If You Blog, They Will Come and Other Blogging Myths

September 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

The first mistake that many corporations (or any organization) make when they establish a blog is to presume that the blog will generate new traffic. This leads to the first myth of blogging:

Myth #1: Blog and They Will Come

Paul Boag argues in his article “10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging” that blogs do not “magically generate traffic”. The purpose of a corporate blog Boag claims is to generate recurring not new traffic. Though many corporate bloggers measure success by the number of new visitors their blog receives, Boag argues that recurring visitors are more likely to become involved and take action than new visitors.

But generating recurring visitors takes both time and commitment – time to create content and build blog awareness, and commitment to posting regularly. Boag warns however against posts that aggrandize the brand. Frequent posts that boast about the organization’s product or service fail to engage visitors. Posts must elicit comments and feedback rather than merely promote product. But merely eliciting feedback isn’t enough either. This leads to the second myth of blogging:

Myth #2: Me, Me, Me, It’s All About Me

Many corporate blogs seem to mimic Bette Midler’s character in Beaches, asking, “But enough about me, let’s talk about you…What do you think of me?” While corporate blogs should invite feedback on products and services, posts should be centered on the interests and concerns of the customer. When composing a blog post, Boag suggests asking these questions while keeping the customer or reader in mind: “What will they learn? What insight will this give them into who we are? How will it help build our relationship with the reader?”

Some content marketers recommend eliminating marketing messages from blog posts entirely. Recently interviewed by Michael Stelzner on the Social Media Marketing podcast, content marketer Marcus Sheridan recommends using the blog as an education center to instruct and inform customers. Instructing rather than promoting or selling will build trust and improve the quality of the interaction between the organization and the customer.

The quality of blog interactions is more important than the quantity of interactions. Focusing only on quantity leads to the third myth of blogging:

Myth #3: More Interactions Equal Better Relationships

This myth is pulled from research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) which examined what customers want. They found that shared values not frequent interactions build relationships. In a summary of their findings posted on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blog Network, they stated that 64% of the consumers in their study cited shared values as the reason motivating their relationship with a brand, while only 13% cited frequent interactions as the reason. So, increasing the number of customer interactions does not necessarily create or improve customer relationships. Corporate blogs however can be used to engage customers by communicating shared values and inspiring conversations based on these values. It is these shared values embodied by the organization’s products and services and articulated through their actions that inspire customer support.

Conclusion

Organizations eager to create a blog must have a realistic understanding of what it can accomplish. They must also examine their own motivations for creating a blog. If it is merely to talk about themselves, they will lose not only interest but an opportunity to authentically engage and understand the very people whose loyalty helped build their brand in the first place – their customers.

blogposting week 4

References

Boag, P. (2009). 10 harsh truths about corporate blogging. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/09/10-harsh-truths-about-corporate-blogging/

Freeman, K., Spenner, P., Bird, A. (2012). Three myths about what customers want. Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/three_myths_about_customer_eng.html

Heath, D., Heath, C. (2009). Why market your company with stick-on emotion when you can tap the real thing. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/1353569/why-market-your-company-stick-emotion-when-you-can-tap-real-thing

Lotton, A. (2009). What are consumers really loyal to? CEB. Retrieved from http://mlcwideangle.exbdblogs.com/2009/10/23/what-are-consumers-really-loyal-to/

Stelzner, M. (2012). Blogging for business: How content can improve your sales. Social Media Marketing. Podcast retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogging-for-business-how-content-can-improve-your-sales/

§ One Response to If You Blog, They Will Come and Other Blogging Myths

  • These are great references, and an excellent roundup of why so many corporate blogs feel so soulless. It’s about community, values, and NOT about the corporate “me.” I think these are myths are good for any aspiring blogger/ brand builder to be thinking about as well. Great post.

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