Written on the 28 March 2011 by Altitude Communications
The secret to using blogs to create credibility, rapport and trust with your clients.
Business in almost every industry has found itself under incredible transformation over the past few years. Global and cutting edge technology has shrunk the world even further, and now what used to exist only in business owners’ wildest imagination has become easily possible. In turn, the possibilities for the success, career growth and personal satisfaction of business owners are now endless,but the challenge is to keep up-to-date with the rapid changes and utilise every opportunity to promote your business and its products/services to both the audience in your backyard and in all four corners of the world.
One such means is by creating a web log, or blog. No doubt you have heard something about blogs by now, and that would probably be because during the past six years, blogs have evolved from a highly personal form of communication on the Internet to a powerful new medium for business. In fact, not since Procter & Gamble invented branding back in 1931 has there been so much excitement about a fresh model for doing business. But how people are actually using blogs as a means of building their business? Blogging is fast becoming a clever marketing tool to help establish niche markets. This is just one of the reasons why you should start a blog today.
The term blog is a combination of words - Web and log.Blogs are online chronicles that are updated frequently, sometimes daily. An update (also called entry or post) is usually short, perhaps even just a few sentences, and readers can respond to a blog entry directly online.
Blog marketing can be a low-cost, high result, online marketing tool that can benefit your business in the following ways:
Search Engine Marketing - it provides an increased presence on major search engines like Google and Yahoo!.
Direct Communications - it allows you to really connect with your visitors by speaking with them directly, rather than at them.
Brand Building - A blog provides an additional channel to position you and your brand in front of your prospects and clients.
Competitive Differentiation - Blogging will help set you apart from the competition, allowing you to introduce and review your products and services in a non-sales environment. People see blogs as a interactive sharing environment rather than a heavy hitting, self-promoting sales environment.
Relationship Marketing - Blogging will empower you with the ability to build strong online and offline relationships with both prospects and clients which will foster a community environment.
Media and Public Relations - Due to the fact that blogs rank globally on search engines as newsworthy information, you can use your blog to broadcast media releases and public relations material. This is an excellent way to communicate and be found online.
Reputation Management - Manage your online reputation as a business that is up front and transparent. Blogging should form part of your online management strategy for both protecting and promoting your reputation.
Position Yourself as Expert - Articulate your viewpoints, knowledge, and expertise on matters pertaining to your industry. It is not uncommon for people to have multiple blogs specifically based on niche topics, industries and products.
Blog readership surged 58 percent in 2004 (Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project). The interactivity of the conversation builds trust, even in an age that’s pretty cynical about commercial messages. Not only that, mainstream media and your local newspaper monitor what’s happening on blogs. That’s free publicity for you, and plenty of it.
Technically speaking, blogs are very easy to use, requiring little if any technical expertise. You don’t have to wait on IT staff or a webmaster to update your site. You can do it quickly and easily. Just write, post, and publish. There is also plenty of online training videos on YouTube.com for popular blogging programs like WordPress and Blogger. Blog content consists of short, routinely-updated commentary, articles and observations written in a first-person, in a very informal style. You can post three times a week or an infinite number of times a day, depending on what’s happening in your business, in your target markets, and in the world. In short, if you commit to starting a blog keep it going.
Plus, blogging also easily combines with other lead generation and communication tools such as email marketing,Twitter, Facebook and video marketing to extend the reach of your marketing messages. You see, blogs can sell. By crafting your blog messages to contain useful and relevant information you will inspire and encourage your blog visitor to take action. The trick here is to predetermine what action you wish them to take. Give careful thought to your blog's navigation and simplicity. And always remember the three second, three click rule, that is if your visitor can't find what they're looking for in three seconds or your page doesn't load within three seconds, statistics show that you can kiss this visitor goodbye... often permanently.
In a nutshell, a business blog gives your business and its employees a voice on the web, as well as a place to collect and share ideas and pertinent information with your customers and prospects. Business blogs provide a “digital handshake” creating a bond of loyalty and mutual trust - very different than the typical selling relationship.
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