I do a considerable amount of blogging these days, and a majority of it is industry-specific. It isn’t difficult; it’s actually a lot of fun, though it can be somewhat exhaustive. So, today I’d like to take a step back and appraise the art of blogging itself. Specifically, I’d like to examine why company blogs are so important.
A large number of businesses, organizations, and institutions are providing their website visitors with access to some type of “company blog.” Lots of big-name companies are doing it—up to and including those in the Fortune 500! From Disney and Dell to Texas Instruments, Time Warner, and beyond, modern businesses suddenly have the urge to connect with their supporters and customer-base. But again, why?
Well, let’s step outside the box for a minute and see if we can’t figure this out for ourselves. It’s kind of a no-brainer anyhow:
1) Diversity Is a Good Thing
Any contemporary internet user will agree that nothing dampens the browsing experience more quickly than a website utterly devoid of originality and distinction. Blogging is the best example of going that extra mile for the consumer. When I peruse a website for the first time, I’m looking for more than just raw information—I’m looking for opportunity. Specifically, I’m looking for an opportunity to engage more actively with an organization or business. Blogs, videos, games, useful external links, memorable mascots—all these things are beneficial in making my web-based experience with a given brand a more positive one, and I expect all of them (and more) to be present on most websites. Is that so much to ask? Methinks not.
2) Connectivity Is a Necessity
What better way to engage a web surfer than by talking with them? Okay, okay—blogs aren’t really a means of direct communication, but at the very least they allow companies to convey what’s important. So, what’s important? For starters: knowing that a brand is interested in me, and not just the other way around. I want to be wooed! I want to be desired! I want to feel like more than just another prospective buyer or visitor when I’m at a company website or blog. I play a mean game of hard-to-get when it comes to my brand loyalty, and I expect my suitors to keep up. If I have questions, comments, or concerns about a given brand, then I expect there to be an outlet providing answers, feedback, and reassurance. I don’t want to resort to some piddly “Contact Us” link at the bottom of a homepage, I want access to a consistently updated forum that evolves organically and that caters to the average person’s understanding of a business. Companies that have the courtesy to provide a blog understand the benefit of real connectivity and interaction.
3) Being Helpful Never Hurts
Being a part of your customers’ lives is crucial, and continuing to offer them something worthwhile comes with the territory. As I mentioned before, even Fortune 500 corporations dabble in blogging to some extent, and some do it very well. Take a quick peek at the Clorox Company’s blog, Dr. Laundry. It reads almost like a question and answer session, but with a bright conversational tone and with a focus on helping the consumer get the most out of Clorox products. Now, check out this recent article from Kodak’s blog page, A Thousand Words, wherein they provide a brief, user-friendly tutorial on Bokeh Photography. It’s one of many blogs in which the company writers offer useful tips not just for Kodak loyalists, but for anyone interested in advancing their skills in photography. Clorox and Kodak know that remaining competitive in today’s marketplace means contributing to the customers’ well being, and at the end of the day, blogging is just a great way of conveying the utmost care and concern.
Like I said, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Blogging really can’t hurt. It gives the average-Joe-website-visitor a chance to engage more directly with a given brand or business, and it makes companies a lot more hospitable to the average consumer. Be sure to check out some of the company blogs that are out there these days, and don’t forget to frequent one of the best company blogs around—the Quality Logo Products blog!
What are your favorite company blogs? What are your thoughts on corporate blogging?