Three Good Reasons to Kill Your B2B Company's (Zombie) Blog
When pressed to explain why their company has a blog, many CEOs admit they were either pushed by marketing counsel to create one, or believed they needed a blog because their competitors have one. Few CEOs understand the purpose of a blog, and most are not convinced that their blog delivers any tangible value.
CEOs and marketers who are currently deciding whether to kill (or create) a company blog should consider these 3 reasons not to proceed:
Reason #1: You’re not convinced there’s a connection between your blog and your business objectives.
The internet is a graveyard of dead company blogs, representing well-intentioned, half-baked and underfunded efforts to benefit from content marketing. Many of those blog casualties represent efforts to “put a toe in the water,” to determine whether the company should make a serious, long-term commitment to a blog.
Unfortunately, a blog is much like a marriage, but without any dating in advance of a commitment. Lacking due diligence, you make a long-term commitment…for better or worse. Many blog failures, in fact, are the result of reluctant brides (doubting CEOs) who were willing to give conditional or temporary approval to proceed, which provided sufficient rope for the marketing department to hang itself.
CEOs and their marketers are best served, and their blog is most likely to succeed, if senior management understands its function, benefits and limitations, and is 100% committed to a very long, serious relationship.
Reason #2: You’re unwilling to provide your blog with the necessary resources.
A great number of blogs are doomed to fail, because they lack the economic and human resources required to create and sustain an effective corporate blog. Unfortunately, the typical blog development strategy often consists of these steps:
Marketing or IT will add a new “blog” page to the company's website.
Content creation will be an internal group effort, with people / departments taking turns contributing blog posts or ideas on a regular basis.
The Marketing Department will manage the content creation process, suggesting topics and prompting individuals to contribute their posts according to a schedule.
Three months later, the Marketing Department grows tired of hounding would-be content contributors, and management is not seeing the expected increase in lead generation or even website traffic. Posting frequency drops from weekly to monthly or quarterly. The corporate blog gradually becomes an internal albatross and an external brand liability.
CEOs and their marketers are best served, and their blog is more likely to succeed, if senior management allocates the resources to hire or engage the editorial horsepower necessary to produce high quality content on a consistent basis. That editorial content should:
Support the firm's value proposition and related core messages
Showcase the firm's intellectual capital
Engage target audiences
Be associated with measurable business goals
Strengthen brand awareness and stature
Lacking the proper resource allocation (which does not mean simply adding blog management to marketing’s plate), and not making specific individuals accountable for its success, are two ways to guarantee your blog’s failure.
Reason #3: You don’t have a well-defined content marketing strategy, or you’re unwilling to stick to it.
Even with management’s full support and proper resource allocation, many blogs become editorial Zombies: moving and breathing, but with no heart and soul, simply sucking the lifeblood out of their corporate hosts.
Without an intelligent content marketing strategy that’s directly related to your company’s brand positioning, competitive landscape and sales initiatives, your blog will waste corporate resources and represents an opportunity loss. If blog activity is not driven by a strategic plan and editorial calendar that’s endorsed by senior management, and if your blog agenda is based on a frantic search for content – from any source, and regardless of its relevance – then your blog will become one of the living dead on the internet.
CEOs who understand the power of an effective blog, and who have the backbone to support content marketing as a viable means to advance the enterprise, deserve to be rewarded with a program that delivers bona fide thought leadership and market engagement; not a constant stream of repurposed news items, photos from the company’s golf outing or trade show booth, generic holiday greetings, or press releases and job postings that your customers, prospects and referral sources will never care about.
If your company has already created a Zombie blog, and is unwilling to take the steps necessary to bring it back to life, then it’s time to drive a stake through its heart. Just take it down. No one will miss it. If you kill your company blog, your firm’s internal harmony, balance sheet and brand reputation will likely benefit as a result.