Quit Blogging and Just Go With…Facebook?

Blog originally posted in BtoB Magazine – BtoB Blog: Quit Blogging and Just Go With Facebook?

Wayne Usie (@waynejusie), SVP of Retail at JDA Software, recently shared a USA Today article with me titled, “More Companies Quite Blogging, Go With Facebook Instead,” by Roger Yu. According to the article, more companies are replacing blogs with nimbler tools requiring less time and resources, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Why? Nora Ganim Barnes, professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, stated in the article: “Blogging requires more investment. You need content regularly. And you need to think about the risk of blogging, accepting comments, liability issues, defamation.”

This article raises an interesting question: Should companies quit blogging and just go with a nimbler tool because it’s less risky and requires less time and resources? Anything related to social media is risky; it’s not just limited to blogs. That is why you should have social media and blogging policies in place.

Corporate blogs fail when companies don’t understand why the blog exists as part of their brand extension. They fail because their content is there solely to promote their products and services. Why would people read your blog if they can just visit your website for that kind of information? Blogs should be written for the reader – to educate and inform as well as to gather insight from the readers. Here are my recommendations for building a successful blog:

Establish Intent

Establish your intent first. Is it to build thought leadership and expertise in the industry? Is it to educate your customers and prospects and help them improve their performance? Is it to articulate industry issues and help your readers address fundamental challenges?

Then Go All-In

Commitment is key. When you start a corporate blog, you need a long-term strategy to carry out the intent in every piece of content you produce – but it takes commitment from the top down and dedicating proper resources to feed the content engine. Further, you should always have a plan to regularly promote your blog internally and externally – across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google +.

Unique Content is King

Companies invest a lot of time in whitepapers, webinars, videos, bylined articles and podcasts. When you create different content for all of these marketing initiatives, you spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. Develop a content marketing strategy – and use the blog as a way to launch some of these topics to a more in-depth piece such as a whitepaper, webinar, etc. (Check out Altimeter Group’s blog for a great example.) Always be thinking: How can I create one piece of great content and optimize and repurpose?

Blogger Buddy Program

Develop a blogger buddy program where you identify your key bloggers who will be contributing content on a regular basis and pair them up with folks on your marketing or social media team. Establish goals and metrics for the bloggers so they understand the cadence for your blog and the frequency for posting content.

Bloggers should represent a wide spectrum of your business so that you can create content across a broad range of topics that will interest your readers. Then, educate them on blogging best practices, content strategy and ways to engage with the readers. This program is successful because you’re working closely with your bloggers to develop content strategy, plus you can feed them information on industry news and topics that people are talking about. Invite them to respond or comment on that topic to keep the conversation flowing.

Integration

Your success also hinges on your ability to integrate your blog program with PR, marketing and communications. Silos don’t work in today’s world. It’s about integrating your blog content with what the rest of the marketing team is doing, campaigns they’re driving, webinars they are promoting. Work closely with your marketing team on the content development and strategy to support your key topics, campaigns, messages, etc.

Also, work closely with your PR team to help drive visibility and coverage. Remember, if you have the right content strategy, PR can pitch to the media and blogger communities to reuse that content or commentary to gain additional coverage. Why create a separate byline when reporters and bloggers can work off of the blog content?

Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motor Company said it best in the article when he stated, “Still, engaging blogs can serve crucial marketing goals – especially executives out to establish expertise in their industry.” I believe blogs can serve crucial marketing and corporate goals if done right. What do you think? Do you agree that blogging is dead and companies should move on?

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Comments

  1. Blogging is a huge effort, for sure. And there is risk, as stated in the quote above. But I agree with you that social media, in general is also a risk. Anything online frankly, is a risk and of course, it sticks forever. But there is so much that can be done with a blog — there are so many departments in a company that can participate, like product dev groups, marketing, PR, communications, IT group, executive team, sales and HR. The content that can contribute to the company blog can be VERY interesting and give some insight to the company, products and the industries served by your products. People want information. They want it when they want it and they don’t necessarily want the selling points that are contained on your website. They may learn a lot from your blog content in terms of industry information, trends, solutions to industry problems etc. Your blogging effort can complement your social media efforts and the same goes for the reverse. And with guest bloggers (or your people acting as guest bloggers on other company blogs) — there are the possibilities of new audiences seeing your content, where they normally would not. Blogs can also be used for various traditional and digital collateral. There are just so many possibilities. So…no…I would not replace blogging with Facebook. I would do both and use them to complement each other.

    • Anna,

      Thank you for your feedback and comments. I agree that there is a huge opportunity for brands to leverage the blogging platform in new and innovative ways. Having the blog as the central hub for content and using all social channels to promote and engage the readers is ideal but I think companies need to think through how they want to leverage blogging as part of their content marketing. Keep the comments coming!

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