September 02, 2008

New Chart: Craft Your Blog for Maximum Impact: 3 Absolutes to Make it a Must-Read

SUMMARY: Blogs are written for many reasons. Each usually has a goal. Whatever your blog’s goal, there are a few absolutes in blogging. These absolutes can make your blog a must-read or a waste of time for your readers.
What Blogs Deliver: Impact Rankings

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Blogs may already seem old hat in some industries. But they still generate lots of questions whenever MarketingSherpa analysts appear at trade events and corporate conferences. One of the most frequent questions: What are blogs good for?

This table looks at the impact of blogs as seen by several thousand companies – both business and consumer-focused. ‘Thought leadership’ and ‘search presence’ head the list. But it’s important to look at your organizational goals as you design your blogging strategy.

- Personalize your sales team with key prospects by having them blog on case studies
- Validate your tech team among technology-purchase influencers with highly technical blogs about product development
- Turn an internal expert into a thought leader
- Hone your corporate image with executive blogs
- Become a destination for your industry by excelling at collecting relevant articles and blog posts
The key takeaway: Whatever your goal, follow these three absolutes in blogging that make the difference between a dynamic read and a waste of time.

1. Genuine, heartfelt content
A main reason that blogs are popular reading is that they stand out in contrast to the massaged language of corporate marketing and PR materials. Like sitting next to an expert on a plane, the best blogs provide highly useful information in a brief and informal setting.

2. Regular updates
Many if not most corporate blogs start strong but fade after the initial rush of ideas evaporates. Some companies have created internal quotas for bloggers; others have hired or assigned specific staff. A few have been successful using social networking to attract amateurs interested in the topic. The bottom line: Your blog needs to be active to be successful.

3. Focus
In many industries, blogging is common. Technology and marketing have been early adopters, and the field is crowded. To be successful, new blogs need to provide an innovative lens on their content – usually by being highly focused on an under-reported aspect of their industry. If you are in an industry that is late to blogging, you may be able to provide a generalist’s view.

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