These days corporate marketers are launching blogs at a record pace. According to Jupiter Research, nearly 40% of corporate marketers are planning to launch a corporate blog within the next 12 months. Yet, consumers do not share the same enthusiasm for these blogs as corporations do: only 3% of consumers have used them to conduct product research. This dichotomy presents a challenge for corporations as blogs are one of the lowest cost and lowest risk social marketing tactics that marketers have to engage consumers in an increasingly Web 2.0 world. (“Maximizing Blogs”, Jupiter Research, June 11, 2007)
As such, corporations must rethink the purpose of their blog – shifting from sales support to “brand advocacy”. By doing so, corporate blogs become a channel to engage brand enthusiasts rather than just consumers. They also become a conduit to reach online influentials including non-corporate green bloggers and impact key brand metrics through their use and distribution of content across their own networks.
Today, many corporate blogs have already shifted in this direction. One example is Intel’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) blog that launched last month focused on how Intel and others are addressing CSR issues. Authors include Dave Stangis, Intel’s pioneer and long time champion of CSR issues at the company.
Another blog of note is authored by Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and President of Sun Microsystems. While not dedicated to green issues, Schwartz’s blog includes several entries that are telling in how Sun thinks about green and that outline actions that the company has taken to be socially responsible and capitalize on the emerging opportunity.
In the blog screen shot included below, Schwartz discusses “The Value of Being Green” and the competitive advantage that it provides to Sun in California where utility rebates for buying its efficient servers are worth $700 to $1000 each.
For corporations, blogs provide a low-cost, low-risk way to communicate their messages and distribute content to brand enthusiasts rather than just consumers. Green entries – in a dedicated or more general topic blog – can provide a more in-depth understanding of a company, its point of view on green and actions that it has taken to mitigate environmental impact.
Companies should leverage their corporate blogs to engage green brand enthusiasts while distributing content that can be easily repurposed – including sound bites, graphics and tools – for use in other green news stories or blogs in order to maximize green branding impact in market.