When you think of blogging and bloggers, what comes to mind? Some people imagine bloggers as people who like tinkering about with something on the internet, a personal website run by a person who uses text-speak spellings lamenting the world’s issues and re-blogging quirky pictures and cat memes. Whilst there’s a space for personal blogging, that’s not the only style out there. Indeed, many companies run blogs on their websites. Today we’re going to look at why; what does it offer the company, and what does it offer customers.
One of the great things about a blog is that you can really get your marketing message out there. Your marketing message is, essentially, what you do and why your customers, or potential customers, should choose to do business with you. It’s a little bit more in-depth than a simple three-word strap-line underneath your company logo – and that’s why a blog is perfect for getting this message across. Unlike your website, which needs quick, snappy facts, like, say, same-day despatch, cheapest rates in the area, or a no-quibble returns policy, a blog can elaborate on these points in far greater detail.
One of the nicest things about maintaining a company blog is that it allows you to speak directly to your customers. Whilst your website needs to be corporate, of course, and professional. A blog lets you pull back the curtain somewhat. Here’s what we do, you can say, and why we love what we do. And why we do it all for you. Your tone can be a little more informal. OK, not too informal (you’re unlikely to start calling customers ‘mate’ or ‘dude’), but you can chat to them on a far more personal level. Customers appreciate that because it prevents a company from being a faceless corporation.
Another winning aspect of keeping a blog means you can focus on a particular part of your business. If you’re running a sale, or have a new product in stock which would really interest customers, your blog is a great way of communicating that. Some companies are proud sponsors of charities, or local events, and this is certainly something that can be emphasised in a blog in a way that a simple ‘Sponsors of…’ icon on your homepage can’t do. Whether it’s studying the finer points of your company, or expressing your big ideas, they can be looked at in greater detail in a blog. Again, it’s about making your company personable.
What do you think when you visit a company’s website, click on the news or blog tab and see the last post was uploaded in July 2012? You’d assume that the company either isn’t active, or really doesn’t care about what they do, right? In fact, you might even wonder if they’re still trading any more. Compare that to a site which constantly posts, talks about what the company is up to, and linking to news articles about their trade. These are companies who have a passion for their business, who want to communicate and discuss with their customers. The best companies won’t just post a blog, either; they’ll encourage comments from readers, and engage with them. It shows they care, and humanises the brand. If a customer believes your company gives a damn, they’re more likely to approach you.
It’s a crowded field out there. Companies in competition are essentially engaged in a slanging match: ‘Pick me!’ screams one. ‘I’m the one you want,’ yells another. In the end, that all becomes white-noise to the everyday customer. They blank it out. In worst case scenarios, a company even might be considered rude, childish, or even unprofessional if they shout too loudly. With a blog you can get your voice heard without having to shout above the noise. Your company can come across as calm, cool, collected – you don’t need to shout, because your blog says everything it needs to say in a professional, approachable manner. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be about products that you’re selling. Well-written blogs can talk about anything that may be of interest to your customers – because they’re the ones who really count – which gives your brand an authority in your chosen field. You let the products speak for themselves whilst you cultivate a loyal fan-base.
Would you describe yourself as a blogger?
Do you maintain a blog? What do you feel works, and how do you engage your readers? Let us know in the comments and join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you.
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