Blogs are becoming effective marketing tools

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A good blog requires to be planned well in terms of its design, structure and it must be well written by a person who has mastered the art of writing blogs. The world is connected with social media and I strongly feel therefore, a blog can draw attention to something which needs promotion. It has more significance in terms of attention it draws than a press release. A blog can be very effectual in bridging the gap between a product and the consumers. It all depends the way a blog is handled.

First and foremost, the blog needs a good name. The name must be catchy to attract the viewers. A well-written and illustrated blog can add to a reader’s understanding of a staid topic and, at the same time, it can promote a firm’s marketing messages related to related area. A blog is a reflexive marketing tool; it is accessible to anyone visiting a company’s Web site. The firm must use the e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to promote the blog to prospective segment for dispersing the message.  The best blogs in the world are dominated by the technology sector. IBM, Oracle and SAP are superbly made blogs and in India, Infosys, TCS and HCL are the top blogs. The information technology companies have a better and wider scope to gain the best out of the blogs as it’s closely related to their work.

There is a gap between adoption of blogs amid the big companies compared to smaller companies and rest of the world.  It’s certainly not so easy to maintain a blog with timely posts and making them interesting and it is very different than any other corporate communication tool; it’s very different than a press release, a write up in business magazine, advertisements, outdoor publicity etc. Another hindrance is that not all people are internet savvy. But, sooner or later blogging will be the most admired marketing tool because it is very spontaneous. The transition is taking place, though it is slow. Every corporate marketing message is aimed at creating more and more value. I think nothing else can really help in adding more value which blogging offers easily as it derives the search engine benefit. The search engines give priority to websites that have fresh and applicable content. It’s been evident in business world that websites with supporting blogs get more traffic than sites without supporting blogs.

A blog has the magic of standing out in crowd. A firm needs to conquer the style of updating its blog regularly. The content needs to have relevance and it works! May be not immediately, but somewhere in the world somebody is watching, reading your blog. It can reach out to thousands of new customers in nooks and corners of the world giving steady and constant flow of information.

Social media is giving the business world a great platform to capture market far and wide. For example Bill Marriot of the Marriot Group is one of the most famous corporate blogger. Bill is the company chairman himself and does his own posts on weekly basis; do you know friends, the chairman’s existence on the blog has won the company loyal fans since they know they are getting the messages from the executive of the company itself. The company has generated millions of direct sales orders from this blog. Differentiation in handing the positioning plank does matter in marketing.

The blog needs to have its goals and objective sorted out first, and then it becomes easy to aim at them.  Many companies in the world are using blogs to interact with customers solving their problems. Caterpillar has blogs dedicated for their each product lines.

Blogs can clarify doubts and misunderstandings about the company, its reputation and its subsistence. It is an essential channel to explain the facts in situations of chaos. Red Cross blog keeps updating their activities and keeps giving more information on how to donate. Thus this blog gets responses for unexpected corners of the world through mainstream news items and articles. I once again want to stress here my point that blogs need to aim at clearly defined segments; then they do wonders in marketing. The clear identification of segments with   measurability of its effective size matters. Maintaining the blog with effective posts does great wonders. A well designed and updated blog attracts followers.

You must visit eBay’s blog. ThouBlog3gh it is most “corporately” designed, it doesn’t give you that impression. Not only is the blog’s design bright and colorful, but the posts are written in an amiable style and the corporate press releases are interspersed with information about charities, interviews with sellers and much more. It’s one of the friendliest blogs.

Blogging is still considered a new medium. Some have made the best out of it while many others are still thinking about it. Whether a corporate blog or a personal blog, the fact remains that it has to be interesting and useful to readers. It needs regular posting. Giving readers what they really want for making them more likely to read a blog. Yes, corporate blogs can give corporate news along with something more. A blog will be read if it has information is worth reading.

Three elements work for the success of a blog: the content, freshness, and illustration.  Google has the best-known corporate blog in the world and for a very good reason. Besides announcing its new products and features, Google offers exciting glimpses behind the scenes at the company and introduces the world to some of its most important employees through its blog. The writing style is informal and the blog allows the world to know what’s going on inside the company.

In India corporate blogging is catching up; though the pace is slower. Indian companies from tech superstars to start-ups are using corporate blogs as a cost-effective method to reach out to their clients and also for brand building. At least 165,745,689 people are accessing the web and while 105,170,327 are surfing away each day. Let me tell you the first blog was developed in 1994.  Today there are 152 billion blogs on Internet. We are currently living in the information age. So, virtually every individual living in this age is looking for information that will help to improve the quality and standard of his/her life. Today, for every problem people tend to go online to look for information to solve their problems.

One recent survey reveals that people prefer reading blogs in the morning. Businesses that update their blogs 20 times a month i.e 4-5 times a week generate 5 times more traffic than those that update their blogs less than 4 times a month. The survey further revels that businesses that own and regularly update their blogs generate 4 times more lead than those that do not own a blog.

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Blogs help to influence customers’ buying decisions and purchases. The information on blogs assists customers to make up their mind on the purchase of a product, it helps them to fine tune their choice, provides answers for most of their queries. Blogs are the best media vehicle to introduce new products to the world. Another survey reveals that companies that have more than 51% articles on their blogs experience a 77% increment in median monthly leads.

Lastly, whether the blog belongs to an organization or individual must not worry about the number of readers initially; the writing must continue. Rarely will a blog take off overnight; so one needs to be patient. Social networking has gripped the world today; we don’t know its future. As of today, producing and maintaining a blog has far fetching results for sure. And an important fact is good writing, in any form, will always remain in demand.

I want to add here that in India, Mr. Amit Agarwal has initiated a very useful move by making a directory named ‘Indianbloggers’ which gives useful information of Indian bloggers topic wise. It is very useful especially for researchers to find blogs which can add value to their research. They are a rich source.

The link http://indianbloggers.org is very detailed and lists some of the leading Indian blogs. Do visit the site to get very important information grouped in topics and the information of blogs.

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Over the course of my life, I have done all possible jobs that one can think of – front desk assistant, telephone operator, clerical work, accounts assistant, inventory officer, sales woman, sales manager, tutor, lecturer, professor, director...etc. The range of job designations and experience of working in diverse roles has given me strength to think, help people, increase customer satisfaction, promote products, and off course build brands. When I look back at my career, in some jobs I excelled, in some I continued with odds. But the fact is that the diversity in my career has strengthened me as a person and definitely enhanced my skills. Every job taught me something or the other. I love meeting people, reading, travelling, listening to music, cooking, gardening, teaching, writing. Blogging has been a recent addition and am loving it. It has become my biggest hobby. Blogging has changed my life. My blog is wide-ranging manifestation of the way I think. I am a creative individual; I write because I have the urge to translate expressions of life. Over the years I studied and added some degrees as well. I have a PhD in Marketing Management from University of Pune, a post doctoral D.Litt (Doctor of letters) from Mumbai University in strategic management. I am a Professor of Management Studies with 16 years of teaching experience and have over 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. As a teacher, I have always maintained the academic rigor in my classroom, I have always believed and practiced academic engagement while lecturing, I believe in experiential teaching-learning. I truly believe that education is interdisciplinary; therefore I have successfully guided 15 students for their PhD degree across various sectors in business management which includes a broad base of research coursework coupled with an area of specialization. I write on various management topics, research, news and higher education for students. And, the general section of articles on my blog relate to my interests in life. Happy reading to you all!

3 COMMENTS

  1. very informative article Madam ! Companies need to use these blogs as effectively as possible coz today the customers have a variety of options to choose from, secondly now the companies cannot take its customers for granted

  2. Very nice article Madam on ” Blogs are becoming effective marketing tools”. even now corporate has realized the important of blog, today blog play an vital role in between the customers, corporate and markets.

  3. very informative article….infact companies like Unilever & P & G have tied up bloggers who have larger fan following to promote their products !

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