Brenda Eckstein International is pleased to begin this new series of weekly blogs with an article by associate, Gary Eckstein, business consultant based in Sydney, Australia.
Why have a business blog
Blogging started as a means for anyone to be able to communicate information on the Internet; it was less expensive (often free) than maintaining a website and far more personal. Blogging has evolved significantly since the early days and the divide between websites and blogs has become increasingly blurred. The fundamental difference between a blog and a website (in the traditional sense) is that a blog contains frequently added content in the form of ‘posts’ (sometimes called ‘articles’).
Blogs for business public relations
Many organisations use blogs for public relations purposes. Blogs are an ideal means of putting across a message to interested readers. The content of a blog is managed by the blog owner meaning control of the ‘message’ (content) being communicated. Because most blogs also allow feedback from readers it is a great way of engaging potential from existing customers as well as attaining feedback from them. Once your blog is established it also provides the opportunity for a more direct style of marketing. Quality blogs, over time, attain regular readers which results in a willing sales channel!
Search engines and blogs
Google, Bing and other search engines love blogs because of the frequently added content and engagement with readers. Blogs also often attain more referrals from search engines than traditional websites. Of course the advantage of visitors being referred from the likes of Google is an expanding audience of potential customers. Increasingly quality websites include blogs as part of the business website itself due to blog benefits (this website is a good example of a combined website and blog).
Linking strategy, branding and blogging
It is essential for business blogs to align the ‘look and feel’ and content of the blog posts to business strategy. As an example there is little point in publishing a post about the advancement in quality of low cost suits when you sell premium ‘made to order’ suits. Blog posts must support the objectives and strategy of the business.
Of additional importance is recognising that a blog is an ideal means of positioning your products or services and brand in the mind of the consumer. It is a critical mistake to confuse your consumer in terms of your positioning (again the suit example used previously is applicable; if you sell premium suits then don’t confuse your customer by communicating the benefits of low cost suits).
Finally in relation to strategy, a blog must be considered a deliberate and long-term activity. As branding is a sustained and deliberate set of activities, so is a blog; benefits won’t be realised overnight however the long-term advantages may be significant.
How to start a business blog
So, where does a business start in relation to blogging? Unfortunately there is usually a divide between ‘I.T. people’ and ‘business people’ (i.e. although I.T. people are good at I.T. they often lack business and strategy understanding). It is therefore important to find and employ the services of a consultant who is able to cross the I.T./business divide. This consultant should then be tasked with planning for, and implementing a blog which will work towards the aims of your particular business. Blogging is typically far less costly and more effective than other forms of P.R. (and marketing) however does require new posting of content occasionally e.g. once per week.
Gary is a business consultant based in Sydney, Australia but operating internationally. He assists organisations in getting business benefits from I.T. Contact Gary , Telephone: +61 (0)4-1092-3445, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://eckstein.id.au