There are three foundation of how blogs can help companies:
- They offer fresh content on a daily, or at least on a very regular, basis.
- They present an informal voice that visitors can respond to and get to know.
- They provide useful information via links.
Here are some other ways that blogs can be used for marketing and building a business:
- Communicate with your team
Use an internal blog to communicate project status to stakeholders and managers. It beats clogging everyone’s e-mail with multiple mailings, and it allows these missives to be archived, indexed, and easily searched. Blogs are perfect for knowledge management.
- Enrich your clients understanding of your business
You can easily link to white papers, articles, and resources relevant to your readers and their needs. You can more easily attract experts to provide value-added content to your audience by hosting interviews or Webinars to educate clients about trends affecting their industry.
- Reach out to your customer
Nobody buys from someone they don’t know. Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise and point of view quickly and easily. In addition, blogs allow customers to receive your updates in the format they choose: e-mail alert, online, or through feed technology (more on feeds later). You can even launch a “faux blog” and have your company’s mascot or branded character report their experiences working with your company.
- Build a buzz
You can create your own marketing buzz to drive attention and buyers to your products and services. Courting influential bloggers in your industry to review your latest product or service is a great way to generate attention before a product launch.
- Test drive new ideas
Blogs are the perfect forum to test out new ideas and receive instant feedback. You can allow others to see how you develop your products and services, and at the same time, they can tell you how best to serve them.
- Go global
Blogs, like other online media, allow you to take your business and ideas to a global market. Translation services are getting better every day, allowing more people to read online content in various languages.
- Create a backdoor to the press
Journalists are busier than ever, and blogs provide a virtual directory of pundits on any topic. You and your company might be the content experts they’re looking for. Furthermore, if your company is talked about in the blogosphere, it could lead to exposure in the mainstream press.
- Write your book
Blogs can not only give publishers a taste of your writing style, but also allow them to assess your level of expertise. Let your readers help you write your next book or article. Post chapters or ideas, then let readers help you in researching, testing, and suggesting ideas. Or use a blog after your book is published to update the material or to answer questions from readers.
- Highlight success stories
Invite clients to blog about their successes with your products and services—it’s like creating a living testimonial that never ends. As clients share their experiences, your prospective clients can see, firsthand, how you can help them, too.
- Communicate in a crisis
When companies are in a PR pinch, need to get accurate, timely information to the press, and don’t have time to wait for the IT department to work through the tiresome change control process, a blog might be just what is needed. A blog provides an instant way to get updates out (internally or externally) to the people that need them most.