A few months ago , my marketing consulting company decided to build a more intentional sense of community with past, current and potential clients. We have always had good relationships with our clients, and we wanted to create long-term value for them and for us. We also knew our business goals needed the support of a community we could tap into, so we began the long-term process of developing a network of brand managers, people who manage the brands of our clients.
The first step: intentional blogging.
While blogging is definitely a popular trend, we planned for it to be part of our larger business strategy. We wanted our blog to position us as experts in our field, as providers of rich information – not commercialized content – and as facilitators of a dynamic community of brand managers. We jumped right in, designed a site and started writing blog entries. Today, we are in the process of building a history behind our blog so that we can implement some of our broader business strategies. Our blog will:
Continue to add value to past and existing clients.
We want to offer continuing support and a sense of community. We want our brand managers to continue connecting with each other and talk about their unique challenges and victories— the blog is a first step.
Keep previous customers in the fold.
We want former clients to think of us first when they need more services. We offer complex services about which our clients need additional education. The blog provides existing clients with a window into our miscellaneous services and case studies.
Provide a non-promotional destination for non-clients.
Whether we speak in a classroom or a conference room, the blog lets audiences engage with us and download additional content in a non-commercial setting.
Help us understand the needs of our clients.
The two-way blog means our clients have a way to communicate their needs— valuable information we use to design products.
Position us as experts in the field.
Our website is rich in content and low on self promotion. We want people to see value right away and gain actionable understanding and knowledge. We assume that this educational approach will result in long-term business.
Keep us from preaching to the choir.
It’s easy to blog to others in your industry and to read similar blogs and get responses back from those who have blogs of their own. While that does serve you in some ways, it takes away from providing value to your readers who are brand managers, not professional bloggers.
Create value around our company.
The blogging strategy is just one part of making our company more valuable for our ultimate exit strategy, because it demonstrates both intellectual property and the ability to create a network of engaged potential customers.
All in all, our blogging strategy is part of our larger business approach: It is a tailor-made strategy designed to help us better understand the needs of our clients and position ourselves as experts. Blogging has become a necessary part of creating value for us, and we look forward to reaping the benefits.
Lynn Parker is the Co-Founder and Principal of Parker LePa, a marketing consultant firm that helps organizations achieve their goals by creating and living stronger brands.
Categories: FINANCES Guest contributors PR/MARKETING