Almost a decade after blogging has become mainstream, B2B marketers are still struggling with the fundamentals of how it can (or will impact) their business; whether for brand awareness or lead generation. Research results show that less than 25% of blog readers trust the content contained in them, which is less than traditional channels such as broadcast, print media and direct mail. One explanation for this result can be attributed to the fact that blogging is still in its infancy relative to these other channels. But the other reason is the wrong blogging strategy many companies have adopted.
It’s All About Engagement.
By the time MindTree launched its first corporate blogs in early 2009, we certainly did not have “first-mover” advantage. In fact, we were blogging “laggards,” considering that Technorati had already indexed over 115 million blogs before we launched our first one. So we needed to ask ourselves what we would do differently.
In my opinion, corporate blogging has failed in large part because of self promotion. If your corporate blog strategy is promoting the company and/or its products and services, you are making a big mistake. Your customers don’t care to read about this. Instead, try creating an “unordinary” blog strategy by putting the focus on your customer’s problem, something they care about. If you can bring value or insight to their problems-the ones that keep them up at night-then they will remain interested and your corporate blogs will prosper.
So MindTree started our corporate blogging strategy by making the promise to engage with our customers.
To engage effectively, corporate blogs should tap into the field—the people who are closest to your customer’s customer-for blogs topics. If the blog author sits in a corporate office, then he/she is probably a few steps removed from direct customer interaction. Instead, get the sales, delivery or customer service teams involved.
The challenge for services marketers is also about creating new engagement opportunities. Without a product to promote, MindTree saw blogging as a channel that could engage its C-level executive target audience a lot better than other online channels such as the corporate Web site. We have a lot of work to do, but we think we’re off to a good start.