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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Technique - Marketing for Technology Companies

Technique - Marketing for Technology Companies

Why Blog?
By Steve Plunkett

A business blog is a valuable, multi-function tool for communicating with customers and employees. Blogs are the newsletters that never go away. They are a great way to post the latest information on the Web about your newest product or service. They provide a platform from which your employees, customers, partners and prospects can share information, data and opinions. And once these moderated discussions are posted, they can be “set in digital stone” for the world to read in perpetuity.

Oftentimes, I hear the question, “Why do I need a blog? I already have a website.”

For starters, a blog complements your website. It does not replace it. A corporate blog is a great way to direct traffic to your company’s site. This helps you to get sales leads from informed customers, provided, of course, that you have posted compelling information on your company’s blog.

Also, a blog lets you communicate faster, more flexibly and less formally than you would through other media. On your website, if you are sounding your own horn about your neatest, latest, greatest product, it’s called a press release. But if you’re blogging, you’re telling a story, complete with personal observations and pictures. You are guiding potential customers along the path of why you think your product is so neat, how it surpasses others in the market and, through a “comments” function, answering questions about your company and its products.

Of course, your readers will understand that your blogs are not completely objective – after all, it’s your company you’re blogging about. On the other hand, your readers also understand that your blog is a personal message to them, not an expensive, varnished piece of communications produced painstakingly over several months by your ad agency. In other words, your readers perceive a measure of earnest communications that just can’t be achieved through traditional media.

To create a successful blog, you need to start with a strategy. You need to plan. And you need to commit to updating your blog at least twice a week. That may seem like a lot, but don’t you have enough going on at your company to write about twice a week? Even if it’s a project that is going to take six months to complete, talk about it. Explain how you do “X” better than your competitors.

Simply put, tell your story. Keep your brand in mind. Plug your key selling points. Direct readers to your website. Be active and responsive. And start selling more.

Selling more. Is there a better reason to blog?
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