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.

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

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