Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Benefits of corporate blogging

Gartner analyst, Allen Weiner's quote: "What is undeniable is that there is a growing interest among businesses towards blogs as business communication tools..."

I spent time yesterday with clients of mine who are considering the possibility of further web optimisation and internet marketing services through my company all things web.

I mentioned the benefits of blogging to my client which caught his interest as it appears he had heard of blogs previously. He was extremely interested to hear more.

Most of the concepts of blogging he readily grasped but I think my client was left with a few elements he was not so sure about. I advised he had given me the idea to blog about the benefits to business through corporate blogging.

So thanks Mike! He knows who he is... :)

I've spent some time researching this morning so that this particular blog entry has as much detail as possible to communicate with everyone reading - including customers.

Blogging offers the corporate user a great way of marketing and communicating for almost next to nothing. The only REAL investment you have to make is yours or your staff's time - so it may be a good idea to share out the strain of creating and writing blog entries if you intend to blog on a regular basis.

Share and care with a blog

Corporate blogging can help present your business as a caring, sharing company and become part of a larger networking community.

The web is increasingly becoming a "social network" - with the likes of MySpace, Digg and others sharing their knowledge of websites and blogs. It is becoming a solid community and offers the potential for many businesses to increase their network sphere on a social (and professional) basis.

Blogging is a way for your company to become more interwoven with the internet community at large and for many blogging companies right now this is happening on a National or even GLOBAL basis.

The secret to blogging

The secret to blogging successfully is to allow your personality (and individuality) shine through. Forget trying to use your latest direct sales techniques, this is not what blogging is for.

Be honest and have an opinion - this can help your reputation and also promote other people to leave comments on your blog.

Its likely you are passionate about what you do in your business. Make that completely transparent on your blog.

People follow passion

If you show how passionate you are about your industry you will likely gain more blog readers who in turn will inform others about your blog and your business.

This can be of greater benefit than any other marketing campaign as your blog can be a point of reference for many people associated with your industry.

Generating content for your blog

This is the most common failure of a blog and a regular objection I hear from people when considering blogging as a marketing and PR tool.

If you treat your blog like any other part of your business and persevere it is likely your blogging will benefit your company. Blogs require effort and long term planning to really be of benefit. The odd blog here and there is not going to be as rewarding for you.

Ensure your content makes for good reading, is informative and also entertaining.

Regular blogging can help as people are more likely to subscribe to your blog if they know it is updated regularly.

If you are struggling for content use services such as Google News Alerts to keep you informed of events and happenings in your particular industry. You can then post these links from the news items and then make your own comments and reflections within your blog. Easy!

If you intend to allow staff to blog do make sure there is a Corporate Blogging policy in place to ensure sensitive company information is not inadvertently (or maliciously) posted online.

Final thoughts

As a PR tool, blogging really is not an option you want to miss out on. It's been around for a while now and does not show any signs of losing pace. Miss out on your blogging opportunity with peril!