16 Feb Blogging Q&A with Elisabeth Pendergrass, Marketing Manager, QSM
Elisabeth has over nine years of experience working in software and technology marketing, and in 2009 she oversaw the launch of QSM’s blog, Practical Software Measurement. She was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about what prompted the business blog and how she gauges success. See her insights below:
Is your job solely focused on blogging and blog strategy, or are you responsible for other things? If so, what things?
We have a small marketing shop at QSM, so I am responsible for other marketing and promotional duties. This includes web content strategy, organizing in-house and external webinars, creating digital and print marketing materials for new product offerings, and managing PR strategy with SpeakerBox.
I work with QSM’s head of web development, Mike Isack, to formulate content strategy, which is strongly targeted to our SEO goals. I handle blog posts related to QSM news and product offerings, but I also rely heavily on employees from all corners of QSM’s business to provide fresh content relating to hot topics in our industry.
What prompted you to start QSM’s blog? Was it a tough sell to the executives, or was it a top down priority?
It was definitely something that we saw other technology companies implementing as a place to share product news and company updates. It was also attractive from an SEO standpoint, in that it provided an avenue for creating new, targeted content.
It wasn’t a tough sell to our executives, but I think the time commitment and ability to provide consistent content was somewhat of a concern. It took us a little while to get a good rhythm going where the creation of new posts wasn’t falling on one person or a small group of people, and taking too much time away from their other duties.
What was the thought process behind the original strategy? How has that strategy evolved over time?
Initially it was all about getting new, fresh content up on the site consistently, not as much about targeted keywords or topics.
Our strategy has definitely evolved. We’ve actually taken some tips from SpeakerBox in getting more authors from different parts of the business involved. We’ve also created more structure around targeted keywords to use, subject matter to focus on, and overall blogging best practices.
The strategy is still evolving as hot topics and client interests continually change, but I’ve certainly seen an improvement in the quality of content and diversity of authors in the past couple years.
What are your blogging goals? How often do you look at and refresh your blog goals and strategy?
The end goal is always to increase traffic and leads to the website, so my hope is that the blog will continue to aid in those efforts. I’d also like to increase discussion in our comments area and interaction, possibly with polls in the future. Having an open dialog with our clients and prospects is extremely valuable to developing future product offerings and research projects.
Realistically speaking, I would say we evaluate our goals and strategies yearly, though we do make minor tweaks to our best practices documents from time to time.
Which metrics do you track, and why? Are there any insights you’ve gleaned about your readership from tracked metrics?
We track page views, number of social shares, comments, and linkbacks. We’ve seen a direct correlation between individual authors sharing content on social media through personal accounts (as opposed to the corporate marketing account) and increased views and comments. Also, industry groups on LinkedIn have been extremely beneficial in getting our content out to new audiences.