Corporate Eye

Consumers Trust Corporate Blogs Least of All

A new report from Forrester Research, tells us that only 16% of online consumers trust corporate blogs, putting corporate blogs at the bottom of the trust scale, lower even than personal blogs. 

That’s not good.  However, it definitely reinforces what bloggers already knew but corporate executives have trouble believing – blogs that simply regurgitate corporate rhetoric are useless.  So what’s a company to do?  How do you create a corporate blog that’s actually useful?

There are a number of companies that have launched successful corporate blogs, but they’ve done it by listening to consumers.  Companies like Dell and Apple have turned their blogs into customer service portals and places where real conversations take place.  Rather than simply speaking at consumers through their corporate blogs, Dell, GM and Apple have embraced the main purpose of blogging by creating a communications device that speaks with consumers, values customer opinions, listens to customers and responds to them.  Rather than simply delivering marketing messages, the information on these blogs is useful and helpful to consumers.

The same can be said of the official Google blog which talks about new developments and products but also provides useful information, tips, and more.  Consumer opinions are an important part of the Google blog.

Some of the most successful corporate blogs are written by executives or employees providing two completely different perspectives on those companies.  Others are written by ghost bloggers who understand how to write blog posts that people want to read. 

The challenge for corporate blogs is creating interesting content that isn’t wrought with marketing language, human resources buzz words or legalese.  Even if you can convince the executive team that removing this type of language is critical to the success (and trustworthiness) of a corporate blog, actually getting them to walk the walk and talk the talk can be another challenge entirely.

You can follow the link to get a free copy of the Forrester report, Time to Rethink Your Corporate Blogging Ideas.  Note that you’ll have to register at Forrester to get it.  Once you have the complete report, you can use it as another tool to help you convince your leadership team that your corporate blog isn’t a useful investment of resources and money unless it’s written in a manner that consumers find value in and trust.

What do you think? 

Hat tip to ContentMatters.info for this story.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

My favorite suggestions from this report had to do with empowering your employees to blog and talking about the customer.

As Richard Edelman said in this years “Edelman Trust Barometer” “Employee Bloggers are 5 times more credible than C-level bloggers.” People trust people and most institutions are so focused on Brand Message, they forget that they are full of smart passionate people who work to solve customer pain every day.

Which brings up the second point….customers don’t care about you, they care about people like them. These are the stories that a good corporate blog must tell.

That’s why the best corporate blogs are written by employees and about the customers.

Chris Baggott
CEO
Compendium Blogware
http://www.compendiumblogware.com

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