Forrester Report: Most B-to-B Blogs Fail

by | May 11, 2009

bwblogsA report by Forrester Research found that most corporate blogs kept by business-to-business (B2B) firms failed to energize their intended audiences and engage them in meaningful conversations about trends and products.

Corporate bloggers are apparently struggling to sustain a conversation, while many B2B marketers are failing to realize that good blogging style should resemble a coffee shop conversation, not a whitepaper.

As a result, most B2B blogs are dull, drab, and don’t stimulate discussion, according to the Forrester report.

More than 70% of the corporate blogs it reviewed stick strictly to business or technical topics and don’t share much personal insight or experience.

74% of B2B blogs receive a minimum of commentary or trackbacks because readers fail to find conversations worthy of their involvement.

Successful blogging, Forrester insists, is not a one-way street, but most corporate bloggers yak away about their companies and products, seemingly oblivious to whether their audience is listening or not.

56% of blogs we examined simply regurgitate company news or executive views, while relatively fewer blogs work to establish thought leadership by enlisting internal experts–with deep, specific knowledge of a particular topic–as their primary blog authors.

“B2B marketers should embrace strategies prominently used by mainstream bloggers to attract readers, build conversations, and engage community members in sharing their experiences with their online peers, the report’s author advises.”

If you can’t get excited about what you do, then please don’t start a blog. It takes time and commitment, and without passion, it’s going to be impossible to move it forward. Your readers will soon spot the lack of passion in what you write.

This isn’t a school project that you do for a set period of time and then it’s done. It’s an ongoing dialog with your audience and it takes planning and managing content and having the right contributors. If you’re organized and have a road map of where you’re going, it will lessen the daily time commitment each of us has. I’ve said in other posts that if you can’t allow 1-2 hours a day to your blog, then don’t do it or find someone who can.

Lee Odden recently gave a presentation, Tips For Better Business Blogging, where he outlines 4 tips for developing a successful blog:

  1. Develop a practical purpose for your blog
  2. Plan your editorial and source content
  3. Socialize by utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Trackbacks to generate traffic
  4. Measure and promote success to that committee

Conclusion: Social media isn’t going away and businesses will sooner or later figure that out. The key is those that do it first will have a competitive advantage.

Have you had  a similar experience you’d like to share?


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