Friday, November 03, 2006

Seven Reasons Why Blogging Should Be Part of Your Marketing Effort

I wrote the following article for Selling Essentials magazine.

Seven Reasons Why Blogging Should Be Part of Your Marketing Effort

By Jim Estill – CEO – SYNNEX Canada

I started my blog ( 18 months ago as an effort to increase communications with my staff but very quickly realized the power of it with my customers and my suppliers. Now I consider my blog to be an integral part of my marketing efforts.

As an active blogger I have come up with seven reasons blogging should be part of any marketing program.

1. Blogs increase communication Anytime you increase communication, you increase profile and sales.

2. Although blogs have been around for awhile, they are still new and topical. People who see that you have a blog will think you are more leading edge. Even if you do not sell technology products, it helps.

3. Owning a blog is like owning a media. Similar to a newspaper, magazine, or a radio station. The advantage of owning a media is that you can say whatever you want where all other media tend to filter what you have to say.

4. You noticed that I said a blog should only part of a marketing program. Blogs on their own tend not to get much readership, rather they have to be crossed promoted so you need to put it on your email tag line, your website, your business cards, etc. People who see your blog address in another media are likely to come to it.

5. Blogging like writing tends to make you an expert. People tend to believe what they read. For this reason you don’t want your blog to be totally self-promotional. Add value. Provide information that helps your customer, amuses them, teaches them etc.

6. A blog should have an angle. People don’t want to log on and hear some promotional material about you and your company. They want to hear something that is a bit edgy, interesting, humorous, and resonates with them. Although you own a media, you still are in competition with all of the other media available. In my case, I have chosen Time Leadership/CEO as the title of my blog and I blog about personal self-development with a focus on time management and efficiency.

7. Blogging will often get picked up by other media and this added press can help you sell. For example, because I blog I have been featured twice in the Globe and Mail and once in Forbes magazine, as well I have been in our industry trade journals. I have also had many speaking engagements as a direct result of my blog.

Blogging doesn’t need to be technically intimidating. Anyone can set up a blog in five minutes. My suggestion is to get an experienced blogger to show you how to start. Or ask your kids.

Blogging is not for everyone. If you want to blog, you need to be willing to dedicate some time and you must enjoy writing. Because I blog about efficiency, I spend a lot of time focusing on my blogging efficiency and I spend less than 20 minutes on each of my blog entries. I do four or five a week; so I spend less than two hours a week on my blog.

I have received some direct sales as a result of my blog. I know from the feedback I have received that many of my customers and suppliers read it.

Blogging is one part of the marketing program.


At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are great reasons to do a blog Jim. Myspace gives great opportunities to have a blog too. A lot of opportunities to meet new people in business there. You can do forwarding to your site from there.
You inspired me on this activity. I'll let you know when blog is coming out.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, those are 7 great reasons Jim.

Marianna - while MySpace can be a good place to blog, understanding Jim' ideal target audience I don't think he'll find it on MySpace which is predominantly read by a youth audience.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger steven edward streight said...

As you know, I've been a "blogologist" for a little while now, and my fans say that I agonize over the tiniest details of blogging and business usage of social media.

So, let me say that you have nailed almost all the essential points related to business blogging.

One little detail I might add to your list is that a good blogger should consider spending a certain amount of time reading other blogs and posting comments on them.

To me, this is one of the very best ways to gain readership and to promote, in a low key fashion, your own blog, expertise, and company.

No, don't post comments just to increase hits at your blog. No, don't add a URL to your site, in a blog comment, since your site URL is already embedded in your signature to a comment.

Long ago, when I did my Blog Pro Survey of two quick questions to about 200 A Listers and Influentials, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress told me that the best way to promote your blog and get traffic was to "be a good member of the blogosphere, get out and visit other blogs, and interact in a variety of ways with other bloggers."

Wouldn't it be nice to have a CEO Blogger Conference once a year? Spend one or two days getting to know other CEO bloggers and what they are doing.

By contributing valuable content, in the form of comments, to other blogs, you increase good will and positive karma for your own blog.

A giving equals receiving axiom.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

Steven. Good insight on this. Will add to my list of things I do.

And I think a blog conference is a great idea. Challenge would be getting people to free up time from busy lives to attend.

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