I’m a huge fan of blogging. In fact, I manage four blogs but will reduce that to two. That might be a little excessive for most, but I enjoy getting readers involved. Blogs are great for social networking and they can be a very productive tool that complements your marketing efforts, as well as enhances the “stickiness” of your web site in relation to search engines. Now, before you head off and create a blog filled with ads and copies of your press releases with the expectation that you’ll get to the first page of a Google search, you have to consider a few things.
Blogs generate interest if you’re sincere about your industry or market. Readers are turned off to viewing blogs full of PR spin. It’s a total buzz kill. Think about your customers — would they spend more time reading a collection of your ads or press releases, or reading about how your expertise can help them succeed in their efforts? I’m not talking about giving away the farm in terms of your knowledge, expertise or services. I’m talking about giving your customers a sense of community in which they can interact and comment on your productive opinions in your industry.
For example, one client of mine owns a wine and cigar bar. We’re integrating a blog into their web site. A great use of their blog is to use it as a forum for reporting on wines and cigars that they’ve recently tasted or smoked. If I were a customer, or prospective customer, I’d enjoy reading about the latest tastings and arming myself with the knowledge to make a good buy — hopefully in the blogger’s establishment. The blog would build credibility and authenticity with the wine and cigar bar’s patrons. And they can be active participants in the bar’s “community” by discussing the bloggers experiences — fostering evangelists for their business.
In my following posts, I’ll write about content as it relates to optimizing your site for search engines. Later, I’ll share more about making your blog your primary customer communication vehicle, as well as some quick (and free) ways to get the word out about your blog.
In the meantime, let me know your thoughts about blogging and customer communications tools.