If you’ve ever done corporate blogging you’ve probably engaged in what seems like an exercise in futility. Hardly anyone reads your posts.
At least that’s the anecdotal evidence from my own experience along with that of business people with whom I’ve discussed the issue.
I’ve been searching the web to see if I can find some hard data on how many corporate blog posts are actually read, or even clicked upon, but I’ve had little success.
Instead I’ve found countless articles on how to increase readership and engagement, along with essays on how readers, if they engage at all, merely skim your post, with the majority of them only getting through 50% of it before moving on.
This begs the question as to why corporations would take the time and effort to blog in the first place.
I’ve raised it with corporate friends and colleagues. The answer, always accompanied by a shrug, goes something like this: “We know nobody is reading it but we have to do it just the same. We have to be out there.”
What Keeps Corporate Blogging Alive?
These folks, and I assume thousands of managers just like them, understand full well that corporate blogging has little, if any, direct positive effect on their business, but they feel obliged nonetheless to plow ahead.
What’s keeps them playing this peculiar game?
Here are a couple of theories:
The Halo Effect
There might still be a halo from the early rush of excitement about social media and the promise of content marketing. Ideas take a while to die, especially if they offer hope. Corporate blogging might be one of those zombie ideas, like trickle-down economics. They never quite go away despite all the evidence that would predict their demise.
Hey, You Never Know
Manager’s might also view corporate blogging like playing the lottery. Although the odds of success are slim, there’s always the outside chance of winning big. And even the slightest payout, here and there, can keep you in the game forever.
Everybody’s Doing It
Then there’s simple conformism. Everyone’s blogging so you’ve got to go along with the crowd.
Your absence on the corporate blogging scene would actually communicate more than your presence. You could be seen as contrarian, lacking belief and enthusiasm for the entire capitalist project.
Corporate Blogging Is Like A Tax
There’s a sense of resignation among the business people with whom I’ve spoken. Corporate blogging is the way of the world, it might even be a drag, but it’s necessary because, well, it’s necessary.
One way to look at it is as a kind of tax. A tithe we pay to Google, feeding the machine with documentation and data. It’s the information age, after all, and the gods demand their due.
Corporate blogging is just one of the many ways we show our respect.