We have all seen the lackluster corporate blog. Some days, I wonder what went wrong. Others, I wonder why they thought they could get it right.
Corporate blogs are increasingly standard in B2B organizations. Some companies even have an entire suite of blogs.
However, for every great corporate blog, there are a dozen corporate blogs that just shouldn’t be. Too often, it is clear they made one (or more) of these mistakes.
1. It Smells Like Marketing
Let’s face it, no one wants to be marketed too. If your corporate blog is just promoting your company and your service, you probably need a new website before thinking about a blog again.
This blog doesn’t develop an audience. With no results, support quickly dries up.
2. It Isn’t Connected to the Business
Being “all about your audience” can go too far. If focusing on your audience took your blog to an area that isn’t relevant to your own business, you have gone too far.
At the extreme, this blog could become an excellent branded publication in its own right and develop a meaningful audience. However in most cases it won’t drive the underlying business and it will lose support over time.
See 7 Steps to Find Your Content Marketing Sweet Spot for tips on avoiding this.
3. A Press Release Platform
If people want your press release, they will go to the news or press section of your site. ‘Nuff said.
4. Lack of Commitment
You can map the corporate mandates and internal enthusiasm for blogging by the posting frequency and tone here. Posts come in short clumps followed by long dry spells.
This blog may have great content, but without the commitment to see it through, it loses momentum as quickly as it gains it. Although it may live on in fits and starts, it never becomes a significant contributor.
5. Social What?
Your blog eschews nearly all forms of social sharing, often with the belief that your audience doesn’t use social media. Without consideration for social media, other elements often suffer as well: images aren’t included and titles don’t grab attention or are too long to easily share.
This blog loses both a source of traffic and means of discovery. In addition, it immediately appears dated to an audience used to seeing sharing buttons everywhere, from sites like HBR or CIO to IndustryWeek or GenomeWeb.
This blog is starting with an amateurish and unnecessary disadvantage.
6. Posted by admin
Even traditional publications have bylines. Your readers should be able to relate to the person behind the article just like they follow certain columns in a magazine or newspaper.
Without signed posts, it also becomes even more challenging to motivate internal contributors.
Like the blog that overlooks social, this blog doesn’t look serious and is starting with an easy to fix disadvantage.
7. All the Wrong Reasons
Did you start a blog because you “should” or because you wanted to improve your search ranking? Did you develop audience personas and decide to focus on the persona you nicknamed “Google”.
Your readers are not machines (or at least I hope not!) and they will notice, and leave, if you treat them like one.
There are a million other wrong reasons and a blog started for the wrong reason will lose support and topple over if it doesn’t quickly find a new and more appropriate reason to exist.
What other mistakes make for lackluster corporate blogs? Add your own list in the comments below or share it with me on Twitter (@wittlake)!
Image Credit: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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