Seventy-three percent of advertising and media executives surveyed said up to 20% of their marketing budgets are allocated to using and experimenting with new media platforms such as blogs. Simply stated, blogging is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored by today’s competitive companies.
What is a blog?
As reported by another social media sensation, Wikipedia:
A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. The term “blog” is derived from “Web log.”
Blog Power, Unite!
So how does your company best harness the power of blogs? Below is a list of common-use cases for any organization:
Corporate Newsroom 2.0
Blogs make getting the official word out about your company amazingly simple. The benefits this blog include (1) quickly giving consumers company updates, (2) allowing for open feedback with consumers, and (3) inclusion in search engine indexes, and thus possible increased traffic. Companies can even take this blog-type further by creating an online newsletter with community feedback. Other examples: Google’s Press Center
Provides your customers the ability to create an official community where they can give feedback on a product or service. Companies benefit by creating a central place to get immediate, honest feedback that can result in product/service improvements. Example: Quickbook’s Product Blog
Developer/Channel Partner Network
Similar to a product blog, but focused on creating a place for your channel partners to provide feedback during the product development process. The benefits are allowing real-time input from your partners as well as keeping them up to date with your industry. Example: Yahoo Developer Network
Blogs do not need to be permanent. Often, short-lived blogs are used as a central communication for an upcoming event. Atlanta’s own “social media mashup of the south” utilizes a blog to keep attendees in the know about news leading up to their big event. Other example: Fundraisers Blog
CEO/Thought Leader Blog
Unfortunately, most companies only consider this use of a blog. They were the focus of early blog adopters and thus set the stage for organization’s considering a blog. Be smart and don’t limit your blog to just the CEO. Other example: Jason Calacanis of Sequoia Capital
Liberate the intellectual capital of your organization with a Company Evangelist blog. These blogs are typically lead by company middle managers who are also embedded in blogging circles. Because these are written in a less formal manner as a CEO/Though Leader Blog, the content tends to be viewed as more trustworthy. Other example: Matt Cutts is a well known blogger who works at Google.
Unfortunately, you will never see some of the most useful blogs. Your team, however, can benefit by creating internal blogs to share links, collaborate, and educate. Example: Many are inaccessible, but Adobe makes a list open to the community
Which blog is best for your company?
Do as your financial adviser would suggest: diversify! Don’t constrain your blog to only one single use. The team here at Sherpa! uses our blog “to share advances in the field with clients, partners, and peers.” Whatever the end use, make it a corporate initiative to reap the benefits of user-generated content and start blogging this year.