Corporate Blogging : Why do it? Few Tips and Warnings!

Should corporates blog?

Before corporates hit the publish button, here is what they should answer:

  • Why
    Why blog? Is it just because of the latest fad called social media?
    There are only 4 reasons why corporates should ever blog:

    • Creating a mindshare
    • Get closer to customers (i.e. show the personal face)
    • Hiring
    • Cut cost on PR (this works very well for consumer companies)
      Identify the right reasons for blogging. If you are doing it to ‘join the fad’, you will go nowhere (even though social media consultants will sell you the damn idea!).
  • Who
    Who is going to blog?
    Once you have decided on the core focus, identify the team which will contribute @ the blog.
    For e.g. if you are creating a mindshare, have a VP/GM level (and above) exec blog, while if it’s hiring, ensure that your posts are bringing out the cultural + work quality aspect – i.e. let your employees blog and share their experiences (take a cue from Google’s blogs).
  • When
    If you don’t have the time to update your blog frequently (case with most corporates), make sure that your posts have a larger shelf life. In such cases, don’t talk about feature updates – instead share your industry insights.
    The touchdown is that corporate blogging can help you engage with your customer, but if you aren’t updating them frequently – customers/readers won’t even come back.
    It’s like walking in thin ice – so ensure that you know the “why blog” part very clearly.
  • Few examples?
    Few corp blogs that I regularly follow is Zoho and Netapp’s blog (Dave) – both these blogs share deep insights, analyzes industry and of course, use it as a tool to share feature updates, product launches, defend their position et al.

Amazing part about corporate blogging is that it shows the personal side (i.e. with a face) of the corporate world and get you real close to customer but if you don’t use that to your advantage, you could easily tamper the brand image.

Avoid these:

  • Personal stories – unless you have great insights and can court controversy (i.e. want to pick on competition), don’t share your personal story. Boeing’s Randy Tinseth (VP, Marketing) shares interesting insights, is a take on competition and is yet a personal story.
  • Pure marketing tool – Never use blogging as a pure marketing tool – just won’t work.

Essentially, corporates should use blogging to create authority in their domain – apart from garnering more respect, this also generate lot more interest from prospective employees.

Should corporate blogs allow comments (if yes, who moderates them?)?
What’s your take? What are your fav corp blogs?

Next post:

a. A look at Indian corporate blogs.

b. Why Startup should (not) blog?

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