02 Jun Q&A with Jenna Bayer, Marketing Manager at CC Pace
Launched a few months ago, CC Pace’s blog has started off with a bang. In full disclosure, SBX helped them with the strategy, implementation and design processes (as you’ll see below), but the content is all their own.
Jenna Bayer, marketing manager, at CC Pace was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about their new-ish blog, explaining how it came to be, how she measures success, and what results she’s seeing so far.
Can you tell me a little bit about your career path and how you came to be the force behind CC Pace’s blog?
I’m embarking on my fifth year at CC Pace. I started as the sales & marketing coordinator for our Agile Training program and always had an interest in finding new ways to market our classes and services. I tried a number of smaller-scale marketing tactics throughout the years, but when CC Pace started to focus more on our marketing efforts, I knew I wanted to be involved. The blog was something I was really excited about, so fortunately, I was able to play an active role in driving the effort forward.
Is your job solely focused on blogging and blog strategy, or are you responsible for other things? If so, what things?
I manage our corporate marketing efforts, so the blog is a big piece of my focus, but not the sole focus. A little over a year ago we redid our website with a new look and feel. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time updating and creating collateral to match our new look. I am also focused on expanding our social media efforts and streamlining internal communications, among other things.
What made you decide to implement a business blog for CC Pace? Was it a tough sell to the executives, or was it a top-down priority?
Over the last few years, we’ve really made marketing a priority at CC Pace. Part of that effort meant bringing in outside marketing expertise to help us develop and implement a marketing strategy—the decision to work with SpeakerBox was an easy one as they immediately seemed to understand our business needs and goals. Having a blog was a big part of the marketing strategy that Speakerbox helped us to define and was also something we saw a lot of our competitors doing. We knew we had a story to tell and a team of experts with experience to share, so it wasn’t a tough sell to the executives. As with most things, the leadership team at CC Pace was very supportive of this initiative. Of course, there was concern for the time commitment that keeping a consistent stream of content would require, but each unit agreed to a schedule—some post weekly, others monthly.
What is your process for producing content? Are there specific editors/writers? How did you choose them? Are they held to an editorial calendar?
We have six unique categories that make up our corporate blog. The editors are generally the practice/unit leaders, and the writers are—for the most part—volunteers within their respective teams. I worked with all the editors to establish targeted schedules initially. After a few months, we revisited the schedules to figure out what was truly feasible based on their experiences. In some cases, we increased the frequency. In others, we reduced it to accommodate other time commitments. After we identified our writers, Speakerbox held a “training session” for our writers to identify best practices and get everyone comfortable with their new tasks. Because we have so many unique personalities, I really wanted to make sure those voices came through in our posts. We made it a point not to set too many guidelines or parameters for producing content in the beginning because we really wanted to see a broad range of voices and ideas come through. Now that a lot of our writers are getting comfortable, we’re seeing some really unique and fun posts. For example, one of our Agile trainers rewrote Lee Brice lyrics as an “ode to Agile,” while one of our Financial Service consultants found inspiration for a post about competitive advantage at a hot dog stand. It’s been really fun to see the creative progression and unique personalities shine through!
What are your blogging goals? How do they align with corporate goals?
As with any marketing initiative, we want our blogging efforts to increase leads and ultimately revenue. However, while we work towards those larger goals, I want to be consistent with our content schedule and continue to grow our readership. I really want this to be a place clients and other members of our communities of practice can come for ideas, ask questions and get valuable information and insights. Our interactions on social media have been good, but I’d like to see more feedback and interactions with our readers as these efforts grow.
What benefits have you seen from the blog so far? Anything that was a surprise?
We’ve seen a 15 percent increase in our total web traffic since we launched our blog. We’ve also seen an increase in employee engagement with blog and social media contributions—so that’s been great to see! The business units that have been more active on LinkedIn have seen a lot more activity in terms of dormant clients and prospects viewing their profiles and getting reacquainted. There is a buzz around CC Pace and our services that wasn’t there before the blog, so I’m confident that we’ll see more measurable results in the future.
How are you promoting your blog content?
We did an email campaign to announce our launch back in January and have since included direct links on our signatures, collateral, etc. We also have been increasingly proactive about promoting our content on our social media channels and in our respective industry groups, where appropriate.