Just about every organization has a blog these days. The strategy behind most corporate blogs is fairly straightforward – by creating content and offering it up to the audience, you can provide extra value, engage with the audience and begin to build trust, which is critical in this era of preference marketing.
However, most blogs fail to deliver for their organizations. For some reason, the blog fails to connect with the audience and the effort never gains much traction.
But fear not! We’re here to diagnose where you are likely falling short in executing your blog. Here are the seven most common reasons why corporate blogs suck:
You’re only writing about yourself.
For most companies that are traditionally sales-focused, becoming “other-focused” is the most difficult aspect of content marketing. It requires a 180-degree shift from the way you’ve historically marketed yourself; rather than shouting about how great your products or services are, your blog should be focused on the trends, challenges and opportunities within the wider industry.
You aren’t solving your customer’s problems.
Consider this problem to go hand-in-hand with Reason No. 1 – you’re failing to understand the challenges and questions of your audience. Or you’re not even trying – it’s okay to occasionally read about the company picnic; those types of posts can showcase company culture, which has value for external audiences. But the company blog should not be a replacement for the company newsletter; your audience does not want to read that Annie in sales has puppies for adoption. To have a true audience focus, you must develop an editorial calendar and persona profiles, and stay attuned to the industry conversation so that you’re accurately reflecting that conversation – and hopefully, leading it.
You don’t blog often enough.
Once a month? Not good enough. The goal of content marketing is to get people to come back to your website frequently. The reason they do that is because they receive value for the effort; they feel that every time they visit they get something. (And, by the way, if an agency trying to tell you it can manage your content strategy hasn’t posted anything to its own blog in the last two weeks, don’t hire them.)
The writing isn’t very good.
Look, not everyone’s a writer. Just because the CEO has the corner office doesn’t mean she should be the one blogging. If the writing is not accessible to the reader – i.e., easy to consume – then people will not pay attention. There are too many options on the Internet.
The format isn’t reader-friendly.
If you’re expecting the audience to spend a significant amount of time on the blog, you need to be sure that it’s attractive to look at. The theme you choose matters. Images matter. Your blog must be visually inviting in order for people to notice your brilliant writing. Your blog must have social share buttons to simplify social sharing for your readers. You also need to make it simply to comment. And when readers comment, engage in a conversation with them – thank them for commenting and get into a more in-depth back-and-forth with them.
No one’s in charge.
If your blog has a true business purpose, someone needs to be in charge. Someone needs to be responsible for making sure that the blog is on point, that it offers both quality and quantity to the audience, and that it fulfills the strategic objective. That means assigning someone the role of Managing Editor.
No one knows about it.
If you can’t spread the word and get the target audience to read your blog, you’re wasting your time. You need to be active on social media in order to spread the word and engage the audience. You should consider an email marketing campaign and perhaps online advertising. You need to embrace the second word of “content marketing.” That means creating great headlines, engaging in social media to create connections, and generally spreading the word.