If you have ever seen a blog, it’s usually some sort of how-to, or a recipe that someone tried out then pasted the actual recipe at the very bottom of the page. But is there any other use for blogging? Believe it or not, some business professionals today believe that blogging is the next big social media hit – but for businesses.
Before taking a class called Promotions and Branding led by Professor Jennifer Burton at The University of Tampa, I hadn’t really understood why blogging was important at all. It was like an online diary of words, and I didn’t think much of it. I would see recipes or tutorials once in a while housed in blogs but I was not actively following any sort of blog other then visual ones like on Pinterest and Tumblr, nothing strictly text content like WordPress or specific company-hosted web sites offered. Even an internship I interviewed for ran a blog and I remember sitting during the interview thinking ‘Why the hell are they writing a blog and wasting their time?’ Little did I know that blogging is really an ingenious way to get to consumers attention in a different fashion then exposing them to your products through advertisement. Blogging is like creating a direct relationship with readers and building brand equity if you write about things that your customers care about.
The book I was required to read in the Promotions and Branding class was ‘Born To Blog‘ written by Mark Schaefer and Stanford Smith. It’s a super cheap read chocked full of so much interesting knowledge. The book introduced me to the world of business blogging, and how to in short make it successful. Businesses today that hire consultants generally start their social media strategy off with blogging first. The reason behind blogging being such an important tool is because its chocked full of content that search engines can pick up on and redirect wed searchers through. It exposes every day searchers to businesses they may have never heard of before, and the search was done on their own time. They weren’t exposed to some sponsored advertisement that they want to ignore.
Companies offer differently run blogs. One blogging hub I ran into more recently is the organic yogurt company Stonyfield who has a few to name including Yogurt Dish, Yo-Getters, and the Clean Plate Club. All of which are composed predominantly of mommy-bloggers that use the Stonyfield name to promote not only what they write but the company. They are featured on the Stonyfield site but link out to their own blogs. They write both their own things on their personal blog, but also content that directly impacts Stonyfield like a recipe featuring their yogurt, or a blog about something that the company supports like supporting farmers. Other blogs have their marketing team run it, but the blog should be a company wide effort. Customer service knows what customers complain about and how to tackle problems they see first hand. Even the CEO has experience where they can put some time aside to contribute to the blog.
The blog readers will see who is posting, and honestly if you saw the CFO of Disney writing on something you are interested in, doesn’t that make you feel more towards the company? That the CFO would put time aside to write valuable information down for you to see that you stumbled upon? Companies from Nordstrom all the way to Coca-Cola!
Do you have a blog? Are you a business? Just curious, how do you feel about the concept? Obviously your reading a blog now, so you can’t have the worst feelings about it.