There are a lot of blog posts out there about whether companies should create blogs of their own. Blogging seems to be an entry point that most marketing people can easily wrap their heads around. For me it's always come down to five questions and the answer to all five has to be yes. Those five questions are:
- Are you listening to your online community? - Are you spending a minimum of two hours a day searching, reading Google alerts or using a monitoring tool like Radian6?
- Do you have something unique to say? - How will you differetntiate yourself from other blogs and other companies? This could be your people, the information you publish or other forms of thought leadership.
- Are you willing and able to say it? - Can you talk about your industry and are you willing to put it out there?
- Are you willing to be challenged and criticized? - This goes with the turf. You have to be able to facilitate conversation in a respectful manner to grow a community.
- Are you willing and able to dedicate the resources to succeed? - People always underestimate this one. A good rule for this to succeed is to have one person dedicated to the success of your strategy for a minimum of 4 hours per day (2 hours of which is listening and commenting). That is one half of a full time person's week. Have staffing plans in place as you grow and start realizing your success.
Here is a visual decision tree that I use to see if clients/readers/individuals should create a blog. I'm a visual person and these help me think things through.
So, should my company blog?
- Identifying a voice is a next step once you're past this point
- I know not everyone should create a blog, but it's what companies "get"
- A blog is not always the ideal entry point with every audience, audience analysis will tell you more
What are your thoughts on this? Would you add any other questions? Do you think any of these are not necessary? Let me know what you think.