I started my blog 18 months ago as an effort to increase communications with my staff but very quickly realized the power of it with my customers and my suppliers. Now I consider my blog to be an integral part of my marketing efforts.
As an active blogger I have come up with seven reasons blogging should be part of any marketing program.
1. Blogs increase communication Anytime you increase communication, you increase profile and sales.
2. Although blogs have been around for awhile, they are still new and topical. People who see that you have a blog will think you are more leading edge. Even if you do not sell technology products, it helps.
3. Owning a blog is like owning a media. Similar to a newspaper, magazine, or a radio station. The advantage of owning a media is that you can say whatever you want where all other media tend to filter what you have to say.
4. You noticed that I said a blog should only part of a marketing program. Blogs on their own tend not to get much readership, rather they have to be crossed promoted so you need to put it on your email tag line, your website, your business cards, etc. People who see your blog address in another media are kindly to come to it.
5. Blogging like writing tend to make you an expert. People tend to believe what they read. For this reason you do not want your blog to be totally self-promotional. Add value. Provide information that helps your customer, amuses them, teachers them etc.
6. A blog should have an angle. People do not want to log on and hear some promotional material about you and your company. They want to hear something that is a bit edgy, interesting, humorous, and resonates with them. Although you own a media, you still are in competition with all of the other media available. In my case, I have chosen Time Leadership / CEO as the title of my blog and I blog about personal self-development with a focus on time management and efficiency.
7. Blogging will often get picked up by other media and this added press can help you sell. For example, because I blog I have been featured twice in the Globe and Mail and once in Forbes magazine, as well I have been in our industry trade journals. I have also had many speaking engagements as a direct result of my blog.
Blogging does not need to be technically intimidating. Anyone can set up a blog in five minutes. My suggestion is to get an experienced blogger to show you how to start. Or ask your kids.
Blogging is not for everyone. If you want to blog, you need to be willing to dedicate some time and you must enjoy writing. Because I blog about efficiency, I spend a lot of time focusing on my blogging efficiency and I spend less than 20 minutes on each of my blog entries. I do four or five a week; so I spend less than two hours a week on my blog.
I have received some direct sales as a result of my blog. I know from the feedback I have received that many of my customers and suppliers read it.
Blogging is one part of the marketing program.