Corporate Blogging in 2010

Virtually all marketeers understand that social media is important in the arsenal of communication tools.  This is particularly true in the B2B (business-to-business) environment.

In our agency we have a corporate challenge in 2010 – that being how do we reinvent our corporate personality to be recognized as a more ‘nimble’, ‘noisy’ and thoroughly entrepreneurial than we are possibly considered now…

We are moving our office location mid year which will deliver a new environment to help incubate our new corporate persona.  But, should we add blogging to our strategy?  Should our chairman become the embodiment of our new being in the blogosphere?

In November 2009 BtoB magazine’s “2010 Outlook” indicated that social media marketing would be of increased importance for B2B marketers in the US.  Although not necessarily the blueprint for Australia, it does offer us litmus for what we should be considering.

Website, e-mail and search spending were at the top of the list for online tactics to increase, but social media was not far behind. Six in 10 B2B marketeers in the US planned to up spending on social media in 2010.  Of those surveyed 54% used social media to market their companies – this figure was up 9 points on June 2009.  The tools used most by participants in the survey were: Podcasts, Blogs, Tweets and creating Customer Communities.

But, why should we (corporately) blog?

Industry surveys suggest that marketeers blog for the following reasons:

  • Thought leadership
  • Generate sales leads
  • Create awareness
  • Engage prospects and existing clients

It’s a sad statement but we in agency-land are generally followers not leaders.  We wait for clients to establish the brief, they set the budget and we respond – we rarely pre-empt the client brief to present speculatively…  So, launching a blog will certainly deliver us a leadership stance and get us noticed.

We need to remember that  launching a blog must reflect a long-term commitment not only to blogging but, also to reshaping our agency model.

Going back to why organisations blog, I suggest this recognition of the strategy:  Blogging creates awareness + understanding = credibility resulting in engagement that can evolve to lead generation and ultimately cement loyalty…

Dear reader… for you and us here are some guidelines for B2B social media marketing:

Post regularly… But, only when you have something meaningful to offer. Set and maintain a schedule that you can stick to.  Don’t just write to meet a deadline.  Readers want insights and thought-leadership pieces that help them with their business and their personal careers.  Ensure that every posting offers true value.

Build in visual media. Most blogs are text only.  Yet we are visual creatures and have short concentration spans.  Include visual stimulus through charts, graphs, photos and video to make your point(s).  This will help bring readers back to your destination.

Incorporate your personality and your humour. Your natural humour can engage readers – you do have a sense of humour don’t you?  Your readers are likely to be busy people but they like to laugh!  If your content raises a smile, your readers will associate this with your blog and are more likely to return.

Be real. Write conversationally. Let your personality shine through. Let readers sense the person behind the words. When we like an author, it’s seldom about the words the author uses; it’s about the style of the author. Have a style and let it show through. That’s where a personal connection will be made.

Be original. Possibly the most challenging rule of blogging.  Thought-leadership establishes personal and corporate credibility.  A reason to plan your posting and topic schedule – you will not always feel like a leader when you write but, you cannot just paraphrase other writers.  By committing to social media you must add value, challenge traditional thinking and bring something fresh to the table.  Something readers only find with you everytime you post.  Scary enough?

Don’t blatantly bang your own drum. It’s the fastest way to lose your audience.  You can sell but, position your product and services within a relevant story that offers value and insight to the readers.  This is a slow burn channel –its not wam, bam thankyou mam…

Don’t forget your reason for blogging. Demonstrate your expertise.  Don’t just ramble about your day!  Being valued as a specialist will reduce your audience size but, it’s easier to select territory that is not overly cluttered and gives you focus.

Set the rules and live by them. This also gives readers and co-contributors clear guidelines as to acceptable behaviour and topics of conversation.  By publishing your code of conduct you also clearly position yourself and your organization.

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~ by rtymerej on March 8, 2010.

 
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