Content Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing

Make it Bigger – The 4 Types of Corporate Blogs

Is your blog broad enough?

Despite all the hoopla and teeth gnashing about micro-blogging like Twitter, and medium-blogging like Posterous, the good old blog isn’t going anywhere.

For many social media objectives, the blog just works better. It’s more searchable, more convincing, and more flexible. But often, it’s also too narrow.

Yes, I’ve advocated strongly that your company blog needs to be about something specific. Blogging experts like Mack Collier and Michael Gass say the same thing.

But, specific and narrow are not synonymous. To generate the most reader engagement, blogs about something bigger work best.

There are four types of company blogs, which one is you?

1. Corporate Blogchrysler blog
This blog, epitomized by the Chrysler effort seeks to provide interesting information about the company and its operations. Typically group written, the corporate blog typically includes very few pictures of people, mentions of competitors, or discussions of larger issues. Most posts generate zero comments.

2. Humanization BlogThe Sip_ The Sweet Leaf Tea Blog
This type of blog, represented below by Sweet Leaf Tea’s “The Sip” isn’t about the company per se, but about the people of the company. Also group written, this type of blog serves to make the company more approachable and relatable by focusing on its employees as “real people.” While the humanization blog of course talks about the company, it does so in an indirect way, and often features posts about employees’ adventures outside of work.

3. Category Blog
This type of blog requires more courage. As you’ll see in the Network Performance Daily blog, the category approach covers the company itself, as well as other happening in the broader industry, including competitors, etc. In this case, the blog is run by NetQoS, but takes a much broader approach. Network Performance Blog, Network Performance Management News, Tutorials, Resources - Network Performance BlogThe tagline for the blog describes this approach well: “Anything and everything that affects network performance, from the mundane to the bizarre.”

This type of blog can be either group or individually authored, often includes substantial content frequency (to cover the whole category well), and can generate significant comments due to the breadth of content.

4. Roll Your Own Blog
Perhaps the most interesting blog option are those that redefine or reinvent categories, bringing together a mix of people that are not necessarily tied by occupation or geography. This gives you the opportunity to generate significant, meaningful dialog and community because the blog readers are helping to build and architect a category from scratch.

Work ShiftingChris Brogan‘s efforts in this area set the standard. The Workshifting blog created and managed for Citrix took what could have been a plain vanilla corporate blog for Web meeting software, and made it about something bigger. It’s not about software. Or about the category. It’s about “workshifting” – the ability to work successfully where and when you want to. The blog is about freedom.

While not a blog per se, Chris and Julien Smith‘s Trust Agents group on Facebook sings the same tune. Now 2,716 strong, it’s not a Facebook group about a book. Or even about Chris and Julien. It’s about the nature of trust and how it is bestowed and protected and extended.

The broader your blog, the more interaction it will generate (assuming the content is solid and consistent, and you work to create a community).

blog chart

Take a look at your blog. How can you make it about something bigger?