Forrester: Consumers Don't Trust Corporate Blogs

Posted on

  • email
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • share this

share this


Forrester Research released the results of a study that indicates corporate blogs are one of the least-trusted sources of information online. According to the study, email from friends is highly trusted (77%), consumer reviews come in second (60%), then a whole host of other sources, before a dismal 16% for corporate blogs. So, does this mean your corporate blog is a waste of time? Forrester seems to think so. In their report, they suggest if you're thinking of starting a blog "about your company and its products", you probably shouldn't bother. They go on to state, "if your blog generates leads, links, positive reviews, buzz, or PR, it's probably worth keeping." If not, stop blogging.

I disagree. There are plenty of reasons to have a corporate blog - maintaining your company's image, educating consumers and simple SEO factors are a few. The fact is, most consumers expect a corporate blog, especially from pure play online businesses. To discontinue a blog because of one survey is not an option.

Of course, much of your blog's success depends on its content. Use your blog to announce new products and developments in the company, but don't stop there. Educate consumers about not just your brand, but the industry as a whole. Provide stories of interest to your consumers about your brand. The more you can get your consumers to identify with your company, the better.

What you can take away from this survey is to include other sources in your blog. If, according to the survey, consumers trust consumer porduct ratings and reviews, include some of them in your post about your new product. Solicit testimonials. Write press releases and publish the resulting press coverage. Invite your consumers to participate in your blog and invite guest authors to post.

The point is, you should not discontinue your corporate blog. You should make sure that your blog offers the most possible value to your consumers.

Login To Comment


Become a Member

Not already a part of our community? Sign up to participate in the discussion. It's free and quick.

Sign Up

11 comments

Mike Maddaloni 12-12-2008 2:29 PM

I agree with your assessment, not Forrester's.  As there isn't a whole lot of detail on the demographics of this population, my guess is they just don't read blogs.  Yet another industry survey from a company fighting to stay relevant.

mp/m

EdH 12-12-2008 2:41 PM

I totally disagree with this Forrester recommendation. If this is the sort of recommendations they make on an every day basis, I wonder when they will be asking for a bailout to save them from bankruptcy?!

BrianM 12-12-2008 2:52 PM

I sort of have a middle ground here. If you're corporate blog is simply shilling your products, I'd get rid of it. If it's actually providing insight into who you are and your products, and opens up a true dialog with your customers, then i'd keep it.

CherylP 12-12-2008 2:59 PM

A corporate blog should be a benfit to anyone who visits it. Bringing your blog around to current events, something in your industry that relates to a common thread is necessary. Just using it to push your products? Not a good use of your keyboard.

LisaB 12-13-2008 4:24 AM

I agree with Mike about the demographics of this survey being important.  I know many people that don't even know what a blog is.  If they were the type of people answering that survey, well guess what they'd put for trust in a blog?

I personally believe a blog is a way to communicate back and forth with those interested in your product or service.  They can find you via the website, and then follow what you have to say as a person via the blog.... People like to interact on websites.  

JohnC 12-13-2008 9:01 AM

I am surprised that one of the tools not mentioned is company website????? unless content sites like nytimes.com is their example of a company site.

CarolF 12-13-2008 5:01 PM

I bet the consumers interviewed don't even know what a blog is!  Of course they won't trust something they have NEVER heard of!

ChristopherV 12-15-2008 7:58 AM

Did anyone else notice that personal blogs grabbed only 2% more "trust"? It does appear as others suggested that the participants disdained "blogs" in general, and their dislike was not really based on source of the blog.

Mike Phillips 12-15-2008 8:05 AM

The demographics of this study seem to be a popular question here, so this is what I've found:

Over 5,000 adults (18 and over) were surveyed, and trust was ranked on a point scale of 1-5, with the highest trusted ranked as a 5. Of those surveyed, 80% said they did use corporate blogs, and only 16% of those gave a trust ranking of 4 or 5.

Among those who regularly read blogs (at least once per month) 24% trust blogs and of those who blog themselves, 39% trust corporate blogs.

While those numbers are higher, it's still surprising low, in my opinion. Especially noting that under half of those who are bloggers trust company blogs.

John AlanR 12-15-2008 3:04 PM

Mike Phillips stated, "Especially noting that under half of those who are bloggers trust company blogs." By that, you mean individual bloggers who aren't creating content for a company?

Mike Phillips 12-15-2008 3:22 PM

@John AlanR: It's not clear from the study if those "bloggers" are private or company bloggers. I would guess a little of both.

Add to the discussion!

Popular Now at Website Magazine

There are currently no recent posts.

999 E Touhy Ave
Des Plaines, IL 60018

Toll Free: 1.800.817.1518
International: 1.773.628.2779
Fax: 1.773.272.0920
Email: info@websitemagazine.com

Facebook


Twitter