer at their desk.
Video is a great way to communicate with your employees. And that’s where GuideSpark comes in. They help create videos for businesses that create better communication between an HR department and employees.
Using video can free up time for the staff and it can create more effective communication.
So that’s GuideSpark in a really quick overview.
Today, though, I’m going to look at what they’re doing with their blog to attract target clients.
Let’s dig in.
1. Naming The Blog
I’ve had this question come up a few times in the last couple weeks. I get it once in a while, but for whatever reason have gotten it a little more than normal.
The question is about what the blog should be called or what the name of the blog should be.
As you can see, GuideSpark simply called their blog The GuideSpark Blog.
I don’t think so. I’m a fan of keeping it simple when it comes to naming the blog.
Some of the most popular business blogs have a simple name like this and people often refer to a company’s blog as “The XYZ Blog” or whatever the name of the company is.
You can try to create a unique name for the blog and I think that’s a good strategy as long as it ties into your main brand. You’re ultimately looking at building the brand of your business. Your blog should supplement those efforts and if you try to build two brands it can get complicated and even require more work than is necessary.
2. What Frequency Is Best?
By far the biggest thing I see with business blogs is a lack of frequency. And I’m not saying that every business blog needs to be publishing posts every day. We don’t even do that at GBW.
But consistency is a vital point with a business blog. If you want to build subscribers then you’ll want to stick with a consistent schedule.
GuideSpark is uploading some great content. It’s a little sporadic. They have about a half dozen posts from January of this year to June. So that’s about one per month, but sometimes they’ll have two in a week and then leave the blog without a new post for a couple months.
We see this all the time in the business world and it really happens for two reasons.
First, the biggest reason is that businesses get busy doing all kinds of things. Blogging is often cited as important in the business, but can easily get pushed aside.
Second, businesses often don’t use a blogging calendar. At GBW, we use calendars or schedules for all of our clients. We brainstorm titles and always keep the calendar filled out 1-2 months in advance.
This separates the “what should I write?” stage from the research and writing stage.
And one other note is that we often recommend publishing posts at least weekly. Monthly is good and every other week is okay, but weekly is what really starts building some search traffic within six months to a year.
3. Studies And Word Count
Here is a recent post from GuideSpark. The post has some really great information about how multimedia is becoming crucial for business communication success.
The post, for one, is packed with lots of studies and stats. Some of the studies are done from GuideSpark, which is awesome. If you have access to this kind of internal information then use it often in your posts. If you don’t have any internal data you can still access studies and stats from other sources. GuideSpark does that in this post.
And I also want to include a note here on Word Count. This post looks to be about 800 or so words. That’s a really good range for a blog post.
Our most common posts are the 600-800 word posts. It’s a great number to include some really great information on the questions your target customers are asking. We also find that posts around the 1,000+ word mark do well.
The thing with word count that you want to keep in mind is what will make the best experience for your target customer. If you can provide the answer in a few hundred words then do it. But if it takes 1,000 words don’t be afraid to do that.
4. Checklist Posts
Here is a post from last year that has a couple things going for it.
First, the post is written in a checklist or list.
I don’t know why, but people love checklists. Or I should say that most people do. You’ve probably seen some lists online and sometimes people roll their eyes when they see “another list blog post”.
But they really do work. I think it’s a basic human need to put things into lists.
GuideSpark created a list for HR professionals at businesses that needed to deal with open enrollment. The professionals probably know what they need to do, but it’s good to check out lists like this to make sure you have everything covered.
You can check off each item and you’ll probably learn something along the way.
And that brings us to the second part of the post. It covers a subject that the target reader is interested in. The case here would be open enrollment.
If there are big industry events that your target customer is going through or that they have coming up you can offer help to make it easier for them. That’s where a business blog can be a great tool for you to reach your target customers including the ones that don’t even know your brand exists.
5. Trends And Perspective
One thing I picked up on in the corporate world is that executives are always curious about trends. They have to be otherwise they know that their business might miss something and that can mean the end of the business or at least struggling times ahead.
So doing posts like this one on trends for a target reader often do really well. The only thing I would recommend would be to break up the paragraphs a bit to make it a little more spaced out and easy to read, but this is a great blog.
GuideSpark is really doing some cool things with their business blog. They could probably up the frequency and do some more posts about the questions their target clients are asking and looking for online. The way we find these questions at GBW is to look on industry websites and publications. We see what the popular articles are. We look in the comment sections to see what people want to see more of. We even look in forums to see what people are asking.
In GuideSpark’s case, HR Professionals are definitely looking for a lot of information. GuideSpark has a list of great categories on their blog sidebar. Fill out that content and over time this can become a great resource for HR Professionals.