Make most of your blog for marketing

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Marketers value information and communication about their companies, customers and competitors. Blogging enables your personnel to “overhear” conversations about your industry and your firm. The community of blogs (known as the “blogosphere”) presents a valuable opportunity to find out what others think of your products, services and business. If you hesitate to open this door fearing negative feedback, realize that “an unhappy customer is a happy customer waiting to happen.” In fact, blogging grew beyond diaries and politics by giving companies the ability to engage in conversations with customers rather than just transmit one-way information with no feedback.

Companies that use blogs to show passion for their work generate passion from others and create customer evangelists who spread the message about their products or services. Companies with blogs earn trust by regularly communicating with customers. Corporate blogs provide visibility and a forum for sharing expertise. They also defray some of the costs of visibility campaigns and establish the host companies as thought-leaders.

Traditional marketing often means sending press releases and getting an average 1% media response rate (either mentions or articles). This kind of “transmission” communication provokes little engagement. Blogging is about engaging and having a conversation, creating buzz and loyal customers. Blogs can become integral to your marketing strategy, but they can’t replace it.

What about blogs for Business

Most businesses seek ideas that can lead to great products. Blogs can cultivate great ideas, since they provide forums for discussing and brainstorming new possibilities. Randy Baesler of Boeing used his blog to discuss the company’s new plane, the 787 Dreamliner. He blogged about the new product and learned about his competitor’s product by engaging his readers. GM hosts a blog called FastLane, which allows readers to comment on new concepts.

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You can step in without having your own blog. Listen to customers by reading their conversations in entries or comments on other blogs. Post appropriate responses. Companies can monitor blogs through such sites as Technorati and PubSub, which let you, search keywords and Web addresses to see what’s being said about your company and its products. They also show you which blogs link to your company’s Web site or your competitors’ sites.

But what type of blogger are you

Most blogs and bloggers fall into seven personality types (or into combinations of types):

• “The Barber” – Barber-style bloggers tend to know the right people and share insights. The wise barber can be an advisor, analyst or authority on the industry or topic. Barbers are candid about who they work for and they remain impartial. Barbers give a company “visibility, new ideas and a human perspective.”

• “The Blacksmith” – These bloggers come from inside the firm. They know the business well, though they’re usually not managers. Software developers with large technology companies are often blacksmiths. Their blogs help customers, report news and build relationships.

• “The Bridge” – Bridgers connect people in networks. They create opportunities and draw new customers.

• “The Window” – This blogger talks about the company from inside and outside. Window bloggers provide internal news, and address complaints and problems.

• “The Signpost” – Signposts identify valuable resources and information while offering little opinion. They share tidbits and pointers more than commentary. They filter garbage and provide good information, so people trust them and their companies.

• “The Pub” – Pub blogs bring together a community of thinkers who “meet” at the blog and discuss shared topics. Companies with pub-style blogs provide visitors with communities where everyone feels equal and treated fairly.

• “The Newspaper” – These bloggers report facts, but post very few opinions. They try to be objective resources. Companies with newsletter blogs keep readers informed on their industries or related topics. Such blogs require a lot of time and work.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Murphy
SiliconCloud provides high-quality, customized solutions to satisfy business objectives by leveraging the online space to drive leads and nurture customer relationships. SiliconCloud's integrated solutions of Web Creative, Analytics, Search Marketing & Social Media is designed to elevate your image, inform sales strategies and drive business. SiliconCloud means having a clear vision. Dozens of organizations in B2B and B2C arenas have counted on SiliconCloud to pave their road to the future by securing their online presence

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