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Readers bored rigid by corporate blogs, finds study

'Tired, warmed-over press releases'.

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A new report by Forrester Research found that most corporate blogs kept by B2B firms failed to interest their intended audiences or engage them in conversations about trends and products.

The number of blogs being started also experienced a setback. In 2006, Forrester counted 36 firms that had started promoting corporate blogs on their public websites. In 2007, the number of firms introducing a corporate blog dropped to 19.

But the blogs that exist right now are failing to capture an audience, Forrester says, and a big reason could be the content. Of 90 enterprise-sized companies with corporate blogs that Forrester examined, 71 percent of the content was "light company or business topics," with only 16 percent injecting "moderate personal insight" and only 13 percent using personal anecdotes.

About 56 percent of blogs "regurgitate company news or executive views."

The number of comments these corporate blogs received probably reflected customer reaction to such lacklustre content. About 58 percent of blogs saw 1 or less comment per post. Sixteen percent received 1 comment and only 13 percent had more than one per post.

Currently, Forrester says, the majority of blogs read like "tired, warmed-over press releases."

To combat this problem, Forrester says, companies should encourage corporate bloggers to start conversations with readers rather than dominate the blog with product launch information. They should also have a clear objective (and "about this blog" area) that explains the blog's overall purpose to readers. Lastly, they should also get outside of text-only interactions, using pictures, videos and other forms of virtual media to engage readers.



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