By Ben Finklea, CEO and founder of Volacci, a search engine marketing firm.
What do General Motors, Southwest Airlines, Dell Computers, and The Marriott have in common? They have all discovered that a company blog is one of the most powerful ways to build relationships with customers and generate business. In recent years, people’s expectations of companies have definitely changed. Potential customers migrate to businesses where they feel a more personal connection. There are many bad blogs out in the blogosphere that contain boring business jargon and a complete lack of personality. So what makes a good corporate blog?
Good corporate blogs grab a reader’s attention, draw them in and offer engagement in real, interesting dialogue with business leaders. These blogs are more conversational and provide a personal connection with a usually impersonal corporation. Corporate blogs can be the gifts that keep on giving, provided you follow the following simple steps:
- Today’s corporate blogs have completely changed the way that companies engage with their customers, visitors and investors. Adding a personal touch to your company’s website not only invites customers and Web site visitors into your community, it gives them a sense of who you are as people. This connection cultivates loyalty, repeat visits and sales, all of which result in improved profits.
- Along with informing customers about your latest products, services and company happenings, an excellent way to make a personal connection with customers is to sprinkle your blog with personal stories. Share triumphs, your most challenging struggles and even your funniest life situations. It lets them feel as if they’re part of your community. Remember: Community inspires loyalty and loyalty builds profits. Blogging is also an excellent selling tool because it is a communication platform that causes the customer to feel as if they are being informed of something rather than being sold something.
- If you’re running a Content Management System, such as Drupal or WordPress, on your corporate site, setting up your company’s new blog is a piece of cake. Maintaining it requires some organization. Establish an administrative process by which employees participate in social media. Decide who will be contributing to your company’s blog and assign each contributor a topic each week or month. Be sure to establish how often you expect them to blog. Basically, having a system in place keeps your blog organized and cohesive.
- How do you get your corporate blog up and running? If your Web-hosting company provided a template for your Web site, they may also have one for your blog. With your Web-hosting company’s blog template, you will simply add a blog the same way that you add a new page to your Web site. Your blog will be the inner page of your Web site. If your URL address is www.thegreatestcompanyinthewholewideworld.com, then your blog address will be www.thegreatestcompanyinthewholewideworld.com/blog. If a blog template is unavailable, contact an Internet Marketing firm, like Volacci, to help you create one.
- Once your blog is up and running, it’s also a great idea to put the daily blog posts on your social networking sites. Spread the wealth. So when planning a new and amazing content strategy for 2011, make a note to develop a process for maintaining a blog on your company’s website. It’s all about the connection.
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