Blogging, Brand Management, Content Marketing, Event Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Online events, Online Marketing, Social Media

How to brief a B2B blog?

Friday Marketing Musings, 14 January 2011

Many companies have a hard time managing their blogs. You can tell by just clicking through any corporate website’s blogger section. They’re all too often not updated frequently, killed by too much “editorial guidance”, not engaging, and too inside-out in their content. Nevertheless, as I wrote last week, you don’t need much more in the online universe than a Twitter stream, some strong blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to create a rich brand experience. So I just wanted to share some considerations around blogs, and how to keep them adding value to your marketing and communications setup.

Two new European NetApp blogs
Over the last 3 weeks, we launched two new blogs for NetApp in EMEA. John Rollason’s “JR’s IT Pad” will be providing European storage industry insights, targeting analysts, press, partners and competition. Tim Waldron’s “Tim’s Tales” will be more about bridging the gap between business and technical functions within (prospective) customer audiences DMU’s, covering new technology concepts, European customer implementations, storage and data management innovations. John runs Product, Solutions and Alliances marketing for EMEA; Tim is a Business Solutions Architect in our GEO. It took them about 2 minutes to figure out the Typepad Blog Content Management System, so don’t be put off by any concerns there.

Example: NetApp @ Cisco Live Europe 2011
As a side note: Both bogs will be vital in the communications strategy around our Golden Sponsorship for Cisco Live Europe 2011 (London, 31 Jan – 3 Feb 2011). I spent some time this week creating our Virtual Booth for that event in the INXPO virtual event platform the organisation provides as part of the sponsorship agreement. If you can’t travel to London, you can gain complementary acces to our virtual booth here. It holds an event blog, Social Media streams, all kinds of premium content, a live chat box, and a API integration into Facebook Live Stream. Check out the booth during the event, and let me know what you think by sending me a DM in Twitter. Our event hashtag for Twitter is #NetAppCiscoLive (general event hashtag: #CLEU), if you want to keep track early February.

John will be talking to press, analysts and customers during the event, and sharing his insights on his blog. Tim will be part of the stand staff, and reporting on his blog whenever he has some time off from booth duty. We’ll equip him with a flipcam, a photo camera and a notebook to share whatever he thinks is worth sharing. Also, Tim and Paul Sudlow (EMEA Alliances Technical Lead) will be on the panel of an Ask the Expert live webcast that we will be hosting from the show floor. Again, our Virtual Booth is the place to be if you’re interested.

Blogger tactics
The Cisco Live Europe 2011 tactic is a good example of how corporate blogs should be positioned in the market place: avoid overlap in content, create an editorial calendar in support of major marketing communications milestones (product launches, programs, campaigns, events, channel activity), and integrate all blogs with all relevant social media streams you run out there. The blogger team should become a highly skilled team of defenders, strategists, attackers, strikers, thought leaders and educators, finding ever new ways of communicating corporate messaging to relevant audiences, referring to people and content within the corporate domain.

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