By Paul Baccaro, Vice PresidentPaul Baccaro Coolfront VP, Operations & Product Development

In 2014 I attended Content Marketing World in lovely Cleveland, Ohio. It’s an event that has grown from several hundred attendees to now over 4000.  Like many of you (I assume), I attend shows like this intent on implementing all the great things I learn. But, as it often goes, little if any gets put into place. 

But one session did have a huge impact on our business and I think it can help yours. 

Rick Short (Indium Corporation) presented on “B2B Blogging Driven by Employees.” In this content marketing conference session he talked about how his company implemented Blunch as a way to keep good, fresh, content on their blog. 

What is Blunch?

Blunch is a combination of the words “blog” and “lunch” and the concept is simple. Create a voluntary Blunch team and ask employees to participate. Employees get a free lunch in exchange for writing blogs and participating in the content marketing program.

At the Blunch meetings the team: 

  • Brainstorms blog topics
  • Assigns blog posts to individuals with deadlines for completion
  • Reviews previous blog posts analytics
  • Develops best practices
  • Shares examples of good/bad posts from other bloggers
  • Recognizes team members for contributions
  • And eat their FREE lunch!

Making Money

How does Blunch make you money?

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that the average American spends 5.6 hours a day online. And no surprise that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. We now live in the “search economy.”

60 percent of Americans use Smartphones and tablets to search for local products and service information and a whopping 46 percent of all Google searches are now local. 76 percent of those searches result in a call. (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/local-seo-stats).

All those statistics boil down to show most users in your local market are searching for services like yours online and calling once they find a suitable business.

So in the end that means you MUST be found in online search to ensure you’re getting those calls. Having an active blog is a big help to getting found on Google and other search engines. Without getting into the complexity of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s proven that a good content marketing program improves your SEO and leads to more views on your website…

Which leads to more calls, thus more jobs and finally… more money.

So, here’s a quick outline of how we run our Blunch content marketing program.

Our Blunch Process

Each year, in January, we ask all employees to volunteer for the Blunch content marketing program. Blunchers must commit to writing 8 blog posts per year and attend all blunch meetings (free lunch usually means everyone attends :-).

We hold Blunch the last Friday of every month. Our Blunch Chair (Tom) is responsible for scheduling the meeting, coordinating lunch orders, and presenting the analytics for the previous month. He also takes notes on who is assigned to write blogs for the next month and follows up with them to get their post by the assigned date. (Thanks for all your hard work Tommy!)

At the end of the year, we have a Blunch party and hand out $100 gift cards to everyone who met the 8-post requirement. We also give kudos to the top 10 blogs in terms of traffic. It’s a fun party.

The results speak for themselves:

  • We currently have 10 Blunchers on the team
  • We’ve published over 260 posts since launching blunch in 2015
  • We get over 4000 visitors to our blog each month
  • In 2016 we won the Corporate Blog of the Year at Content Marketing World.

Let me just wrap up by saying that a blog is a valuable tool but only if you actively post good content. Rick Short had it right; getting your employees to contribute is by far the best way I’ve found.

Happy Blunching!

Side note: we love telling others our experience and lessons learned with creating and implementing a content marketing program, so feel free to call our office.

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