Blogs are web pages or online journals published or updated regularly by individuals, interest groups, and business organizations. Blogging is the act of writing and posting content on the site with the intention of sharing information on just about everything.
For 21st century PR officers, marketers, and online reputation management (ORM) specialists, blogging is more than a pastime but a vital skill essential to the success of online campaigns. These people approach corporate blogging as a marketing tool that helps them control how a brand or a company is being discussed online. For them, corporate blogs are next-generation websites which, depending on how well they’re being run, can command influence among consumers. They believe that blogs are not an option, but a requirement in brand-building strategies and in nurturing a sense of engagement among target markets.
To date, most companies seem to run a blog, but does it really work? The blogosphere is a fast- moving ground covering a plethora of pitfalls ranging from management support, editorial and structure issues, to domain and technical problems—all of which impact how the blog would be perceived by consumers. Effective blogging is an outcome of all departments working consistently and efficiently under one goal. It’s not enough that companies have their own blogging evangelists; the entire organization has to get “blogging” to sustain long-term efforts and produce tangible results. Blogging takes time to pay off yet it increases its value over time as it becomes a part of corporate interaction and more consumers get exposed to the blog.
It’s a mistake for entrepreneurs to subscribe to the “create it and they will come” aphorism. It never hurts to have faith but it’s not good to consider blogging as the brand’s marketing savior. Corporate blogs act like storefronts, and marketers must develop strategies that will grab the attention of wandering consumers. It doesn’t automatically suggest a banner here and there as most consumers can’t seem to trust some corporate-run information sites like corporate blogs. The key here is to optimize blog sites with engaging content and to make them as ‘real’ and less constricting as possible so as not to sound like their attempting to “sell” or “market” –the one thing that’s quite unwelcome in the blogosphere.