Starting a Dialogue with Your Market: 8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog

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Starting a Dialogue with Your Market: 8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog.

Starting a Dialogue with Your Market: 8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog.

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  • 1. Karen O’Brien Crimson Consulting Partner, Interactive Services Oct 11th, 2007 Starting a Dialogue with Your Market:   8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog
  • 2. Agenda
    • Sorting Through the Buzz
    • Who’s Blogging Today?
    • 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog
    • What Blogging Means to Marketers
  • 3. Blogging and Web 2.0
  • 4. Elements of Web 2.0 Apply to Blogs
    • Transparency
    • Participation, not publishing
    • Radical Trust
    • The customer is the expert
    • Collective Intelligence
    • Tagging, not Taxonomy
  • 5. Agenda
    • Sorting Through the Buzz
    • Who’s Blogging Today?
    • 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog
    • What Blogging Means to Marketers
  • 6. Who’s Blogging Today?
    • 70 Million + Blogs
    • 1.4 Million new blog posts every day
    • Most Major Corporations are blogging (approx 45% of F500)
    • A LOT of Small/ Medium Businesses are blogging
    • A LOT of individuals
  • 7. 13% of online consumers publish a blog, 19% comment, 15% use RSS, 33% read blogs
  • 8. Agenda
    • Sorting Through the Buzz
    • Who’s Blogging Today?
    • 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog
    • What Blogging Means to Marketers
  • 9. Step 1: Do Your Research
    • What blogs are out there already?
    • Are your competitors blogging?
    • Who is addressing your target market?
    • What are the “hot” topics of interest in your market?
    • Who are the A-List bloggers? What can you learn from them?
  • 10. Step 2: Re-Think the Basics Web 1.0 Acquisition Retention Growth Web 2.0 Attract Engage Extend Attract readers to you blog Engage readers in commentary/ discussion Extend your content beyond your website Source: Karen O’Brien, Crimson Consulting 2007
  • 11. Step 3: Establish Clear Goals
    • Keys to maximizing your blogging ROI:
    • Know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish via your blog
    • Set a "target action" – what action do you want the reader to take when coming to your blog?
    • Which conversations will drive participation in your industry?
    • What is the key audience that your blog will reach?
    • Will the blog format encourage audience participation?
    • What will a company-sponsored blog achieve for your firm?
    • Who should own the blog's content?
    • How will the blog fit into the rest of your communication strategy?
    • Without clear goals, your blog will lack focus
  • 12. The Organic vs. Engineered Experience
    • Over-managing blogs makes them less effective
      • Why?
        • Freshness comes from the spontaneous expression of ideas
        • Optimizing the positive impact of each thought will inhibit passionate conversation
      • Marketers can align a blog with company goals by:
          • Designing a smart blog strategy
          • Choosing the right people to blog
          • Setting an effective blog/comment policy
    Source: Forrester Research 2006
  • 13. Step 4: Understand the Commitment
    • To be effective you must blog regularly and the content must be relevant to the audience
    • How Often? 2-3x/ week minimum – ideally daily. (A-List bloggers – blog 2-4x/ day)
    • Typical blog entry “bite-sized” – 30 minutes to write
    • Time to get a following of regular readers: up to 1 yr
    • Practice in a personal blog before launching your professional blog
  • 14. Step 5: Choose the Right Type of Blog
    • Which One is Aligned With Your Goals?
    • Employee Blogs
    • Executive Blogs
    • Product Blogs
    • Issue Blogs
    • Thought Leadership Blogs
    • Character Blogs
    • Community Blogs
  • 15. Employee Blogs
    • Vendorprisey
    • SAP Employee Blog
    • “ Wiki’s and RFP’s”
    • “ We need to drink the koolaid of quality collaboration and co innovation
    • Trust employees. Let them create open honest dialogues to the public from within company
    • Create policies to control sensitive information, but do not restrict open dialogue
      • The dialogue will happen regardless of whether you allow it to or not
  • 16. Executive Blogs
    • Sun Microsystems
      • Official blog from the CEO
      • Jonathan Schwartz shares honest observation from a ‘conference’ of startups in Silicon Valley
          • Excerpt from Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog regarding direct feedback from startups:
          • THANK YOU SUN.
          • BUT HEY, WHY ARE YOU HERE?
          • OUCH. "
    Being transparent in blogs builds trust for a company
  • 17. Product Blogs GM’s Fastlane Blog
    • GM’s Fastlane Blogs
    • “ Where to see the Chevy Volt in Washington”
    • Auto Industry News from GM
    • Forum for GM executives to talk about GM’s current and future products and services, discuss the development and design of important products.
  • 18. Issue Blogs
    • AARP Issues Blog
    • The power to make it better
    • “ Art Buchwald on Hospice and Life While Dying ”
    • Successful aging, including economic and retirement security; health and wellness; global aging; livable communities and mobility; and volunteering.
  • 19. Thought Leadership Blogs
    • Forrester Groundswell
    • Charlene Li’s Blog
    • “ Welcome to the Blogosphere, Sony”
    • “ How Consumers Use Social Networking Sites" report now available ”
    • Social Media, Research, Web 2.0, Community
  • 20. Character Blogs
    • Annies Homegrown
    • Bernie’s Blog
    • “ Could you eat well on $21 a week?”
    • Healthy eating, organics, social issues, green and eco-topics
    • New product announcements – EG: chocolate chip bunny grahams
  • 21. Community Blogs
    • Craig Newmark
    • Craig from CraigsList indulges himself
    • “ A Cheap Green PC that Delivers”
    • “ OK I was on Charlie Rose Last Night”
    • Non-Profit, Social issues, Community and Web
  • 22. Setting A Blog Culture is Strategic Source: 2005 BACKBONEMEDIA INC.
  • 23. Step 6: Start Blogging!
    • Jump in by starting with a practice blog
    • A great majority of corporate blogs leverage one of the major blogging platforms: Wordpress, Typepad or similar
    • Don’t aim to be 100% perfect
    • Use a conversational tone, as if talking with a colleague
    • Experiment with tone, content types, including links, photos, videos or other media to support your blog
    • The longer you wait, you are delaying a dialog with your market
  • 24. Step 7: Promote Your Blog
    • Include your blog URL on everything you would normally include a website URL on
    • Submit your blog URL to search engines and blog directories such as Technorati
    • Link to other blogs
    • Become an active commenter on other blogs
    • Provide RSS or XML feeds to allow syndication of your blog
    • · Publish original research or breaking news
  • 25. Step 8: Measure Your Success
    • Measure experience not page views
    • Measure Return on Influence – not Return on Investment
    • Blogs:
        • Frequency and depth of interactions
        • Blog traffic
        • Number of RSS subscribers
        • Advertising revenues
        • Affiliate sales
        • Product sales
        • Consulting revenues
        • Search engine ranking
        • Number of comments
        • Number of inbound links/trackbacks
        • Brand impact
  • 26. Understanding the Influencer
    • Tends to be well known, mentioned and/or linked to by other members in the community or blogosphere
    • Has a high number of views or readership to their blog or post
    • Has a high number of comments/dialog surrounding their posts
    Source: Buzz Logic 2007
  • 27. Agenda
    • Sorting Through the Buzz
    • Who’s Blogging Today?
    • 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog
    • What Blogging Means to Marketers
  • 28. Why Marketers Should Care About Blogs
    • Technology buyers are turning to blogs for info (word of mouth is the most trusted reference)
    • The ranks (and influence) of corporate bloggers is continuing to grow
    • B2B Marketers are investing more in emerging tactics
  • 29. Thank you! For more information, contact: Karen O’Brien Partner, Interactive Services Crimson Consulting Group [email_address] Tel: 415.720.6859 Email: [email_address] Website: Blog: