The biggest issue with business blogging or any blogger is giving up. In fact, IBM found that 80% of corporate blogs will never have more than five posts. That’s 80%. Nearly all corporate blogs are given up on before they ever had a chance to succeed. And in reality, these blogs probably should have never been started in the first place. They likely never had the support and buy-in needed to win in the blogging world.
Giving Up On Your Corporate Blog
It’s a big issue.
I’ve been thinking lately about how business leaders are very skeptical on blogging. In the traditional marketing world business leaders have become accustom to seeing results within a reasonable payback period. Marketing channels like PPC, display advertising, and even catalog marketing have a historical reference point for expected response.
With blogging there are mixed results and some of the promises made by bloggers are unreasonable. When bloggers look to impress their boss or convince the leaders in their business that blogging is the way to go expectations can often be inflated and it leads to a dead blog within five posts.
Executives have good reason to want results. They want profit. They’ve made it to their level of success by finding ways to generate profit with good merchandise, services, and marketing. Blogging is something new and it’s especially new for businesses. Most are still trying to figure out if blogging can lead to successful customer acquisition and profit.
When expectations get out of line a business executive will pull the plug on a corporate blog fast with the thoughts of a rat hole being created when marketing dollars could be spent elsewhere.
Solution: If you’re in charge of researching a blogging program for your business you need to bring proper expectations to your executive team. Tell them it will probably take at least six months to see any kind of traffic or activity on the blog. Tell them it will probably take a year or two to see an improvement from SEO for the entire business site. Tell them it will take a year to two years or more to see an increase in sales. Direct sales will be easy to track, but blogging can be an early touch point or potential customers. Blogging may be a person’s first introduction to a business. You’ll have to find ways to track your new customers to see if they were engaged with the blog at any point in their purchase decision.
And one final thought to remember is blogging typically works better for B2B companies. It can work well for B2C, but there is a better chance of getting business leads with business blogs.
Another reason a corporate blog may only last five posts is the level of effort it takes to research, write, format, and promote a blog post. We mentioned expectations for return on corporate blogging – the expectations for the level of effort to create posts is another area where blogs can go wrong.
Solution: Those actually responsible at a business need to understand what it takes to create a post. Having experience with personal blogging can be great here. It can mean the person has proper expectations for the effort blogging can take. This is where it’s good for a business to encourage personal blogging. It can lead to a better chance at corporate success if those bloggers become bloggers for the business.
Something else I’ve seen happen in businesses is having no buy-in from co-workers and others involved with the business. There needs to be a collective support from at least the majority of those involved in the business. In some cases it will be a small team of folks writing and working on the blogging efforts. Others in the business, especially an established business, will not understand blogging and will question it as a marketing effort. If the business has been entrenched in a certain model for a long period it is difficult to experiment and make changes.
This environment makes it difficult for the bloggers. They want to know their work is appreciated. They want to feel the love from others and not become part of the break room chit chat.
Solution: If you’re the leader of the business make it known that blogging is a major effort and one where you’re looking to expand customer acquisition. Have the bloggers explain what they’re doing so the process is easier to understand.
When they’re buy-in from many or even a select few in the business it can really help keep the blogging efforts going past just five posts.
These are just three reasons the blogging abandonment rate is so high in the corporate world.
Do you have any other reasons to add to the discussion?