image via: writerway.com
I gotta say this, to me most corporate blogs suck.
Of course there are some exceptions but the majority are just unreadable. Their authors either talk about the company, write on random topics, often without offering any educational value at all or post blatant sales pitches that only scare their readers away.
But what else to expect however if in majority of corporations, blogging looks like this:
In other words:
Employees often perceive it as either a nuisance or a forced upon strategy nobody has any interest in.
The result? Lack of enthusiasm, taking shortcuts, confusing the role blogging plays in the marketing process and committing to some really poor blogging strategies, like these most common ones for instance:
Copying the Competition
In a corporate world safer is often better.
And copying someone who has done it already is the safest strategy of all. After all, whatever the competitor has been doing seems to work if they are still doing it.
There are however many underlying problems with this approach:
Your blog will lack originality. How original is your blog going to be if you are only copying someone else’s ideas? Yet for today’s audience, it’s the originality that matters. As a result, your audience will see the two blogs as alike and most likely, will focus towards your competitor, who has already built some reputation in this field.
You could copy bad blogging practices too. After all, who said that what your competitor is doing is right?
You will not inspire enthusiasm in your staff. People want to be creative. Especially those involved in what may feel like a creative pursuit want to be given an opportunity to come up with their own ways to do things. Forcing them to just merely copy someone else is highly unlikely to make them enthusiastic about the project. And this will show.
Create a dedicated content plan for your company. You can use your competitor as a guidance if you have to but develop your own voice, content personas and content strategy. And don’t launch a blog until you have a complete research and ideas for posts for at least the next few months.
Getting Too Many People To Contribute
Not everyone in the company should blog. Not everyone can write well, or has any interest in doing so. Not to mention that to many people, blogging will interfere with their already busy schedule.
Yet many companies try to force all their staff to contribute to the blog. They take the “everyone should blog” for many reasons:
They try to save cost on hiring a dedicated writer. After all, if everyone writes a post a week or even month, there will be no need to hire someone else to do it.
They think this will create a diverse content, since everyone will write on different topics they are interested in. And lastly,
They will quickly build up a massive amount of content. And as they say, it’s good to have a lot of content on your site.
Ask your staff members who’d like to join the project. Simply. Don’t force anyone to blog but offer an opportunity to those who want to.
Having Too Many Decision Makers
Too many chefs spoil the meal. I am sure you heard this old adage before.
Many companies involve too many departments in running the blog. This often results in department wars, ego clashes and people trying to push their ideas forward for the benefit of their departments.
Sales people will perceive a blog as another sales channel and will insist on head on sales messages. PR department will try to use it for announcements and press releases, whereas creative department will try to squeeze in as much of the design and layout for themselves. Online marketing will try to over-optimise post to gain more traffic and so on.
As a result content quality suffers, there is no unity in terms of what information should be posted in the first place and what goals the company must achieve through blogging.
Hand over the responsibility over the blog to a single department only, ideally marketing and let them liase with other departments when the need arises.
Lastly, some companies decide to buy content at a large scale from sites like oDesk or WriterAccess. There are obviously some benefits of this approach:
This content is dirt cheap.
This approach scalable. You can order anything from 1 to 100 articles and have them delivered relatively fast. Yet even if a number of your employees post to the blog, you will not build content numbers as fast.
This strategy requires very little input. You just need to place the order for your content and let the other company do everything for you.
But there are problems with outsourcing too.
No quality. You can’t expect it if you buy cheap and quickly produced content. In many cases, your content might be outsourced to non-native speakers, college students and non-professional writers who try to write as many posts as possible as quickly as possible too.
No dedication. Moreover, none of those writers your content will be sent to has any interest in your company and building your brand reputation. They just want to churn out the minimum required words as quickly as possible and loosely on topic. This usually result in a cheap voice and content that rather diminishes your brand authority rather than supporting it.
No results. With low quality comes lack of results from your content efforts. Audiences are quickly to spot poor content and usually assign it with the brand.
If you want to outsource your content somewhere, look for reputable places where you can get to know the person who will be writing it. There are a lot of companies that offer blogging services for corporations, assign a writer to you and you work with them at achieving the best results for your blog.