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Can Blogging Work as a Marketing Tool?

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Yes, it can. My two most recent clients hired me because of what they read on my blog and at my Web site. That is significant because for marketing to be accepted and effective, it must result in sales. I know some disagree, and that's one of the great things about this medium. It is interactive, immediate, and informal... key ingredients to good communications.


When I first started blogging nearly a year ago (my first anniversary is June 13), one of my goals was to use my site the same as I use all my outlets for writing--as a way to brand myself and my business. But to be successful, my branding efforts must lead to work. Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as TV and radio guest appearances and my books have always done that. I saw no reason why blogging shouldn't be able to build my brand image, market my business philosophy and values, offer lot of free content for my readers, and lead to work. It has.
The point I want to make is that blogging does not need to be sold only as a way to have a conversation with your readers, customers and clients. While that is a good thing in and of itself, I don't believe it is the right argument to make when we offer blogging (or any of the social media tools) to our business clients.
The primary purpose of a business is sales. And every marketing tool should support that purpose. I now have proof that blogging does, when done correctly and when our posts serve our reader's wants and needs, the basic foundation of all marketing and branding efforts.
Here is my challenge to you: If you believe that blogging is an effective marketing tool, pretend that we are potential customers and clients and give us your best pitch. If you don't believe that this medium can be an effective marketing tool, tell us why.


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Lewis Green, Founder and Managing Principal of L&G Business Solutions, LLC, (http://www.l-gsolutions.com) brings three decades of business management experience. L&G Business Solutions, LLC, represents his third company. Additionally, he held management positions with GTE Discovery Publications, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks Coffee Company.

In addition to his business experiences, Lewis is a published author and a former journalist, sports writer and travel writer. His feature articles have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers throughout North America. He has taught in public schools; lobbied for organizations both in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.; delivered workshops, seminars, and training programs; and made presentations to audiences in colleges, businesses and professional organizations. Lewis also has served as a book editor with a large publisher, the Executive Editor overseeing four magazines, and a newspaper department editor. Lewis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal.

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  • by Mack Collier Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    "Here is my challenge to you: If you believe that blogging is an effective marketing tool, pretend that we are potential customers and clients and give us your best pitch." http://www.theviralgarden.com That's my best pitch, if I can grow my own blog into being a successful marketing tool for myself, I can do it for you. Blogging isn't rocket science, the same rules that led to growth for my 'personal' blog, will work for any business blog. If I were a company and were considering hiring a marketing consultant to help me join the blogosphere, the first thing I would want to see, is their blog. Are they following their own advice? How has it worked for them? That's why when I talk to companies about growing a successful blog, I know the advice that I am giving them works, because it's the same advice I followed to grow my own blog. I'm sure your new clients saw your blog Lewis, and realized that you knew what you were talking about.

  • by Mike Sansone Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    In a different season, I used to say Content builds Community leading to Commerce. Now the Content is the Conversation. And blogs are Conversation Stations.

  • by David Reich Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    My clients are starting to ask me about blogs. If I hadn't been involved in blogging myself, my advice would lack a certain amount of credibility. I haven't yet picked up any business that I can attribute directly to my blog, but it has been a plus I can talk about to clients and prospects alike. The reaction so far has been universally positive.

  • by Lewis Green Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Mack and David, Excellent point about driving success (numbers really) at our own blogs. If we can do it, we likely can helps others achieve success as well. Mike, There is lots good to say about conversation stations, which are driven by good content. The key to the conversation for the business blogger is to listen and to be proactive when we hear something useful and on target.

  • by Jim Kukral Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Your blog is your resume. I've been blogging since 2001 at jimkukral.com. I haven't built a real resume since 3-years before that, and never will.

  • by Lewis Green Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Interesting take Jim. I see my web site as my resume, with my blog supporting and linked to my web site.

  • by Ted Mininni Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Lewis, "The primary purpose of a business is sales. And every marketing tool should support that purpose." Exactly. Blogging, just as every other marketing endeavor, must and should support our sales efforts. Otherwise, our companies wouldn't be in business. If you have ROI information to support that blogging has brought business to your consultancy, Lewis, then it means you have used this tool effectively. Not every marketer does. Much discussion has appeared on The Daily Fix about poorly orchestrated corporate blogs, for example. A direct, plain spoken approach and letting business people know where you stand enables them to decide whether you and your services are a "fit" for them or not. And I'm all for pre-qualifying business--it substantially cuts down on wasting everybody's time. That's a significant factor today.

  • by Nancy Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Lewis, Reading a blog is a good insight into someone's ideas. And the good blogs sell the writer and often the readers as well. Even comments can be marketing tools. I have often linked through to someone's site after reading a comment they made to see what else they have to say. I hope comments/insights I have shared have prompted others to take a look at my site as well. Mike, Blogs are converstations. And isn't that what good marketing does -- promotes dialogue?

  • by Lewis Green Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Ted, I agree with you but it takes some courage to admit this before the blogosphere, as it may seem self-serving. But then isn't one of the foremost purposes of marketing to serve business and revenue needs. I launched my blog to serve as a marketing and branding tool to build both my business and my personal brand. That said, I appreciate blogs whose purposes are different and I enjoy reading them. Furthermore, although the primary purpose of my blog is business growth, my secondary purpose is to share with others freely and to learn from them, as well. In addition to offering business content, I also use my blog to entertain my readers with rock and roll history and music in addition to pieces like today's post about rinventing Paris Hilton's brand image. At the end of the day, however, I won't be able to provide great or frequent blog content if it doesn't result in business. I owe it to my family, myself, my readers and my business to provide useful marketing content that helps grow my business as well as my readers' businesses. That's why my blog is filed under the category of a marketing/business blog instead of some other category. Finally, before launching my blog I created measurable goals based on 1) readership, 2) new friendships, and 3) new business. Even if I do not achieve numbers one or three (although I am), I am blessed by my new friendships and would not trade any of them for more business. Nancy, I think that commenting is a way to grow your brand recognition and to drive people to your blog. It is a strategy that many of us use.

  • by Mack Collier Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    "Even comments can be marketing tools. I have often linked through to someone's site after reading a comment they made to see what else they have to say." Great point Nancy that many of us either overlook, or forget. An insightful and intelligent comment left on a blog post can drive as much or more traffic to your blog, as can a link from that blog to yours.

  • by johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy) Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    Years ago I heard Rick Bruner, now of DoubleClick, say, "B.L.O.G. stands for Better Listings On Google." SO TRUE. And since we partly live in a "you are your Google search results" world, a blog is a great tool to build awareness leading to preference for any company, any product, and any person.

  • by Lewis Green Tue Jun 12, 2007 via blog

    John and Mack, Thanks so much for your insights.

  • by Zal Phiroz Wed Jun 13, 2007 via blog

    Interesting question. If blogging does work in the Marketing spectrum, then I should get alot of hits on my current eBay auction as a result of this posting. Auction number: 320124337134 Direct link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320124337134

  • by Lewis Green Wed Jun 13, 2007 via blog

    Zal, You might but I am guessing you will just piss a bunch of bloggers off for spamming us.

  • by William Anderson Thu Jun 14, 2007 via blog

    I do believe blogging is a marketing tool, and a smart one at that. It seems to convey a number of ideas to a potential client: writing style, thought process, currency, etc. Like David Reich noted above, I can't attribute any one client win to the blog, but I do know the clients I did pick up felt more comfortable that I was the right candidtate after spending time on my blog.

  • by Lewis Green Thu Jun 14, 2007 via blog

    Good point William. Our blogs are at the very least good credentials and great selling tools when we are competing for work.

  • by vandana ahuja Fri Jun 15, 2007 via blog

    Blogging is ofcourse an excellent marketing tool. A large no. of Corporate Blogs are being set up by companies to- 1.Build Product Brands. 2.Create a customer-centric approach for the company. 3.To give people a contact point by attaching a face or name they can interact with, hence catering to the concept of relationship building. 4.Create a buzz about New product/project launches. 5.Act as a source of consumer redressal. 6.Act as a source of viral marketing. Its a place where people chat about the company and the products and if they talk well, well you've got a word of mouth campaign already started. 7.Create communities for communication, collaboration,customer-interaction. 8.Image building purposes by showcasing any good work done by the company. 9.Showcase any achievements by the company and any recent successes...

  • by safari expert Wed Jul 2, 2008 via blog

    Well this is very interesting and rather new to me. I recently started a blog for our safari company at http://wildwingssafaris.blogspot.com but I do not yet see or understand the full marketing potential. Is it about creating a loyal following of readers who keep returning to your blog, or is there a way to generate links to our company website http://www.wild-wings.co.za in order to generate traffic? As Lewis said, it's about sales at the end of the day, and these happen on our website, not on our blog. If the idea is to make the blog popular in order to stimulate sales on the website, why not just spend time making the website itself more popular? Perhaps I should have started the blog on our website rather than on blogspot. There is a lot of talk about using blogging as a marketing tool and as an seo tool, but I don't think I understand the full picture yet. Thanks anyway for an interesting article.

  • by Trudy (South Africa) Tue Nov 17, 2009 via blog

    I really enjoyed reading this. Not only was it insightful, it had honesty and passion. The comments are so relevant, making this all so worth the time it took to read and learn from it. Thanks a mil Lewis and all who posted comments :)

  • by tamirirashe zhou Fri Dec 30, 2011 via blog

    It is really true to say that blogging can be used as a marketing tool.There are many reasons why blogging is such a powerful marketing platform.For starters it gives you an interactive arena of talking with your potential customers.Just like a website,a blog can generate income and it maximizes your chances of being found by search engines.When optimized well,its possible for your blog to have multiple references to it on a page of search results for certain keywords.
    A blog is an easy way to quickly disseminate your marketing information to a wider readership.You can also segment this information thereby segmenting your readers.
    Moreso,it all boils down to building a community of readers.If the community is solid your marketing efforts will definately thrive and business will definately follow.If you neglect the community,they simply respond by choosing other blogs.So i trully agree that your blog is your marketing tool,and possibly the best.

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