If you haven't yet looked at blogging as a potential marketing tool for your business, now's the time.
Last spring, I wrote to all my customers to suggest that it was time for them to start letting at least their salespeople write blogs for their customers and prospects. It sounds radical to many managers, but there's no denying the power of authentic communication when it comes to building loyalty between people—and clearly your customers are people first.
Let's evaluate this idea using the PPC technique (Pluses, Potentials and Concerns), as described in Roger L. Firestein's Leading on the Creative Edge.
Idea: Let Your Customers Read Blogs Written By Your Salespeople
- Customers will feel special (always a good thing).
- Customers will learn about your company in an authentic voice from the people whose main concern is helping your company make money (so they can make money)—not a bad motivation for creating positive content.
- Salespeople enjoy the process and feel good about being able to be in touch with customers more frequently.
- Your customers are so in touch with you that they think of you instantly when a colleague needs a referral for your product or service.
- Your customers feel so attached to you (through your sales reps) that they don't hesitate to share important information about developments in their own company—which means you can become proactive (perhaps way ahead of the competition) about responding to their needs.
- Your customers become even more excited about your R&D process and are more willing to help test new products/services.
- Your customers complain less because they really know and trust your processes and are more inclined to be understanding about any glitches in service or problems with products.
- How might you control any tendency for salespeople to write content that might appear negative?
- How might you let go of any fear that someone will say too much?
- What review process might you institute so that trade secrets and other intellectual property items are protected—clearly understood as off-limits for blog content?
Remember… your salespeople are out there with your customers every day—in their offices and plants and at conferences and in hotels. You have even less control over what they say in those situations than you do in a blog, so think trust.
A recent Harvard Business Review article recounted how the CEO of a midsize corporation stood up at a big company meeting to introduce a new product they'd developed, only to find that most of the audience already knew about it.
Because they'd been reading the blog of one of the company's junior associates—who chronicled the progress of the development. Not surprisingly, HBR heralded this as a wakeup call to corporate marketing folks.
The effectiveness of blogging as a marketing tool is no longer in doubt. In addition to all the advantages of a newsletter, it has the added power of the fact that people choose to come to it and read it.
More than three billion blog pages are indexed on the Google search engine, yet people will find yours if it's a topic of interest. What's more, they'll pass the word to others! That's virtually free promotion and the kind of unsolicited third-party endorsements every business owner dreams of.
Calculate the potential gain—both to your company and to your customers—against the potential risks. Be creative about ways to minimize or eliminate perceived risks.
Once you've developed confidence in the power of sales blogging and are comfortable with the process your people follow, don't hesitate to expand your target audiences to include vendors, trade and business editors and all prospects.
No matter what size your business, this new Internet tool is a mighty one. Don't waste any more time.
Continue reading "Blog for Business: Is It Right for Your Company?" ... Read the full article
MarketingProfs provides thousands of marketing resources, entirely free!
Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get instant access to how-to articles, guides, webinars and more for nada, nothing, zip, zilch, on the house...delivered right to your inbox! MarketingProfs is the largest marketing community in the world, and we are here to help you be a better marketer.
Sign in with your preferred account, below.
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Web Sites:
Useful Tools for Managing Your Online Communities [Infographic]
This infographic recommends tools for a wide range of different tasks, including managing discussion threads, parsing comments, and automating workflows. read this »
How to Spring-Clean Your Website Content
The birds are chirping, the sky is blue, and... yikes, that infographic you posted two years ago just doesn't hold up. Time for a spring cleaning. Here's how to do it. read this »
Your B2B Website Power Page: Seven Must-Have Ingredients
Eye of newt... scale of dragon... whoops, wrong recipe. You want to know what goes into a power page—the top-ranking internet content that makes Google sing your praises. Check out this article to learn the most important ingredients. read this »
Does Your Website Really Need That? Five Elements to Rethink
Remember the early days of the Web when we'd throw everything possible onto a website just because we could (RIP midi files)? Turns out that's not the best way to get people to engage. You should think twice about whether your site needs these five things. read this »
Google's Guide to User-Generated Content [Infographic]
This infographic from Google provides a flow chart for publishers looking to incorporate UGC elements such as comments into their websites. read this »
Eight Questions Website Visitors Want Answered Within 10 Seconds [Infographic]
This piece looks at the questions your website visitors have, the motivations behind those questions, and how you can answer them effectively. read this »