Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Why Don't Corporate Blogs Work?

Why Don't Corporate Blogs Work?

I feel like I’m on a roll disparaging social media and blogging. A blog is an odd place to do that, don’t you think? I even do some ghost-writing for a blog for another company. In fact, I believe social media and blogging is a viable component of a good marketing plan. (Not the foundation though!)

That said, do Corporate Blogs work?

I think it’s safe to say that more than a few corporate bloggers are becoming a bit disillusioned. They spend a lot of time and effort on their posts, but they never get comments and very few readers. They are beginning to question whether or not it is worth it and their blog is being shoved to the bottom of their vast list of priorities.

So what’s the problem? I think there are two reasons corporate blogs are so often a disappointment.

Unrealistic Expectations and Poorly Defined Reasons for Blogging These two reasons are so intertwined that I will treat them as one.

If you ask a new blogger their reason for blogging it will probably be something like “To have a dialogue with my customers.” That sounds like it came right out of the “Blogging For Fun and Profit” brochure. (I don’t know if one exists, but if it did, it would probably have that quote in it.) Some may even have a few metrics in mind like number of readers, time spent on the site, and number of comments.

There are blogs that get an amazing number of comments. For example, Doyle Slayton’s usually has a lively discussion going within minutes of anything he posts. But this blog is a different breed than the average corporate blog. Blogging is part of Doyle’s profession. The same can’t be said for the average corporate blogger.

Earlier, I said that blogging is a viable component of a good marketing plan. If the number of readers, time spent on the site and number of comments aren’t good metrics, what are?

I suggest thinking of blogging as a means to an end and not an end in itself. For example, blogging is very useful as a tool for nurturing leads. You can plan posts as part of your lead nurturing campaigns or use them ad hoc to augment the planned campaign content.

Your sales team can also use blog posts to keep the dialogue moving forward with their current prospects. Great blog posts give prospects valuable insights and establish your organization as an expert in the field.

Which leads me to the second reason. Many of the corporate blog posts just aren’t that valuable to the reader.

Self Serving Corporate Blogs
There are two types of self-serving corporate blogs. First is the one that serves the blogger’s ego. (Is that too harsh?) These blogs are easily recognizable because they focus on the blogger himself. On the surface it may look like it’s on theme because it’s about something the reader should care about e.g. an industry conference. But, when you take a step back you realize that it’s really about the blogger’s experience at the event and offers no real value to the reader.

The second type of self-serving blog is the corporate brochure blog. You get about as much out of these blogs as you do a product brochure. Whereas in the first type of self-serving blog, there is too much of the blogger’s personality, the second type is usually impersonal and dry as dust. And, again, no real value for the reader.

The Magic Formula
OK, I lied. There is no magic formula, but there is a key ingredient that should be obvious by now. Every blog post has to have value for your reader. Real value for real people.

The people you’re trying to reach have more to do than sit around reading your blog. Even if they do happen to hit on it while reading their email and drinking their first cup of coffee, without real value for them, they won’t stay.
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  1. Absolutely agree.

    I've observed many corporate blogs that seem to give case studies, but no practical, useful information for the reader.

    Corporations forget, their blog readers are often NOT existing clients. Therefore they must remember that it's easier to attract readers when you're dispensing valuable insights, as opposed to boasting about corporate achievements.



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