I started this blog in September 2006 and receive roughly 1,000 unique visitors, 2,100 page views and two new clients. Not bad for a blog that I only post entries in about once a week. The fact is that blogging is essential in today’s society. Businesses of all sizes are learning that having a presence on the internet is simply not enough. Importantly, having a site that is truly customer friendly, optimized for the search engines, and one that is regularly updated is not only essential to a website performing well, but it can also contribute to the overall success of your business. One area of website management that some businesses are overlooking is blogging. Let’s take a look at this relatively new medium phenomena and just how a well crafted and managed blog can go far in supporting your company’s marketing strategy.
Mention the word “blog” to some folks and they immediately begin thinking of gossip, slander, or politically motivated weblogs to name a few. Certainly, these types of blogs are a significant part of what is called the blogosphere, but they are far from the only types of blogs out there. Today, everyone from stay-at-home moms, to entrepreneurs, to political action committees, and all the way up to executive for some Fortune 500 corporations are operating blogs, oftentimes as a part of their company’s website. Yes, along with tabbed pages to sections for News, Contacts, and Links, and so forth you can find a Blog tab on many business websites.
So, why would a company even consider operating a blog? For several reasons including:
To allow executives, employees and marketers to have access to their customers and vice versa – You could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for expensive market research – don’t get me wrong, there is a place for all of that – but if you want to get instant feedback from customers, by simply crafting a thoughtful 100 or 200 word statement, posting it to your blog, and awaiting for responses, your input can go very far too. Visitors to your site who read your blog will be allowed to read and comment on your entry, but you can control what is ultimately published. This means that if the criticism isn’t particularly constructive, or is too harsh, or is even inaccurate, you can always delete that comment. Otherwise, you could allow comments to be posted for all to see, as is.
To strengthen your company’s visibility – The internet is powered by search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN who determine what web pages will be indexed for their respective engines. Optimizing your site -– increasing its visibility -– is critical toward just how much exposure to potential customers your site receives. Blogs are favored by search engines because they are frequently updated and are considered to be a very important communication tool. So, if you are considering an upgrade to your site, don’t forget to include a blog. It may even pay to just add the blog for now before making the other changes.
Of course, blogging does take time and someone needs to oversee the process. Remember, what you say on the blog will represent you, your company, your philosophy, and more. Take great care to only allow trusted and select company representatives to have access to the blog and to oversee its operation. With these things in mind your blog can build corporate credibility and bring in that all-important intangible “goodwill” that is sought by companies everywhere.