Most corporate blogs fail to get off the ground. They only ever reach a paltry number of visitors per month and never achieve a consistent, sustainable amount of comments, subscribers, organic media attention, leads generated, talent attracted or other outcomes typical of a successful blog.
There are many tips for creating a great corporate blog floating around the web. You already are likely to be familiar with the basics. And you’re probably following them, or trying to. But even with all this, are you asking yourself why blogging is still not working for you?
The following ten reasons are typical issues with corporate blogs that fail. Solve these problems and you’re well on your way to a more successful blog.
1. Lack of opinions or taking sides No one cares to read those who blindly agree with others or rehash what’s already been said. If you are doing this, you’re easily skip-able. It doesn’t matter if other people are telling you to ignore analysis/commentary/controversy because it is ‘risky’. That’s nonsense. It’s riskier to be invisible. In fact, arguably one of the largest dangers for any brand in the social web is obscurity. Further, prospects actually look to you to take a stand on things. No one wants to hire a consultant who sits on the fence, or purchase software from a company which refuses to have a vision for the industry. The whole point of participating in blogging is being confident and embedded enough to be involved in discussions.
2. Missing passion Hint: passion is a secret of the social web. Either your team members have passion for what they do or they don’ t. It’s cut and dry. That’s one of the best aspects of blogging: anyone with a product or service who has raw belief in it can put that on display for the world to see. That’s disruptive to companies who are unable or unwilling to show emotion. If done right, this can be a huge reason to be chosen ahead of competitors who show no excitement for their category.
3. Lack of personality Who are the people/voices behind a blog? If you consider yourself an A-list company, your team members should likely be involved enough in the industry personally to have a known voice. If not, that’s okay (do try and get some if you can) but your own brand of media still shouldn’t mask the personality of your writers. For some of the best multi-author blogs, it is immediately obvious who drafted a certain piece even without reading the title of the author – and that’s powerful. It means we already trust what the writer is saying and will be far more likely to share as we’re a fan. It’s about people as much as the brand.
4. Content fails the ‘so what?’ test All blog content needs to pass this. Your blog is really only as strong as your weakest post. Think about it, readers are likely visiting a blog for your ideas and if they come across one that isn’t worthwhile you may lose them forever. Your blog puts your thinking on display for the world to see. Always ask ‘so what?’ and think about what the reader takes away, where the benefit is and why they should listen to you.
5. Not consistent enough This one speaks for itself, if you’re not updating what’s the reason people have to come back? This one is obvious (if un-followed) but so frequently missed.
6. Trying too hard Yes, it’s possible to try too hard. Natural dialog flows easily and effortlessly, like art. It’s less the product of a process and more the result of a flow of experience — improvisational, not mechanical. Process for some things like editorial calendars for example is important. But ensure it does not get in the way of creative content.
7. Lack of differentiation Corporate blogs are a dime a dozen. How, exactly, is your blog different from the competing companies in your category? Find this differentiation point, whether a unique voice, visually stunning content, creative post concepts or something that makes your blog stand out from the pack.
8. Fear of making enemies The truth is most companies wouldn’t dare make enemies with another blogger or web personality. Oh, if only they understood basic psychology or how the social web actually works (enemies link to you, debate with you, hate turns to love much easier than indifference turns to love).
9. Digital marketing strategy problems at the company level When there is no internal digital marketing strategy for the whole team to follow (or there are internal conflicts over who owns digital) it quickly becomes apparent in a corporate blog. A company needs its own online marketing approach agreed before engaging in a dialog with the web. Far too many (even large) businesses lack this.
10. No effort at forging connections Without actively connecting to others, you will never form a network of your own. Your content should be creating connections organically as part of your process. Doing something like making every post a ‘link post’ is a simple enough way to do this but you should be doing multiple things which forge connections on a consistent basis. Get creative; there are really no limits on how to do this.
“How To Make A Corporate Blog Take Off” is just one technique we cover in our latest book. Visit our PR resources page to request the full ebook version or receive a printed copy of The Changing Face of Communications: 12 Digital Techniques for Modern PR. And come back and tell us what you think.