In 2000-2006, there was an emergence of blogs and how blogs changed consumer perception of a company. Robert Scoble & Shel Isreal written, Naked Conversations, talks about how blogging changed the way Micorosoft customers’ thought of the company. A corporate blog indeed provides a point of convergence for marketing campaigns, customer communication and corporate image (for partners or potential partners).
A blog for your business, will not only help you to get more customers, but it will solve many of your business problems. Let me give you a detailed example, which explains why a blog is important for a business or corporate of today.
Why every business should have a blog (Example)
Jim runs a technology company, which specializes in creating applications for Android. His application development team has 5 members; people with different interests and lifestyles. A day in their lives is full of conversations within themselves. These range from technology a project they are working on, some new application a competitor launched to their personal interests like golf, traveling, dancing, music etc.
Bob, an android smartphone user downloaded an application developed by Jim’s company. He started using the app and loved it initially. With a few weeks he started getting bored because of multiple reasons like delay in fixing a bug or long gap in updates for the app. He decides to write a mail to Jim’s company expressing his distress. There are 2 ways to address this situation and bring a meaningful solution to Bob’s email (customer communication).
First, someone from Jim’s company writes back to Bob within 4 hours of receiving latter’s email. It is mentioned in the mail that all of the bugs are being worked upon, and all users will be notified once these bugs are fixed. Bob reads the mail and says in his mind (or maybe he writes back, maybe), “Well, thanks for the quick response, but I will try using another application”
Another way to address Bob’s concern is that Jim’s company sends a mail saying exactly what is said in the 1st case, but only this time, mention that to keep up with the progress in fixing the bugs, Bob can follow company’s corporate blog which shares latest information on past projects, existing projects and some other cool stuff like golfing (Bob may not really be interested in reading about golf).
If the application itself was so exciting, a user could not resist writing to the company directly for fixing a few bugs or understanding the reason for delay in updates, a blog run by Jim or his employees could work as a stand-alone customer communication channel in this case. We do have Social media sites to connect with users, but at the same time they lack quick accessing feature. Usually a post on your Facebook page dies in few hours, where as a blog post helps to maintain a good archive of all updates from your business or company.
Most effective way to fuel up your company blog:
Encouraging your employees to write a blog can help you in ways you can never imagine. Each day there are multiple conversations about business, competition, latest movies, sports etc. With a corporate blog run by the employees, a consumer can connect with an employee who also likes to go fishing or skiing (Do show discretion in selection here). Your company’s corporate blog helps induce extra interest in consumers, employees, partners, investors and competitors. I am not suggesting you to show up your upcoming financial or marketing plan here. A blog’s “coolness” or informality should be maintained, because that is something, which will distinguish between a sale to a customer, and developing a selling relation with the customer.
Every marketing campaign needs a solid customer communication support. This support, in traditional channels, is provided through SMS, Emails, & Call Centers. In today’s digital world, we have seen an explosion of blogs or “digital properties” which provide as the intermediate between these traditional channels and consumer queries (and responses) generated from the campaigns. What creating a blog does to a business or a campaign (in addition to creating a more personal, informal and cool relation with the customer) is to reduce the cost and effort invested in other connected channels. With your blog doing a lot of “talking to the customer”, you can better channelize resources.
Any marketing campaign supported by active consumer feedback is far better than having the product or service launched and then understanding selling trends. A grasp of what the consumer wants next can be a solid addition to your armory for success. With a blog you can do that instantly. A trend we have seen grow quickly and exponentially is product reviews by bloggers. Though it is quite popular in technology industry, many industries are now following this.
There are blogs about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, health, blogging, music, machinery etc. From a marketer’s point of view, these are like billboards, which can be used to advertise a product launch, collect feedback, generate user interest, engage a community of related interest etc. The connectivity and personal sense to a blog makes it easier for the user to give his true remarks.
Content created centuries ago still exists and their teachings can be accessed anytime on the Internet. There are multiple websites or knowledge banks, which can get you any information from the past literature (provided someone sometime shared it on their website or blog).
Blogs today are those pieces of “digi-iterature”, which is changing the way businesses work and connect with the consumer. There is no better, fruitful and comfortable communication, than the one, which can bring all the participants closer and spark a relation between them.
I would love to get your feedback, and your view point on important of having a blog for any business. Do you think a business should have only social media presence, or they need to have a blog for more benefits?