As promised in yesterday's post, we're taking a look today at the case "for" and "against" dumping the lifeless- as- a- lugnut corporate blog.
To backup, raise your hand if this applies to your company: a year or two ago, it sounded like such a good idea and everyone else was doing it. The corporate blog has been ballyhooed nowadays as an absolute essential for keeping in close touch with customers and other key audiences, as well as keeping the corporate site lively and dynamic. A blog can be the drawing card to pull them in on a regular basis and hopefully get them to look at the other content, as well (like the sales and shopping parts).
It's all still true. But, it doesn't always work out that way. In fact, most corporate blogs start with a bang and slowly die with a fizzle.
No one likes a soggy blog. So, are you better off with no blog? That's the question.
Here's the answers:
Yes, dump it!
- A stale blog does more harm than good. When I see that the last post was several months ago, if not a couple of years ago; I wonder if the business still exists.
- If your blog has grown cold, chances are it wasn't helping you and that's why you abandoned it. Pay attention to that.
- Blogs are cheap. But, the expense of employee time (which is typically at the executive level) is not. What would that same executive being doing instead of blogging for a half hour a few times a week? Answer: probably something that has a more direct impact on the company bottomline.
- Maintaining a blog out of fear "because everyone has a blog now" is not a sound business reason to do something. If company xyz jumps off a cliff, will you do the same?
- If the content is not compelling enough to write about, chances are it's not a very compelling read. Why expend time on something no one wants to read?
No, don't give up!
- Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Overhaul it and make a new committment to maintain it with a steady flow of new postings each week. This is an opportunity to relaunch your blog and promote it allover again to your community of site visitors.
- Create a new mission statement. What are the objectives of the blog? Is it to make your site more "sticky" to draw in your clients or customers to the site for lengthy repeat visits? Is it supposed to turn your customer base into a more loyal community base? Is it supposed to add credibility to a marquis executive within the company? How would you know if it succeeded in its objectives?
- Redefine your content area. Is your content area too narrow to generate a constant flow of new postings and comments? Is your content area to broad to draw in an audience of visitors who want to come back repeatedly for niche information? Is your content fact or opinion? If it's facts, is it accurate? If it's opinion, is it generated by someone who has an opinion anyone cares to hear?
- Make sure your blog is visible and easy to find. Is it on the home page or one click in from a high profile link? If not, rethink your navigation. That may be the reason there's no traffic. There's nothing more motivating to a blogger than an active community of respondents leaving comments.
- Blogs do offer a company web site many opportunities. Its a way of building traffic and getting other sites to link to yours. It's a way to communicate with customers, etc. It's a PR and marketing tool, when done right. It's a way to establish yourself as an industry leader by offering value-added information about your products or services. It's a way to explain changes; whether its new products, a relaunch of the site, justifyiing a fuel charge or to introduce new members of your executive team,
- Who ever is the company- appointed blogger needs the responsibility built into their job description. Too often, blogging starts out as voluntary and is seen as an ad hoc responsibility; the first thing to neglect when other parts of the job get busy. The company blogger(s) needs to have time built into their day (with other duties reassigned, if necessary) to work on their postings, monitor and respond to comments and do a little cross pollinating with other sites and bloggers to generate link backs.
Now what? You have the rest of the summer to decide and act... or not.
Last updated: Jul 18, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio