- April 23, 2010
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Blog, Client Relations, Communication, Relationship management
Blogging has become a very important medium of interaction these days, whether we utilize it for commercial or social purposes. You can share your thoughts, promote your company’s services or discuss matters of opinion both casually and formally. It is also considered as an imperative Business Development and Marketing tool for many businesses.
Blogging activity offers a solid platform for people to interact with their prospects/customers/clients resulting in developing better ties, hence sustaining and consolidating their market share. Moreover, it has proven to be a cost effective method for companies to promote their services and improve their visibility to draw more traffic to their sites by covering current, up-to-date topics related to their industry set for discussion, without burning a high-tech hole in their pocket.
To which extent does blogging contribute to promoting your company’s services? What suggestions would you give to improve its effectiveness for bringing more visibility to businesses?
Blogging isn’t just for individuals and that’s a known fact. Some of the most popular blogs are commercial blogs that utilize their reach to promote their products and business. Blogging has emerged as one of the best marketing tool on the web. From the ease of creating to the convenience of interacting with possible customers and clients, blogging has given a new way for the marketers to do what they do – Promote! Today there are some hundred thousand blogs created everyday, most of them die and some succeed. However, today we are going to focus on the business aspect of blog and how we can actually use it to promote our services and business. If you know how to maximize marketing opportunities through your blog, it can be one of the best marketing tool you will be hiding in your tool box.
In this post we will talk about a few things as to why you should use your blog as a marketing tool and how it can be beneficial. Let’s get started,
You Have Your Lead on Hand
Your readers! Your readers are your lead. I say that because you already have a loyal fan base that trust you and are willing to take and apply your suggestions, that is why they subscribed to your blogs. Each time you launch a new business or service, your blog can act as that medium to reach to your leads. And I can almost guarantee that if you have set yourself as a reputable person and have been active with your readers, at least 85% of your lead will turn into customers without a problem. However, it truly depends on what you are offering as well. If you are running a tech blog and are trying to sell cruise tickets, that might be a problem but other than that, you should be able to convert your readers ( lead ) into customers.
Blog Is Your Press
Getting a press release is exciting! However, if you use a good press release service it can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars. Why not use your blog as your press. How do you think most popular bloggers market their product when they launch a new e book or a plugin? They use their own blog to make it public and they do this because they know their blog has the most qualified leads for their products. Press release still might be a good idea, but having a blog certainly reduces the needs of it. Free advertising to the most qualified leads – now that’s marketing at its best and your blog helps you do that.
Helps You Increase Your Visibility
This is one of the most important reason as to why a blog can serve as the best marketing tool for your business. When you have a blog you are required to create content and update regularly with information. Quality content is usually linked by other bloggers. Think of a designer who launches a new theme and if it’s good it will be linked by most bloggers and will be the talk of town. This helps you gain better placement on search engines and increases your visibility. Also most of the times blogs are linked in a way such that popular ideas and products can go viral without any extra effort.
Gives Your Business a Life
If you go to a store and find two salesman – one is your friend and the other one a stranger. Who would you buy it from? Obviously your friend. The reason is simple – people like to buy products and services from people they know. If you regularly participate and interact with your readers, you will be able to develop a relationship with your readers. This gives your business life. When potential clients and customers deal with businesses they would like to know who is behind the product and or services they are buying from. If you are able to have a healthy relationship with your readers, it gives your business a face. When you promote your business, people know they are dealing with someone they know and might have been in touch personally via email and other forms of communication. This is a huge benefit.
Media Coverage Becomes Easier
Media. No matter how hard we bash them, without media business cannot succeed. In todays world online existence for any business is a must. And the power of blog certainly cannot be ignored. If you look at popular bloggers such as Darren Rowse and John Chow, they are regularly featured on popular media. They have been able to create a successful business for themselves through their blogs but media coverage gives them added bonus and visibility.
The other important feature of blog is that it allows you to receive instant feedback and reviews on your products or your business. This rapid, instant feedback will help you tweak and respond better to the market you are trying to target. Once again, remember your readers are your best lead. Their feedback is extremely important. With a blog you can get feedbacks within minutes after publishing a post on a recent product launch, you can adjust your campaign or make necessary changes as suggested by the crowd you are trying to promote your product to.
Blogs today have become an integral part of any business. if you look at most successful companies, they have created a blog to connect with their target market. It’s also the ease of informing customers that appeals to most businesses and marketers. Take a look around the web…Twitter, Google, etc. they all make use of blogs to update and connect with their users.
Let’s take google for an example. Google uses it’s blog to announce important news and updates through it’s blog. Google blog sits on Blogger which itself helps it promote it’s blogging platform, Blogger. Anyone without a blog who is a regular reader of the official google blog is most likely to use Blogger as a blogging platform because of the familiarity they have had through visiting google’s blog day after day. You get the idea.
Personally, I think if you are going to promote a business or succeed online, a blog is a must. Creating a blog for a business isn’t a want anymore, it has become a need. A need that has proven to be of low operational cost and high yields.
From a marketing stand-point, business blogs, in general, have demonstrated that they can:
Generate ways for consumers to discover old and new businesses and their respective products/ services.
Act as a communication medium that offers marketing visibility opportunities for businesses well beyond the search engines. Business blogs have, in some instances, been know to generate buzz and word of mouth marketing for their businesses (let’s see a static, business web page do that).
Benefits of Blogging for Small Business:
It tends to be cheaper for a small business to keep up a blog than to keep up a website. For small business owners without the time to learn web HTML or the money to hire a web designer/developer, blogging offers an inexpensive method to get their company’s name out on the Internet.
Having a well-maintained blog may provide a small businesses with a powerful edge vs. larger, “blog-silent” businesses pursuing the same customers in the market-place.
Blogging has shown time and again that it can be a great marketing tool that boost sales, provides a perfect opportunity for product promotion and helps brand a small business and its products.
It tends to improve the customer experience since it allows for public, two-way business/customer conversations (value: customers who feel like a company is listening to them and responding to their needs have been found more likely to develop an emotional connection with that company — something important for a small business seeking to build customer loyalty and generate repeat buyers).
I also had written a blog about that a couple of months ago I am attaching the link as it is directly related to the question
Some great answers here – I’m going to focus on ‘internal corporate Blogging’ and I’d say it has the potential to significantly reduce costs and improve efficiencies by improving corporate communications.
We’ve all been on the end of those corporate communications scenarios where something that happened 6 months ago never found it’s way into our mailbox because the distribution lists are out of date. Companies re-org frequently – trying to keep email distribution lists current is a thankless task – costly, slow, inefficient, mistake ridden and utlimately, doomed to fail. Blogs are a much more efficient method of communicating with teams and groups as everyone can simply subscribe to the RSS feed and then updates find them, where ever they go. No-one has to go searching.
Another angle – if you are senior in a large company, one of the hardest things to do is stay current with ordinary employees and find out what barriers impede their success (ever see the TV Series – Back to Floor? – link below). Very often your own managers will sugar-coat messages as they don’t want you to hear ‘the bad news’. Internal Blogging flattens a organization and gives a senior exec a way to talk to all the employees and hear what they say via the comments and ensuing discussion on the Blog. It’s a huge improvement on typical corporate communications and it’s a great shame so few senior business leaders Blog internally – they are missing an opportunity to be more successful. If you extend these scenarios to how you might run a project, bring in Wikis for the team and IM\Chat\Microblogging and you have the tools to make a serious dent in your costs and process speed – but you have to lead by example and that means senior leaders getting involved. VJ (Vyomesh Joshi) at HP is an excellent example of how to do it.
It depends on the business. Do you want to read a blog from a grocery shop, a financial institution, a kindergarten? How many blogs a day can one read, if 8 – 12 hours are used for work (I assume when we work we use our time for doing our job), and the rest has to be prioritized between studying, sport, family and/or other activities?
I do read blogs, but very very few, less often than once a week, and only if they have a direct relation to either my personal or professional development.
The FMCG company Reckitt Benckiser uses blogging as a form of communicating with potential employees – to give them a window into what the company is like to work for and so ensure they attract the right sort of talent for them.
It is a way of showing a more ‘human’ side of the company, of making the corporate site more dynamic and active and, yes, to cover current and up to date topics.
It also means potential employees have a direct line of communication with someone inside the company, and if you’re looking for a job that’s got to be a valuable asset!
(Corporate) Blogging is very important, content / context is King. Furthermore it shows knowledge, experience, opinions and so on.
We achieved a PR 6 solely due to Corporate Blogging within just 8 months.
Check the link below, we use that framework for blogging.
In regards to “what suggestions would you give to improve its effectiveness for bringing more visibility to businesses?” I would say that your blogging must be part of an overall social media ecosystem that you create.
This ecosystem is all the different platforms that will cross-promote your blog and raise its’ visibility.
— Do you tweet out a short URL about your blog article after it is written?
— Do you promote your blog article on Digg?
— Do you promote your blog article on different pages, including the landing page, of your website?
— Do you respond to other people’s blog articles on the similar topic and then cross promote your blog (only if relevant!!!)?
Your social media efforts should have an entire ecosystem. A website. Various blogs as outposts to your main castle, your website. Tweets as scouts heading out ahead.
And, it takes time to build your ecosystem and everyone’s ecosystem will be slightly different, unique.
I want to add check and balance for blogging.
In addition, I want to see hard facts or logical arguments for any bloggers who post his or her articles or journals about products or services.
In my opinion, it is the way to give true knowledge or true information about products or services that companies sell in global market.
1. Blogging can help companies to update customers easily and take their feedback
2. Blogging can help students to get jobs offers.
3. Blogging can help professional to build their own brand and increase VCP=Visibility+Credibility+Profitability
4. Blogging gives you power to write your destiny
Bogging is one of the main communications venues for my business. It’s an easy, fun, simple way to Find and Engage an audience. I have several techniques I use to Reward that audience when it becomes my market.
Blogs are the perfect corporate communications tool – if the corporation has any authenticity and real people behind it. Corporate blogs where the information is mere propoganda are worth exactly what they paid some writer for and no more.
Social Media Without Delusion
Blogging does all the “talking” that websites don’t. It is a great way to promote your yourself as an individual or your company.
~ Gabriela ~
The key I think to blogging is to think who your audience is and what they would like to know. And to then get the blog out on to as many applicable forums to your business as possible. It helps to build interest in your business and it helps to reach out your business to a much wider audience than if you had done otherwise.
I promote my blog on LinkedIN, Twitter, several business networking sites, Facebook, local directory sites and through emails. It is helping me to build relationships with local businesses as they can then tell I have the knowledge required from the blogs, which they otherwise perhaps couldn’t tell, and to businesses much further away that I can still provide services to them from working remotely.
My most recent blog has given me several sales leads (that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise got) where I’m in the process of following up and hopefully close the deals.
Blogging for me is one of the tools I use to promote my business and me as an expert, by writing informative interesting blogs posts that educate people I can easily do that.