In late 2004, I started a personal blog.

Why? I had just married, just moved to another country, just started a new job, and loved ones back in the States were obsessed with a new life in a place they might never see.

And I mean obsessed. If I didn’t write a post every week, I got nice but nagging comments from friends and family.

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So I kept blogging for years. Even after we moved to Texas, I kept it up, because it was a cheap and easy way to stay in touch with friends and family – and I wanted to avoid being nagged!

But in 2012, I stopped – because I had exceeded the number of posts and images allowed by the platform at the time.

I was annoyed, to say the least. But 2012 was the year I left corporate life to become an entrepreneur, so I was a little distracted anyhow. Running a new business left little time for personal blogging.

Since then, as a marketing consultant, I’ve had to pay attention to dozens of corporate blogs. I’ve read posts, written posts, edited posts, commented on posts, and shared posts.

And I’ve noticed something.

I’ve never heard of a corporation getting nagging comments when they don’t publish a post.

And I think I’ve found one of the reasons why.

As most of you know, since about 2006, I’ve been a technology marketer. I’ve worked on many parts of the IT ecosystem – servers, storage, networking, services, appliances, companies, foundations, alliances, software, cloud, containers, composable infrastructure, DevOps, I can’t keep up with it all.

And I’ve seen so many corporate blogs that don’t matter as much as they could.

Why is that?

Because many great posts need to be written by people close to the action.

What do I mean by that?

My blog was a digest of my experiences. I wrote about weather, travel, work, kids, and other first-hand experiences. When my daughter got sick or we traveled to Rome — I knew exactly what I was talking about. I was there, I did it, I felt the consequences.

And my readers knew that – and cared.

If you didn’t know already — most corporate blog posts are second hand experiences. They’re written by someone who’s being told what happened – an agency writer or a marketing manager.

This is well intentioned, of course. It’s easy to let a marketing manager do the writing. They’re trained to write, they’re able to see the big picture, and they’re paid to publish.

But there’s a flaw in this.

They’re great at the big picture. They can talk about market trends, challenges, technology opportunities, and product features until their keyboards wear out.

In many companies, they’re not responsible for fixing customer issues or addressing bugs in the code. They’re not engineers, or solutions architects. They’re marketing managers – and sometimes, if you’re looking for a post that’s a first-hand experience – the marketing manager isn’t the best person to write it.

Something gets lost. And readers notice – and care a little less.

That’s why, for the past few months, I’ve been working with a leading cloud technology company, helping their front-line, hands-on people become successful bloggers.

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I’m helping to expand their blog, making it a place where readers come for first-hand, in the trenches information that’s just hard to find elsewhere.

The program helps support leaders and solution architects and developers and cloud operators write crystal-clear, relevant, front-line content.

Suddenly, front-line experts, who have traditionally not had a marketing voice to the customer, get to reach out, connect, distribute their expertise, and make a name for themselves in the community.

Finally, by getting their stories on the blog – prospects and customers uncover new ideas for fewer headaches and better outcomes.

It’s a win for prospects and customers, the experts, and the organization.

Expect to see more about this during the week because we’ve had great early results and it’s an easy shift for many technology companies. Rarely does a simple intervention have such significant results for everyone involved — and it’s an exciting change for many people at the company.

Could it make a difference for you too? 

Brian E Whitaker is a marketing strategist and founder of Zettabyte Content, LLC. Since 2012, he’s worked with technology companies of all sizes on campaigns, product launches, and ad-hoc content needs. He can be reached at brianw@zbcontent.com.

All images are open source and available from pixabay.com.

Testimonials

  • Brian excelled consulting on our recent product launch. He internalized our strategy and tactics, executed essential launch deliverables with minimal input, managed additional contractors, provided unexpected improvements, and achieved everything before the deadline. I will use Brian again and I recommend him for your marketing consulting projects.

    Kim McMahon, Partner Marketing, NetApp
  • I was lucky enough to work with Brian on many projects and he approached them all with the same attitude of enthusiasm and detail. A great team player and superb execution.

    Iain Davie, Regional Alliances Manager, VMware
  • I found Brian’s mix of skills to be a rare combination in marketing. He understands what the field and sales people are looking for from marketing, he has a strong grasp of the underlying technology, and he has the marketing sense to put it all together in a package that helps drive the business forward. Plus, he does all of this with a positive and professional attitude that makes him a pleasure to work with on projects.

    Scott Horst, VP of Marketing, Compellent
  • His strong technical focus, combined with attention to detail and an easy communication style really made him a strong asset to support a sales organization. Brian conducts himself professionally with the highest of integrity and remains calm under pressure.

    Ciara Lyons, Manager EMC Demand Centre
  • Brian is the ideal person you want to work with: knowledgeable, understands priorities and what is just distraction, customer-focus, how to get things done – the right way, collaborative, understands how to craft a story that will resonate and he brings a wealth of perspective across geographies, technologies and user pains and benefits.

    Greg White, Senior Manager, Product Marketing / Commvault
  • When you need it done, turn to Brian. During the past 3 years working directly with Brian, I’ve watched him plow through numerous complex problems achieving just the right outcome.

    Michael Grant, Marketing Director, Enterprise Storage Marketing / Dell

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