By Sarah Saker
There is a lot of advice out there on content marketing, and for good reason. Content is the key to higher Google rankings and gaining more organic traffic. There are also a lot of thoughts out there on business and diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. Both are seen as valuable yet separate initiatives. This approach is filled with wrong thinking.
The reason is simple: diversity matters in the workplace for several reasons, many of them related to an evolving marketplace. While Baby Boomers still make up a large percentage of buyers, Millennials are the next generation of customers, and they are not only a diverse group, but they are demanding corporate responsibility in many areas from the companies they purchase goods from.
Diversity and inclusion are not just numbers games or politically correct workplace initiatives. They are about bridging opportunity gaps, and those gaps exist in content marketing just as they do in many areas of business.
So, what do we do about it? It is about more than just the content we create or even who creates it. Any D&I initiative starts with a name. What does that mean?
The Name of Your Blog or Website
Names relate to several things related to content marketing. We’re often too close to our own work to realize how certain phrases or words can be potentially offensive. We need to analyze several things when it comes to website and blog names:
What do the initials of our site/business spell? While this can be humorous, like when the Iowa Department on Aging determined that doa.org was not appealing to senior citizens and changed their name. It sounds simple, but the number of horribly named websites out there is astounding.
What does our site/business name spell when it is run together? Website names are often devoid of punctuation, but if you run the names of two people together or the name of a business or occupation, this can result in some horrible combinations. A less offensive, yet humorous one is American Scrap Metal, whose site americanscrapmetal.com also spells “Americans crap metal.”
How can these errors be prevented? There are several steps to take, and while they may seem obvious, many businesses neglect one or more of them, much to their detriment.
- When naming your website use a domain name search tool, and pay attention to the variations offered by software. Sometimes this will enable you to spot the above errors when you see the name in a different context.
- Write your business or domain name down or type it, and move the spaces around. This sounds simple, but it can save you a lot of trouble.
- Abbreviate, and look closely at initials. A business started in early 2002 had the initials WTC. They lasted less than six months, renamed the company, and still went out of business.
The Title of Your Blog Posts
The focus in content marketing is often SEO and a title that has a “hook” so the reader will click on and read the article.
Blog titles can be offensive. While they usually are not run together (your blogging program will insert dashes between words) so the URL is not offensive, the title itself can have a double meaning you may not see or realize right away.
While you can go back and delete a Tweet or post, if someone who was offended took a screenshot it can easily go viral.
Prevent this by:
- Allowing someone else to edit your posts before you put them up. They will spot things you do not and will be able to tell you if they feel that it is offensive.
- Don’t “impulse post.” Write a post and then wait to put it up until you have had a chance to review and get a new perspective.
The value of diversity in the workplace is the opportunity to bridge gaps that may otherwise widen if we ignore them. Invite everyone to collaborate, review, and participate in content marketing efforts.
We can all do better when it comes to diversity and inclusion. These initiatives are not just about numbers or clever words. They should be a part of our company culture, and should be reflected in everything we do, even the name of our website and blog posts.
Sarah Saker is a business coach and freelance writer that specializes in helping SMBs setup processes for customer support and predictable growth. When not writing or coaching, Sarah can be found on her (small but growing!) family farm. Connect with Sarah on about.me/ssaker for coaching or writing help.