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Why are the UK’s top tech companies still not blogging?

Posted by Joe McNamara on 4th March 2014

notepadI was pretty down in 2012 when our annual ‘How Social Are You?’ report revealed that the Deloitte Tech Fast 50 had seemingly quit blogging. So you’d think that I’m really happy that our 2013 figures show a 20% rise, with 48% of the fastest growing tech companies regularly updating this owned media channel.

Well I’m not. I still don’t get it. That’s still under half of the so-called movers and shakers in our industry. Yet if I visit their website to find out what cool stuff they’ve been moving and shaking recently, I have to leaf through their corporate press releases. Or the more likely scenario, leave the website and read about them elsewhere.

Blogging is a means of communicating your personality and business values to your customers and partners. It also gives people something new and hopefully interesting to share. Not to mention that regularly posting new content and attracting web traffic brings value in terms of SEO.

Some people are getting better

In the spirit of good blogging I’ve cooled myself down to a simmer and will bring you the good news instead. Those that are blogging are getting better at it. We’re seeing more companies getting a blog a week out rather than one a month.

We’re also seeing a wider variety of content:

–       46% sharing opinions/thought leadership

–       40% giving tips and advice to their customers

–       36% commenting on external content

–       34% blogging about company news

This is progress, but there is some way to go before we see a significant percentage of top brands maximising the potential of their owned media channels. Barely any of the blogs we analysed were provoking interaction with readers. That could be due to one of two things:

1)   No one is reading your blog because you don’t promote it well enough through social media and content marketing.

2)   People are reading it but don’t feel compelled to comment or share their own opinion.

More people can get better

The answer isn’t to give up on your own blog and post ‘guest blogs’ elsewhere. I don’t agree with the melodrama that ‘guest blogging is dead’ because it doesn’t make a great deal of sense. If you’ve got a valuable point to make to a relevant audience there’s still plenty to be gained. But if you’re just link building and spouting any old nonsense, yeah you won’t see much return. Who knew?

No, there is no way around this. The only way to get the most out of blogging is to make your blog good. So, here are some tips. And if you don’t agree with any of them, tell me, because that’s the point!

  1. Set realistic goals: You don’t need to blog every day and when you do you don’t need to write the Magna Carta. Set realistic goals in terms of frequency and keep your posts short and sweet.
  2. Make it relevant: Think about your audience and what is useful to them. You must solve problems for people every day. Share your experience and knowledge and add some value to people’s lives.
  3. Make it good: Rehashing press releases only gets you so far. Don’t put your bloggers in a strait jacket. Let them have an opinion and be a bit controversial. The more you stand out from the crowd, the better.
  4. Get involved: Do not leave comments unanswered. It’s a massive turn off. Don’t be all take and no give either – read and respond to other people’s blogs and people will start engaging with yours.
  5. Share it: I often wonder what people think happens when they publish a blog. People not flocking to it? Try sharing it on your social networks or in an email newsletter. You have to tell people it’s there!

A lot of the companies we speak to tell us the biggest issue with maintaining a blog is finding the time and resource to keep it alive and get a return on that investment. Well I get that, but if content generation isn’t your thing there are some kind folks out there that really like it and could always do it for you…

Great news isn’t it? You can always give me a shout – joem@emlwildfire.com.