Corporate Blogs

What Good is a Blog and Why Would I Want One?

Blogs can be an excellent way to convey corporate ideas over the Internet in ways that some readers find quite compelling. Blogs have many advantages including timeliness, topicality, and intimacy. A good blog appears to be a 1-to-1 conversation. However, a good blog is also frequently updated to appear timely.

Why blog for business?

There are several reasons to develop and maintain a corporate blog, depending on the overall corporate marketing objectives. Blogs are really no different from other communications channels including print, audio, live and online presentations (Webinars), online and offline video, etc. All of these communications channels can deliver results - but blogs can establish stronger relations with important target groups if they’re frequently updated over a long time period.

Here are some explicit ways to use corporate blogs:

  • Become the Expert
  • Customer Relationships
  • Media Relations
  • Internal Collaboration
  • Knowledge Management
  • Recruitment
  • Test ideas or products
  • Rank high in Search Engines

Note that one blog cannot achieve all of these objectives just as one piece of printed collateral cannot serve as a product brief and as an annual report. Blogs must be tailored.

Here are some details for using blogs to achieve the purposes listed above.

  • Become the Expert

    Position yourself and your company as a thought leader in your business category. Naturally, a thought leader doesn’t proclaim “Our products are the best. Every other company’s products stink.” That positioning doesn’t express thought leadership to most readers. Rather, statements that discuss industry problems and issues followed by solid, well-considered alternatives and potential solutions do create a position of thought leadership. It takes a unique writer to stand up and become an expert and thought leader for most industries.

     
  • Customer Relationships

    A blog can be a forum where your main objective is todevelop a more personal relationship between your company and your customers. Blogs are a fast way to invite discussions with corporate customers, provide tips and insights, or receive feedback. However, a heavy handed or defensive tone on such a blog is a sure game ender. Many companies cannot operate a blog that nurtures customer relationships because the company’s skin is too thin.

     
  • Media Relations

    It's every marketing-communications director’s dream to create a communications channel where editors, analysts, and bloggers regularly check what your company has to say. A blog filled with nothing but press releases won’t create such an environment. You need something more.

     
  • Internal Collaboration

    You can use blogs as a workspace where project members keep each other updated without wasting time writing reports or searching the Outlook inbox. Such blogs need to be private, particularly when closely associated with new-product or business development. Such blogs also need to be safe from search-engine spiders.

     
  • Knowledge Management

    Blogs work in at least two ways. First of all, they provide an easy way for customers, prospects, and the media to find the information and resources they want or need. That's obvious and could easily be used internally in many organizations if the corporate Web site can’t perform this role.

     
  • Recruiting

    If you establish your company as a thought leader as discussed above, people in your business will pay attention. They'll read and discuss what you have to say. Chances are good they will see your company as an attractive employer. One thing’s certain, companies that are not positioning themselves as thought leaders have a much tougher time getting mindshare from new potential recruits.

     
  • Test ideas or products

    A blog is a conversation where people can comment. Publish an idea and see if it generates interest. Does anyone link to you? What do they say? Well-publicized blogs can serve as excellent, fast ways of performing qualitative market research.

     
  • Rank high in search engines

    But Google and other search engines reward Web pages that are updated often, that link to other sites, and most importantly, pages that have many inbound links. Sounds like a blog. Start a blog as part of your corporate Web site to boost your search-engine ranking. Blogs are a sound part of any SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.

 

With all of these potential benefits, why don’t more companies have blogs? Well, first of all, they’re scary. Allowing just any corporate employee to write an official corporate blog is a recipe for disaster. The blog may start revealing information best kept secret. The blog may criticize a competitor today and tomorrow that competitor could become a partner or an acquisition target. The blog could treat one customer or prospect or a class of customers or prospects poorly with an ill-expressed or simply misinterpreted statement.

Consequently, you can’t let simply anyone write your corporate blog.

If you have blog-related ideas to discuss, why not call me for a consultation. I’ve been writing successful corporate blogs for years. Call 408-910-5992 to start the discussion.

 

 

©2009 - Steve Leibson
 (408) 910-5992
FAX (877) 581-4888

steven.leibson@gmail.com