Go to the corporate site of just about any business large or small these days and you’ll find it’s got a blog, and depending on the size of the enterprise, oftentimes multiple ones. There is a reason for this: Not only are blogs one of the hottest forms of digital media but, as businesses are discovering, they can also be an effective way to forge an intimate bond with one’s customers at a time when many marketing messages seem so impersonal.
There are many resources for learning how to create a corporate blog. But before pulling out the nuts and bolts, it is important that any business remember rule No. 1: Make it as authentic a conversation between the business and the customer as possible. A blog after all is a community, and your blog needs to have “curb appeal” to get customers to commit their time to it. Likewise, the blog must accurately reflect the spirit and image of your business, so as to remain, in a word, “authentic.”
Blogs that come off as transparent marketing vehicles and carry only ad copy or promotional messages are bound for failure. Customers will surely ignore them; after all, consumers are busier than ever. There’s too much clutter on the Internet and other media forms for your customers to waste their time reading your blog if they’re not getting any helpful or interesting information. Likewise, if the blog comes off as corporate, soulless, and exclusively promotional, readers won’t come back to try it a second time.
Naturally a blog must promote your business and your products and services; that is, after all, its ultimate reason for being. But finding the right balance between marketing and the colorful back-and-forth between business and customer and among customers is where the art of corporate blogging comes in.