More and more companies are adding a blog to their marketing efforts. That's the good news. The bad news is, many of these companies aren't using their blogs as a tool to engage their customers, but rather as an extension of their Web site, as a way to simply promote their products and services.

The problem is that many companies are positioning their company blog from their point of view, and not in a way that appeals to their customers.
I worked with a client recently that wanted to increase its exposure in the blogosphere. The company was already blogging, doing so almost daily, and several members of the company's marketing department were involved.
The problem was the blog's content. Almost every post was focused on highlighting one of the company's services. As a result, a nice steady stream of daily posts about the company had produced zero comments. Since the company was only blogging about themselves, visitors felt no need to interact with them through their blog.
This isn't to say that a company can't blog about their own products and services, because they definitely can. But a good company blog is like any relationship; there's a level of compromise involved. Readers don't want to come to your blog to hear about your company every day, that doesn't excite them. But what does excite them, is when you respect your customers enough to tailor your content so that it appeals to them. That builds readership, and loyalty.
And it gives those readers a reason to want to interact with the company through their blog. That's when a blog's true potential as a communication tool can begin to be realized. But that potential can't be reached until the company is willing to examine its blog from the reader's point of view.

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Mack Collier is a social-media strategist based in Alabama. He helps companies build programs and initiatives that let them better connect with their customers and advocates. His podcast, The Fan-Damn-Tastic Marketing Show, discusses ways that brands can turn customers into fans. His first book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans, was published in April 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

Twitter: @MackCollier

LinkedIn: Mack Collier