Does Personalization Jump the Shark for Corporate Blogging?
December 29, 2006
Teresa Valdez Klein writes about Dave Taylor's article about the requirements of being a professional blogger. Dave suggests that you should not personalize your blog posts if you are a professional or corporate blogger.
Dave, I think you close the door on some interesting possibilities, from my experience in reading corporate blogs, many of the most successful blogs incorporate an element of personalization. In the Blogging Success Study, the twenty corporate bloggers identified personalization as an important factor in building a successful corporate blog.
"The bloggers in the study suggested that bloggers should write to entertain their readers and not just to give an opinion or inform. Success in part then can be said to come from the personality of the blogger. The personal writing style of a blogger will influence the interaction and reading habits of the audience. And this “personality” can stem from humor, unique personal experience or passion expressed for their topic. The more entertaining a blogger is, the more captivating and riveting the content, the higher the chance for blogging success. In addition, attempts by a blogger to conduct a dialogue with their readership, other bloggers and the community at large will have a positive effect on the success of a blog. Conducting outreach with the blogging community will enhance a blogger’s reputation and draw people to their blog because their content interests the reader. That outreach also has to be personal and hopefully entertaining."
Though notably, Eric Anderson from Adobe thought that personalization was not a good idea, and I suggested that where the content of the blog is highly technical. The audience would prefer not to read blog posts that include an element of personalization. Eric was the exception to the other bloggers in the study.
Is Dave right? Does including personalization “Jump The Shark” for corporate blogging. Should you consider personalization in your blog or not? In marketing, what’s important is how customers want you to relate to them through blogging. After conducting a few interviews with several customers at a number of blogs for my book about corporate blogging. I am even more convinced that personalization is an important part of corporate blogging.
Brett Nordquist, a blog reader of Heather Hamilton’s blog, One Louder. Heather Hamilton is the staffing manager for Microsoft’s marketing central sourcing team. Here’s what Brett had to say about personalization on Heather’s blog.
“2) Which of the following factors do you think adds to the credibility of this blog?
Writing style and content. She ripped me good once in her comments section, which is cool because it tells me she reads them. I often don't agree with her point of view but she makes me think often and challenges what I experienced at MS when I worked there. I also like how she mixes work related posts with personal experience posts that range from cooking to TV shows to whatever is on her mind. I never know what to expect but the surprise factor makes it that much more interesting.”
James Thomas reads Tim Jackson’s blog Masi Guy.
“If I have to pick two (and apparently I do), I’ll go with C and D. I think that these two factors are related and combine to give readers a true sense of Tim’s approach to his job as brand manager at Masi. Though Tim obviously wants to promote Masi bikes, the blog does not read at all like marketing material. I think the genuine, sometimes offbeat content allows readers to put a personal face with the company and the products. If potential customers want to read technical specs on the bikes, they can check out the Masi website. If they want a casual peek into life at Masi and the thoughts behind the products, they can check out the blog. That personal connection really gets to the core of what fascinates me about blogging.”