Most Corporate Blogs Are Unimaginative Failures

WSJ : Business Technology 

forresterMany businesses have launched corporate blogs in an effort to better communicate with customers and capture a little Web-2.0 mojo. But Huffington Post they ain’t: Not only are these corporate blogs boring as paint, but the businesses behind admit they don’t have much value.

The number of business-to-business (B2B) firms that started blogging in 2007 plummeted compared with 2006 as corporate bloggers ran into roadblocks stemming from a misalignment between invested effort and expected returns. Rather than cross blogging off of the marketing communication list, B2B marketers would do better to embrace one of the four strategies prominently used by bloggers to attract readers:

  • Build conversations
  • Engage community members in sharing their experiences with their online peers.

They’re not handling that challenge well: a Forrester study found that most B2B blogs are “dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion.” Seventy percent stuck to business or technical topics, 74% rarely get comments, and 56% simply regurgitated press releases or other already-public news. Not surprisingly, 53% of B2B marketers say that blogging has marginal significance or is irrelevant to their strategies—the rest call it somewhat or highly significant–and the number of new corporate blogs among the companies Forrester tracks has dropped from 36 in 2006 to just three in 2008.

Forrester doesn’t recommend that businesses give up on blogging, however. Instead, it suggests that they spice the blogs up. Most B2B bloggers publish irregularly, don’t stick to it for very long, and rarely inject personality into their posts. That’s a formula for failure. In order to make a blog lively, a business has to offer visitors something more – musings from an executive, insight into how a product decision was made, something funny.


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