Thousands of companies maintain company blogs these days and a large majority of them are successful. But hundreds more are not. It’s no wonder, publishing quality blog posts on a consistent basis is a lot of work. And with all of the content marketing strategies available, a corporate blog might not be your best option.
Every company is different. Maybe you work for a, “wear your pajamas and recline on a bean bag with a laptop all day,” kind of company. Maybe you work for a, “sit at a desk while wearing your suit and tie and take no more than 30 minutes for lunch,” kind of company.
With so much variety, it makes sense that a company’s marketing strategy should be just as distinctive as their culture. So why do so many companies feel like they NEED a blog?
And more importantly, does YOUR company need a blog?
What do your customers want to know?
First, you need to ask yourself, who are my customers and what do they want to know?
What you write about is the most important choice you will make for your blog. Are your topics relevant to your readers? Do you stay at the forefront of new technology, politics, or social media issues? Is your viewpoint positioned clearly and aligned with your brand? Are your posts thoughtful, well-researched, and organized?
If your readers are re-posting or using your content as inspiration for their own content, then you know you’re doing it right.
Your goal is to educate and inspire conversation. If you get people thinking and communicating, then you’ve done your job well.
#1 Ditch your blog if you don’t have anything worthwhile to tell your customers.
Who is writing your content?
If you don’t have a consistent defined voice, blogging may not be for you.
Do you have one author, or 12? Although larger companies often have a style guide to follow, smaller companies do not always have the luxury (or formal constraints.) But with our without a style guide, all writers should be familiar with their company voice. How formal, technical, and informative does your company want to appear?
Every word published by your company says something very specific about your corporate identity. Stay true to that identity. The more confused your writing styles appear, the more confused your company appears. If you don’t have consistency, you are doing more harm than good. (tip: Customers don’t like working with confused companies.)
- Put thought into your posts and what they say about your company.
- Find your corporate identity and stay true to it.
- Don’t be confusing.
Your blog sets a tone for how your company is viewed within your industry. Use that to your advantage and it will be a great asset. Ignore the implications, and you’ll tarnish your reputation for years.
#2 Ditch the blog if you don’t have a consistent voice and message.
Do you have time for posting?
Deciding to post once a week (or more) is great – assuming you have the staff and the quality content to back it up. If all you can manage is quality content once every other week, then that is your publishing sweet spot. Your customers will come to expect two posts a month, and nothing more. If you throw in an extra every once in a while, then you are the hero (three cheers for you!) If you start out with once a week, and then an entire busy month goes by and there’s not a post to be seen, that’s when you begin to damage your reputation. People start looking
Your customers will come to expect two posts a month and nothing more. If you throw in an extra every once in a while then you’re the hero (three cheers for you!) If you start out posting once a week, and an entire busy month goes by and there’s not a post to be seen, that’s when you begin to damage your reputation. People start looking
People start looking at other companies as a resource. And we all know it’s much harder to get customers back then it is to retain them. Don’t give your customers a reason to leave you. If you set an attainable precedent up front, and stick to it, no one will be left expecting more.
#3 Ditch your blog if you don’t have time to post on a consistent schedule.
Not getting the traffic you hoped for?
There are a number of things that play into blog readership, however, if your search engine optimization is up to snuff, you’re marketing new blog posts on social media and/or through email newsletters, you create quality content on a consistent basis, but you’re still not getting the traffic (readership) to your blog you were hoping for…
…it is possible that you are speaking to no one. (crickets)
Perhaps your customers don’t want to look for their information on a blog. Do they:
- Only read the printed paper?
- Love getting direct mailers?
- Want the info delivered directly to their email?
- Want short tiny bursts of information better suited to other social media platforms?
If your customers don’t have any interest in blog posts, a blog may not be for you.
Download this cheat sheet for a quick, visual guide to your ideal content marketing strategy.
#4 Ditch the blog if no one is reading it.
If not a blog, then what?
If your customers want fact based, measurable data presented in an easy to read format with charts and graphs to back up your claims, maybe white papers are for you.
Perhaps they love reading stories about how your company has positively impacted customer’s lives. Case studies could be a better fit.
When mere moments of your customers’ day are dedicated to a single topic and they want day-by-day (or moment-by-moment) updates, you should focus your marketing efforts on social media.
There are so many options available now; infographics, newsletters, email campaigns, articles, videos… I promise you’ll find something that you enjoy creating just as much as your customers enjoy reading/watching.
Download this cheat sheet for a quick, visual guide to find your ideal content marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, marketing is never black and white and there’s never one easy answer. Your customers have hopes and dreams and fears and frustrations just like the rest of us.
It’s probably best (and most productive) if you just ask them what they want.