The Many Challenges of Corporate Blogging

We should try to be unbiased when it comes to social media, point out the good and the bad, this is one post in my ‘challenges‘ category, read the others, it’s important.

With there being so many social media zealots out there, It’s important to ground things in reality. When it comes to corporate resources, time, money, and effort to try new activities takes risk.

First, it’s important to note that I do believe that blogs are indeed the right tool, but only for the right objective. Secondly, I’ve gone through this process within corporate, and I know the common mistakes. Lastly, it’s obvious I believe in the power of blogs.

So, before you get into blogging with your corporation or client, do know the challenges, this way, you’ll be able to overcome them with plans, resources, and preparation.

Let’s get into it…

The Many Challenges of Blogs

Most don’t receive a lot of traffic: Truth is, from one day to the next, there aren’t massive increases in eyeballs to the web, also, there are only so many hours in the day. The same applies to blogs, while there are millions out there, only a few rise to the top of their marketplace and really stand out.

May require a lot of time: Take it from me, blogging’s biggest cost isn’t money, it’s time. When this comes to executives, the cost per hour radically increases from a support technician or a line marketing manager. For a special case, read about the challenges of CEO blogs. Blogging is costly, I easily spend 1-2 hours every morning managing this blog.

Being conversational is unnatural: Traditional marketing looks a lot more like carpet bombing than conversations at a coffee shop, and despite good intentions, corp comm dictates the voice and spirit of blogs created by employees.

Often, no ending date: Blogs aren’t marketing campaigns, there is no ending flight. Bad blogs may whimper along for months, great ones will also continue on, at what point does one stop?

As employee bloggers become popular, brands get concerned: This happened to Scoble and others, as bloggers became more popular as individuals rather than being behind the collective wall, they develop a platform to move on. This happened to me as well, and I know it’s happening to others, so why would a brand invest in individuals that aren’t execs?

Legal has hangups: Two way dialog that allows objective and negative content is scary for legal. Furthermore, how do we react to colleagues that may look like they are making promises on behalf of the company?

Our employees don’t represent our brand: I’ve actually been on a call with a client where they indicated the mental capacity of some of their employees (laborious retail jobs right out of college) really weren’t going to make great bloggers, and they were concerned with the activity they had on MySpace and Facebook. The same applies to blogs, some employees may cast the brand in the wrong light

Hard to measure success: Marketers measure campaign success by drops at the end of the funnel: visits and registrations. The problem with blogs is that social software success could take the form of comments, trackbacks, and qualitative intangibles. With management looking for those raw numbers, how does one succeed?

You tell me: Leave a comment below with your blogging challenge, primarily in the context of a corporation

For each of these challenges, I do know how I would respond to them, but it’s really up to you to figure out how you’re going to hurdle over these barriers. Take for example what Dell’s Bob Pearson is doing to deal with the changing world of online communication.

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  • http://www.rausch.hu/ webáruház készítés

    It is good ton know before I start to run a blog…..

  • http://www.klimalap.com klíma

    We are considering to start a blog for our small company. How can we measure the rate of outgoings and benefit……?

  • http://blog.adsmarket.com Daneka

    I am the blog administrator for Adsmarket, an international affiliate network. Here is my experience so far, for what it’s worth to those who are considering starting a corporate blog.
    We decided to do everything in-house, and I volunteered for the job of blog admin. It took HOURS getting everything set up with wordpress, coordinating with our graphic designer to customize a theme, decide whether or not to involve the CEO in branding decisions, hold meetings with management to get their vision for the blog and their approval of the final version (which is never the final version, which is why I love blogging so much!).
    We’ve been live for about 5 months, and don’t see a ton of traffic, but I know it takes time to build (any great secrets out there are very much welcome). I have recruited an enthusiastic employee from one of our recruiting departments whose sense of humor and intelligence reflects our corporate attitude, and so far the two of us are generating content on an average of 2-3 posts a week.
    What’s been a challenge? I find I lack the time to research improvements, new plugins, and plan redesigns, and I think our traffic levels suffer because of it. And of course, coming up with valuable content that will stimulate the readers we do have to share our posts on social bookmarking sites. In the end the goal of our blog is to gain new customers to our affiliate network, and so we do a fair amount of marketing on the blog for our company, but I try to keep it to a minimum so as to keep people turned on and plugged in, and not shun them with over-the-top marketing hoo-haa.
    Among affiliate networks, blogging and keeping up with social media is a must, so all of our competitors keep up regular blogs. I actually approached a distant competitor’s blog admin with questions about how it was going with their blog, and she was nice enough to answer me back with a lot of the same challenges, concerns, and guidance that I read in this article. Plus, I found a contact in my industry that I can talk blog-shop with from time to time. I would recommend the same to anyone looking for advice. Contact the admins of blogs you love for help. It’s flattery that will pay off if they have the time!

  • http://blog.adsmarket.com Daneka

    Also, I forgot to add our company’s web address: http://www.adsmarket.com

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  • Tendaluv

    I've recently started a business that is doing well on the ground but I feel will also set a strong online precedence. The chief challenge I'm facing is actually starting a blog that will appeal to enterpreneurs in the same field(Corporate Branding) and get traffic in as soon as possible. What in your opinion is also a good turnaround time that I can use to assess the success of the blog by wayy of the number of hits online…

    Kind Regards

    Victor

  • http://twitter.com/jakemaslow Jacob Maslow

    Kate,

    I agree with you about the importance of push and pull. Blogs and the like are more pull but there is room for a coupon etc. as long as it isn't a hard sell. Tweeting iPod Nano only $99.00 is not going to get you as far as adding a drop especially in the form of a question (Need a great valentine's day gift? etc).

    Also, user generated comments through reviews, comments etc have always served me well. Other customers saying how great the iPod is does not constitute a hard push but it does help customers get past some pre-purchase jitters.

    The branding helps with the push efforts (like eBay, Amazon and shopping comparison engines).

  • http://twitter.com/jakemaslow Jacob Maslow

    Janie,

    Compendium BlogWare has a good enterprise class blogging platform that is reasonably priced. It is designed to allow everyone to easily post and nothing goes live until it's approved.

    The software has many tools plus support to enable everyone to easily blog and allows the company to keep control.

    My contact over there is Jennifer Buscher. I don't get any referral fees or anything else. I just have not found anything else like compendium out there.

  • http://twitter.com/jakemaslow Jacob Maslow

    Kate,

    I agree with you about the importance of push and pull. Blogs and the like are more pull but there is room for a coupon etc. as long as it isn't a hard sell. Tweeting iPod Nano only $99.00 is not going to get you as far as adding a drop especially in the form of a question (Need a great valentine's day gift? etc).

    Also, user generated comments through reviews, comments etc have always served me well. Other customers saying how great the iPod is does not constitute a hard push but it does help customers get past some pre-purchase jitters.

  • http://twitter.com/jakemaslow Jacob Maslow

    Zane,

    I agree with you. An employee from Constant Contact over reacted to an unsolicited email.

    He works for an email provider. All they do is help companies send unsolicited emails.

    I invited the salesman to join my Linked IN network as I was not ready to commit then but wanted him in my network for the future. His competition appreciated that gesture and i wanted to be fair.

    The constant contact employee actually complained to linkedin. Instead of deleting or ignoring the email, he made linked in take action against me.

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  • http://www.inkjam.org/ Sandipan

    One of the most important challenges before a blogger is figuring out how to enrich and add value to the audience and in so doing to stand out from the pack in a meaningful way.

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  • Angu Ransom

    The idea of starting a blog generally is a challenge to most businesses.
    I think creating the role of online community managers in organizations will go a long way to improve this challenge.