According to Socialtext, through 2009 16% (or 79) Fortune 500 companies actively blogged, including Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco Systems, IBM, Pitney Bowes and UPS. Just a wild guess that most other Fortune 500s are seriously thinking about getting into the act in 2011.
Indeed, along with social media platforms, blogs are a fundamental way for b2b companies to communicate with their customers about their products and services. Here a few tips to get the ball rolling:
Tap into a topic: Home in on a subject area that is integral to your market and that people are hungry for information. Try and choose a subject matter to help distinguish your company from the pack. The blog, targeting existing customers, prospects, potential partners and members of your community, should be conversational in tone and non-promotional. As with other marketing channels, the overriding goal is to build relationships.
Capitalize on blogging tools: There are several hosting services available (Blogger, Moveable Type, TypePad, WordPress) to help you launch a blog. Then it’s a matter of matter of building on the original template, which may include (but not be limited to) links to the company’s main Website and archival material; a search box and RSS and Twitter feeds. It’s crucial to create space for people to comment (don’t be cowed by criticism) and to distribute the blog’s content via digital (Twitter, Facebook, your corporate Website) and traditional marketing vehicles.
Embed the blog into the system: The blog should not be an ornament, but an active marketing channel that has a point of view, is open to debate and puts your company out front on the challenges facing your industry. Tap someone to write the blog who has a flair for language and can fit the blog within his or her schedule sans a lot of strain. Pick a frequency for the blog and keep the blog posts relatively brief. It’s OK if you deviate from the schedule, so long as you keep the content flowing and the audience engaged.
More info from Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010 report.