Elements of blogs that never die are hardly the norm, but surely they are worth taking a closer look at.
Why are some blogs a success and others are not? Marketers and writers dream of seeing their stories resonate with readers and have lasting effect.
A Little History of Blogs
Blogging began in the 1980s when individuals ranted their love and hate, like children of the 60s. In a study conducted by Technorati in 2010, there were an estimated 133 million blogs that had been created since 2002. (See editor’s note below for a newer measure of published blogs.)
In these statistics, 76 percent were reported hobbyist blogs. Another 56 percent reported that a blog helped their company get positioned as thought leader in its respective industry. Original blogging, in it’s pure form, has survived and has become serious business.
More mature now, blogs have become the digital age platform of the 21st century for community outreach. Showing useful metrics for a business, in particular are blogs touting up-to-the-minute program announcements and product news.
The company blogs, for example, differentiate themselves from other social networking, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. These are not Facebook fan pages or a support team engaged on Twitter, although these social networks have specific reasons to utilize blogs for advertising campaigns, causes and marketing goals. The company blog is ownership and real estate on the Web–and that is a huge difference.
Authors, politicians, and fundraisers are avid bloggers. Leading brands host company blogs. Think about it. When you visit a company’s website, do you read the blog? Well, I do, because I want to get a sense of the company’s character and voice, which is most often portrayed through its blog.
The company blog is essentially its personable face, and the domain to share personal experiences and learning from company staff and customers.
The blog’s future is changing the way a company communicates and strengthens its brand, despite its troubled beginning.
Does your blog contribute to your brand’s position and bottom line? Let’s take a look at some blog elements and examples to show what works.
The 95-year-old retailer, L.L. Bean has developed a storytelling blog for customers, called Share Your Story. What better way to share and penetrate the social media channels with genuine customer stories that remind others about what the company is known for best: quality and service. Do you think the company needs a blog with such an established brand? Well, the company has future generations to bring into the fold. Stories from those who know what the L.L. Bean brand has signified will help bridge this loyalty into newer digital spaces.
Advocacy and Causes
Seventh Generation, maker of environmentally friendly cleaning products, reins in customers through its 7Gen Blog, a powerful voice advocating sustainability, health, and corporate responsibility. Surely the fans will likely be members of 7th Gen Nation, a rewards program for frequent shoppers. These customers are their voices above the crowd.
Kashi, the all-natural foods brand, demonstrates that their customer’s health and well being are extensions of their brand. The company’s blog community presents daily challenges to give members the encouragement and support to make healthy changes in their lives, whether it is eating nutritious food or living a greener lifestyle.
Best Buy has one of the best success stories for training employees and turning its profits around as a result. The company’s corporate culture supports living and breathing ethics and values beyond typical employee relations. Executive management are frequent bloggers as a means to communicate what’s important to them on topics ranging from Sustainability to Community Relations.
What is the bottom line for company blogs? The lifecycle of blogs provides an opportunity to reset and redefine what’s important for new generations, customer service needs, and society’s issues that give it a purpose.
Updated: September 2014, April 2017, July 2017
Editor’s Note: A newer measure of published blogs is the number of blogs written on any given day. See Worldometers who receive information from Technorati.