Blogs are written for all sorts of reasons. Most are a labour of love viewed by a small band of readers. Corporate blogs on the other hand can and should have a much broader reach. They can be an important part of supporting an organization’s brand.
So what makes a successful corporate blog?
First and foremost is the realization that a blog is for the customer’s benefit – not for the company’s. It’s important to remember readers will only come back if there is value for them. That’s right value for them. Not value for the company. Readers don’t care if you are providing a nice, efficient press release site.
Rick Burnes reminds us of the real reason for corporate blogs in a posting at ZDNet.
Blogs for Customers, Not About Companies
If you look closely at the search results you pull up every day (and even some of the Alltop corporate blogs), you’ll see that an alternative model of corporate blogging is beginning to emerge. Instead of writing about themselves, companies are following the lead of the other company blog in the Technorati Top 100 — Signal vs. Noise. They’re beginning to create content that’s not about their business, but that appeals to their buyer personas.
Whole Foods is going beyond their blog and publishing recipes. American Express is publishing small-business advice. Indium Corporation is writing about thermal interface materials.
In each of these cases, the company is attracting a broad audience by focusing on content that is interesting to the demographic it serves rather than content about the products it sells.
Every company that is considering starting a corporate blog should spend some thinking about how this effort can support their brand. Otherwise publishing the blog could be wasted effort.