Years ago, corporations identified the need to build a relationship with their clients and prospects. The world of blogging seemed to be the perfect vehicle to do this.
The benefits of corporate blogging are you can:
- give insight into the corporation workings
- engage with your prospects and customers
- promote your brand
- give a personality and tone to your corporation
- remove the “faceless” stigma and humanise the company
- give value to readers
- reinforce your mission statement
- use feedback and interaction to improve your corporation
- showcase products and services
- give readers a real insight into the behind the scenes of the workings of your corporation
- provide extra value by complimenting your products and services with relevant interviews/podcasts/videos etc
and probably other things that I haven’t even thought of!
Some corporations embraced blogging …maybe a bit too much.
Corporate Blog Examples
Corporations like Dell started corporate blogs for all aspects of their business providing a ton of information to their readers by a multitude of writers.
Pros: Loads of content
Cons: There isn’t a consistent spokesperson for the corporation. Whilst it is certainly not a voiceless company, it misses the opportunity to lose the faceless tag and give readers a real insight into how the company ticks.
On the other hand Ebay started just one corporate blog with basically the same writer as the voice of the company.
Pros: one central hub for the corporation
Cons: The blog really reads like a press release and news hub rather than entwining that content with some real insight into the workings of the company and some real keyboard action from the powers that be rather than in house staff.
One of the most recognised entrepeneurs and the man behind many successful corporations like Squidoo is Seth Godin. He has his own blog at http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/ I’m sure Seth does his own posts, short and sweet as they are and is a consistent blogger with a pretty uniform marketing message and voice.
Pros: great content simply delivered
Cons: no insight into how this great marketing guy lives his life and no engagement with his readers (even on his Squidoo lenses no comments from Seth). Maybe he can get with this because of his prolific ability to publish books but there still lacks something of the “real Seth”.
To me all of these blogs are missing the point of being a corporate blog and the opportunity to truly go deeper into their brand and their companies.
A lot of corporate bloggers rely on in house staff to create their blog posts while they will do a bit of social media every now and again to set the tone of the company.
Is microblogging enough?
I think it’s fair to say that the problem with microblogging is that it is “micro”. There is only so much that you can say and pass on in 140 characters or less or in a status update. This means that an opportunity to connect on a deeper level could be lost. The additional problem with microblogging is that the archiving system sucks. If you want to keep up with the boardroom blogger you need to search their name on social media and then go through their posts. You don’t have a central archive facility where you can easily navigage the content. There’s just too much noise before you find the meat
Corporate Blogging Best Practices – Getting the mix right
A good mix for corporations is using their blog as a hub and archive for their content, with latest tweets, facebook status updates and adding comments for interaction and feedback. This allows the corporation to really focus on the core aspects of the benefits of corporate blogging while using micro blogging for quick engagement with users and lifestyle interactions (also known as …going to the dentist #pain!)
Business blogs – Who does it well?
I wracked my brains to think of a corporate blog that I actually enjoyed reading and fulfilled the criteria set out above.
These guys nail it (and I’m not saying that just because they are fellow Aussies 🙂 )
- Twitter to engage with their customers and promote their blog posts and quick pics of their latest products
- You Tube to showcase their products visually informal infomercial style
- Facebook to engage with their community (and even for hiring)
- and their blog contains a great mix of short posts showcasing their products, lifestyle (Mothers Day) and how their business works (hiring staff) …..oh and one of the founders is the voice of the blog – Jodie Fox – no faceless corporation here!
Personality & Style
This company has a ton of personality and style. They set the tone for their personality by introducing you to their team. There’s no customer service staff here only staff in charge of Customer Happiness 🙂 Even the title just makes you smile a bit.
What I especially liked about their site was that their medida kit included 30 images that you are free to use in any articles that you write about them (or free to drool as in my case).
What They Could Do Better
- I would like to see them do some behind the scene style video documentaries for both You Tube and their blog and
- from a social point of view a few classy bookmarking buttons, Pinterest and Google Plus and the integration of facebook comments on their blog would also be good so they can leverage what they already are doing
Additional Eye Candy at Shoes of Prey
Something to drool over: