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Top 5 Reasons Why Blogs Deserve Our Respect (and Are Important for Business)

With today's accelerated pace of social broadcast platform introductions, it is easy to think of blogs as an old tactic – easily tossed aside in favor of the new shiny social tech toy that’s ever so cool. Blogs have become the tech cast-off’s plummeting from being the poster child of the social revolution to a social “has-been” in barely 24 months.

Yet I encourage us to ignore the dearth of articles declaring blogs dead because well used, blogs are a powerhouse platform that lets companies share ideas, deepen customer engagement and get business inspiration not possible in any short form. Successful examples of bloggers abound – most notably TechCrunch’s catapult to journalistic credibility from its humble beginnings as a slightly irreverent “in love with tech” blog site.  Or as a more business orientated blog, Mark Suster’s “both sides of table” is a gem of a blog that provides real insight into the quirky VC/ venture/ tech frothy world. His consistently high quality content is a great way to bring new audiences to his thinking which no doubt results in new connections not possible otherwise.    

So before you relegate blogs to the social dust bin, here the top 5 reasons why blogs are critical for business (and why we continue to love them).

1) Blogs are efficient ways to generate qualified traffic.

It’s true – blogs can’t usually generate tons of new traffic – but it can generate qualified traffic which is even better. The trick is to have a clear-cut content strategy because without it I can assure you the effort will fail. The approach we use to develop a content strategy is to identify specific topics that will be discussed from different angles over a specific time frame, (e.g. two weeks).  To strengthen its traffic building muscle - it's ideal to introduce outside advocates or customers or vendors in the blog post to make your point. Be sure to tell these people that you have included them via Twitter or LinkedIn etc.  That’s how your viral machine starts to turn.

2) Blogs are a great way to test different ideas.

Blogs bring the notion of crowdsourcing down to a manageable level. A blog can explore business concepts or a particular feature set or a channel idea.  Again, using social media like Twitter, you can ask people for their opinions. You won’t get hundreds of responses but you’re likely to get a couple of responses from people who really care - and that’s who YOU really care about anyway. Over time, the results you get from blog comments can be rich and nourishing.

3) Blogs give a personal face to an impersonal company.

Any salesperson knows that people want to buy from people they like. Companies traditionally spend billions creating well-designed branding programs to achieve this level of likeability. A blog is a key and inexpensive element in a company’s branding arsenal. The ability for prospects or customer to connect to a real person within a company makes it an ideal platform to create relationships that can lead to business.  That’s why blogs have the potential to be a central pillar in your corporate branding toolkit.

4) Blogs allow customers and prospects to get an inside view into how your company does business.

A blog written by a lead product developer explaining a particular underused feature set is interesting and useful. However a blog written by that same person discussing how he was inspired to create the specific feature set is hugely engaging. It gives people context to understand why your offering is better than the competition. That sets the stage for engaging your customers or prospects in the creation of future products.

5) A blog provides a strategic time capsule of how a company is evolving.

Companies are organic in the sense that they have a lifecycle – in every sense of the word. If you step back and look at the flow of a corporate blog, you get a very accurate snapshot of the company's focus, innovative capacity and most importantly, a glimpse into what a company might do in the future. This should be thought of as a huge digital asset requiring attention as it can be the tipping point for whether a strategic partnership goes through or how a potential investor views your company. Most obviously, blogs are a powerful lens about your company that the press will regularly view a company through.

My intention here is to remind us that the value of a well-tended corporate blog is that it is a “no fail” business branding tool that pays dividends the longer it remains relevant. So the next time a social media expert disses blogs, remember blogs are about as old-fashioned as the thinking of the person who uses them. Blogs done right are blogs that help build businesses.

Want proof? You’re reading this blog – aren’t you!         

Judy Shapiro

P.S. I dedicate this post to a dear colleague who is starting a new corporate blog.  May she be inspired to appreciate how blogs allow a company to leverage the power of social marketing. 

Join The Conversation

  • Aug 8 Posted 5 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    Great article.

    As someone working in sales it's vital to know your product and maket ito the most minute detail. Good blogs require research and  formualting your ideas and opinions based on this. In short it's a great way of learning not just what you are selling but a much wider scope of relevant and useful information. The better informed you are the better your credibility and more confident you are.

    In sales my time is naturally very tight and one needs to keep distractions to a minimum. However I've found that blogging is a great use of time and have had many people I'm pitching to say how they have been reading my and my company's blogs.

     

    Thomas Aspinall

    twitter: Aspinall4MAT

     

     

  • Aug 3 Posted 5 years ago Gideon Rosenblatt (not verified)

    I agree! And not just because I blog regularly. ;-) Building on point 3, blogs provide a human face that helps people build connections with a company. We long for those real, human connections - even when it comes to dealing with a gigantic corporation. We're surprised, and delighted when we have contact with someone on a customer support line who actually seems to care about what we're experiencing; someone who treats us like a human being rather than just a customer, or even worse, a consumer. Blogs are part of that human interface, or "membrane", that connects a company to its external surroundings. Thanks for highlighting this, Judy. Well said. 

  • JudyShapiro's picture
    Jul 28 Posted 5 years ago JudyShapiro

    hehe - send that reporter my way - I will set him straight.

    Blogs dont fail - its the people that work them who fail. 

    It seems people set the wrong goals for blogs and then wonder why it didnt work. URGH - makes me crazy TBH. 

    Judy Shapiro

  • JudyShapiro's picture
    Jul 28 Posted 5 years ago JudyShapiro

    Yah - I was tempted to write just 2 lines.

    The first line was going to be: "Blogs are important" then my last line: "Want proof? You're reading this blog" was going to be the 2nd line.

    But that seems too sparse - don't you think (hehe)? 

    Judy Shapiro

  • JudyShapiro's picture
    Jul 28 Posted 5 years ago JudyShapiro

    Thanks for your kinds words Mark. 

    Social marketing (including blogs) is really hard on companies. After all - social media is about people connecting with people. Yet corporations were designed to detach the "company" from "the people"...

    That fundamental disconnect cascades throughout the function of social marketing. Who should do it? Who should manage it? How do companies protect ourselves from unhappy employees - and on and on and on... 

    In the sheer chaos of it all - many companies ignore the easy basic things, like blogs, they CAN be doing... 

    Marketing amnesia stirkes again... The tried and true "old" gets tossed in favor of shiny new marketing toy. UGH!!!

    Judy Shapiro

     

  • Jul 28 Posted 5 years ago Jack W (not verified)

    Blogging definitely isn't dead, but it isn't hot news anymore either.  I believe that blogging will continue to be incredibly important.

  • Jul 28 Posted 5 years ago Mark Vaesen (not verified)

    An excellent post, Judy - thanks.  I completely agree that blogging is still important and provides a great opportunity to engage with an audience on a deeper or more detailed level.  For me, points 1, 3 and 4 are particularly relevant and blogging is about communicating with specific people at a level that allows them to get to know you as a person, not just a faceless company.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Geri Stengel's picture
    Jul 27 Posted 5 years ago Geri Stengel

    Blogs serve another purpose that you didn’t mention: They provide a venue for a fuller explanation. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are about character counts and summary statements, headlines only. While much can be communicated in a few words, many concepts require fuller explanations, a little more exploration of multiple facets, some education rather than just conclusions.

  • Cue Social Media's picture
    Jul 27 Posted 5 years ago Cue Social Media

    I think your last line says it all!

    Great article.

  • Angela Hausman's picture
    Jul 27 Posted 5 years ago Angela Hausman

    Judy, great post.  I seem to hear that "blogging is dead" everywhere I turn.  In fact, I was approached by a writer for the Washington Post whose editor wanted him to write a story about how blogging wasn't dead, but he thought that was a stupid idea since EVERYONE knows blogging is dead.

    Sure, social media provides a presence for businesses without the technical problems inherent in running a successful blog.  But, they are a supplement to a blog -- they give you a place to promote your information and another place to interact with consumers.  It's hard to replace the value blogs provide consumers or the authority they help build for the firm.

    Moreover, blogging helps you stand out online.  If consumers are searching for your product, blogging helps your business show up at the top of the search results and, for a small business, it's the only affordable way to do it.  Blogging also helps build and maintain your reputation.

    Thanks for sharing.

     

    Angela Hausman, PhD

    Let's Blog for Money

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