One of the things that bugs us here at Stirring Media is when we come across corporate blogs that are full of company announcements. If you're going to publish company announcements all the time (i.e. business acquisitions, product/service launches, press releases) then you should have a separate company news blog, leaving a second one to have all the information your prospects and potential customers are looking for. Here's why your business blog shouldn't be full of company announcements:
Your Audience Doesn't Care
They really don't, and hopefully you have an audience outside of your employees or your investors, because those are the only people who might care about your product launch or your latest corporate partnership. Your audience should be your customers, potential customers, and anyone else who would be part of your target demographic. All of those people care about themselves and their problems. They don't care about you unless you show them that you know these people and you know how to solve their problems.
Businesses make this mistake because since it's the company's blog, they believe that it should be all about the company. That could be more wrong! The blog is supposed to be about what your audience wants because the rest of the website is all about the company. The blog is the one place that's actually not about the company.
Blogs Need a Personal Voice
We previously discussed how important it is for a business blog to have personality and to reflect your brand, and this is part of the reason why. People do business with other people, and people want to know who's behind the brands and companies they work with. A blog is a great chance to show your customers who you are and the people who make things happen for them. More often then not, company announcements don't have any personality to them and very rarely highlight the great people who make your customers happy.
Blogs are About Engagement
No one wants to engage or to build a relationship with someone who talks about themselves all the time, and that's exactly what you're doing when your corporate blog is filled with announcements. Blogging is a great way to build a relationship with your potential customers, to get feedback on your ideas, and to engage with them in a way that wasn't possible even five or 10 years ago. You're throwing away that opportunity when all your doing is publishing press releases and company announcements instead of engaging in a conversation with your audience.
Company Announcements are Easy
They are easy to publish. You know everything you need to say and could have everything on a silver platter already in the form of a press release or a news article that you can just copy and paste. It's okay to share these from time to time, or to create a blog specifically for these announcements as previously suggested, but businesses can do better. Your business can do better. Your business and its blog can be about helping people, sharing ideas, doing research, and having an opinion on what's going on in your industry. All that is hard to do (it's much harder to write an opinion piece or a thoughtful how-to than to write a press release), but there's much more reward to it in the long run.
At Least Turn Your Announcement into Something Helpful
If you really must/want to make a company announcement, then at least turn the announcement into a helpful helpful article. For example, HubSpot did a great job about this by talking about its two recent business acquisitions, but turned it into a discussion about company culture and the decision to buy those two companies. Freshbooks let its readers know of an upcoming downtime for maintenance, and updated the post when the maintenance was done. The CEO of SEOMoz, Rand Fishkin, does a weekly post called Whiteboard Fridays that discusses something about search engine optimization. In all three examples, a company announcement or advertisement was turned into something that was ultimately designed to benefit the audience.
The lesson of the day is to stop publishing company announcements, and to start publishing articles, guides, how-to's, and other content that people will find value in. Company announcements, all by themselves, don't provide the value that your customers and potential customers want out of you in the first place.