Corporate blogs rate downright low on the scale of consumer trust, even among bloggers, according to the recently released findings of Forrester's North American Technographics Media and Marketing Online Survey performed in the second quarter of 2008.
"Not only do blogs rank below newspapers and portals, they rank below wikis, direct mail, company email, and message board posts. Only 16% of online consumers who read corporate blogs say they trust them," Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff explained on the organization's Groundswell blog.
But that's not to say that companies should swear off blogging; on the contrary, a blog can serve as a valuable addition to the marketing mix by providing a unique means for directly interacting with customers in a casual setting, generating candid feedback, building customer relationships, and helping a company appear more personable. Plus, it's one of the more cost-effective mediums available.
The key therefore lies in the company's ability to earn the trust of its readers, and a well-thought-out blogging policy can provide the necessary foundation for realizing that goal.
The following are some of the factors that any organization should consider—along with some of the policy deliberations it should make—to institute credibility into a company blog and work to build trust.
1. Instill Reader Value
One "cure," Bernoff offered, is to make the blog interesting and valuable to the consumer, not just about the corporation.
"Most people start blogging from the company's perspective, but nobody wants to read that," he said in an interview with MarketingProfs. "It won't fail because of backlash; it will fail because it's boring. If you start thinking from the customer's perspective, it is much more likely to be successful."
Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via email@example.com.