Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Do Consumers Trust Corporate Blogs?

A Forrester report says only 16% of corporate blog readers trust what they're reading.

Obviously, companies have to do a better a job convincing people to trust them.

Here are five ways companies may be able to make their blogs more trustworthy:

1. Find ways to get blogs to show up in search engine results. Consumers are more likely to trust content that is readily available through search engine results.

2. Connect with key influencers talking about your brand or its products. Encourage those influencers to link to your company blog.

3. Make sure your blog is relevant to your company and industry. Too often, a company will create a blog which is not relevant to its brand or products.
Wells Fargo's Guided By History blog is a great example. What does this blog have to do with business and banking?

4. Allow consumers to comment, even if they respond negatively.

5. Respond to consumer's questions quickly and truthfully.

6. Place a link to your companies blog on your homepage. I hate to pick on Wells Fargo, but it doesn't have a link to its Guided By History blog on its homepage.

Note to companies: If you do not feel your company blog is good enough for you to link to it, then why should I? (Wells Fargo - consider the link above as a favor).

7. Make contact information easily available. I don't want to spend hours searching for information to contact the company.

8. Talk about other things related to your company or industry. Discuss industry trends and important events. For instance, an automobile manufacturer could write a post requesting feedback from consumers about fuel economy.

9. Link to important news articles referencing your company blog. According to the Forrester study, 46% of people still trust newspapers. Given that, positive references about your company blog in a major newspaper is worthy of highlight.

10. Don't try to make your corporate blog too professional. By this I mean, focus on content, then design.

Feel free to comment if you have any other suggestions or concerns.

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