Blog for Business – How to
if it’s right for your company
There’s something going on out there called Blogging and
if you haven’t looked at it as a potential marketing tool
for your business, now’s the time. Blogging is the practice
of writing personalized, heartfelt (to varying degrees) content
and publishing it on the Internet for the world to read.
Last spring I wrote to all my customers to suggest 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-that’s described in Roger L. Firestein's book
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
• The people you assign to blog will be learning as they write—affordable
• 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
• 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
• What review process might you institute so that trade secrets
and other IP 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.
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 3 billion pages are indexed on the Google
search engine, yet people will find yours if it’s a topic
of interest.—and they’ll pass the word to others! That’s
virtually free promotion and the kind of unsolicited 3rd 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 comfort with the process
your people follow, don’t hesitate to extend your target audiences
to include vendors, trade and business editors and all prospects.
It’s free to start. Try services like www.bloghosts.com,
or www.blogspot.com. There
are many choices. Or you can set one up on your own server with
CGI scripts or have one custom programmed.
No matter what size your business, this new Internet phenomenon
is a mighty tool for unleashing creativity. Don’t waste any
more time. Try it now.
Barbara Payne, managing principal of A ReallyGoodFreelanceWriter.com,
writes newsletters, business blogs and feature articles for technology,
medical and legal companies. She also publishes www.blogforbusiness.com
and her newsletter blog GetMoreCustomers.
You can reach her at 773.292.3294 or 216.472.8502.