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Why You Should Stop Stalling and Start Blogging for Your Company

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:

Diversity is a Good Thing

Diversity is a Good Thing

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.

Connectivity is a Necessity

Connectivity is a Necessity

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.

Being Helpful Never Hurts

Being Helpful Never Hurts

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?



Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. JPorretto

    Nice post man! “Average Joe”…. hehe.

    I just like when companies blog, because they feel more like real people and less like a corporate machine. Plus it just gives you more to think about and engage in other than the usual “what do I buy?” or “how much is it?” etc that you can get from just about every company out there.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      My point exactly. It makes for a richer website experience when there’s more to do than just shop. Every company should be trying to be more personable these days. It only helps.

  2. Vernon

    Never really got into or thought about getting into reading blogs about other companies – being the cynic that I am I see Chrysler “tweeter” dropping f-bombs about other drivers in the Motor City and the “poster” for the Sarah Palin Facebook page really isn’t Sarah Palin. I just kinda lose interest.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, it’s easy to lose interest when company blogs don’t at least make an effort to be interesting and engaging. More of them should be putting in the extra effort.

      I just read about Chrysler’s Twitter incident recently. Couldn’t believe they let that slip.

      Side note: I think our resident social networking guru should start dropping some F-bombs in the QLP Twitter feed. ;)

  3. Jill Tooley

    It looks like Clorox and Kodak know what to do with a company blog! Great examples. Corporate blogging is a tricky subject for some people because they don’t know how to approach it. They think: “What’s the point? Who cares about what I have to say?” and then shut off to the idea before even giving it a chance. Little do they realize that a blog gives them yet another outlet to engage with customers and answer their questions! Will every consumer be interested in reading a brand’s blog? No, but I’m willing to bet there is a large number of consumers who would be interested, and those are the ones who you’re doing it for!

    I enjoy corporate blogs that give some personality to the brand/company. I’d be indifferent if I was reading posts by a faceless entity but I’d be excited if I was reading posts by “John from Customer Service.” Does that make sense? Some companies also mistake blogs for nonstop advertisements, which is missing the point altogether (unless those ads are legitimately helping someone). It’s about providing value to your customers in one way or another! :)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Exactly. Companies should be taking a more personal approach with their blogs if they really want to connect with (and potentially increase) their customer base. It doesn’t do any good to constantly pat your business on the back or to repeatedly plug your own products or services. You have to be likable, engaging, and consistent. It’s obviously a long term strategy—which is likely why many businesses don’t invest a greater deal of effort into it—but it CAN potentially pay off in the end.

  4. Scooby DOO!

    Blogging is a window for others to see who you (and your corporation) are. In this way, it brings the consumer closer to the products and the companies that make them. It also is a two way street because it also allows customers to comment and to interact; all of which is great for business. I love it!

    I subscribe to Gitomer, Mark Cubans, and of course QLPS blog! They are all RAD!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Blogging is definitely a way for companies to promote their identity, which is obviously something that a lot of consumers are looking for these days. It’s so simple that I wonder why more companies don’t at least attempt to offer some kind of blog.

      I’d imagine that it will become much more commonplace further down the line, when websites inevitably are forced to be more engaging and interactive.

  5. Bret Bonnet

    Wow… whoever designed the Clorox “Dr. Laundry” blog should be fired. The thing doesn’t even render properly in Internet Explorer. A pretty big flub if you ask me, especially for a company with the FINANCIAL backing of Clorox.

    While I no doubt think the CONTENT of the blog is amazing, this is a classic example of someone in marketing who is kicking butt the best they can – producing AMAZING content day in and day out, but with what I am guessing is VERY little funding, that of which is necessary to put together a proper design or quality site.

    I LOVE the Kodak blog – amazing. Being that I recently just but a brand new Digital SLR Camera (a Cannon, sorry!) – this blog will come in handy.

    The one thing that Joe mentioned again and again, even without evening realizing it I think, is that a blog has to be about and for the CUSTOMER. To many times corporate blogs are stuffed with corporate fluff, written purely for search engine optimization purposes, or all the posts are ENTIRELY self promotional.

    A blog is a form of marketing, but no one likes to listen to the same song again and again – unless it’s “Jingle Cats” which I know is Joe’s favorite! :)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that last bit.

      But yes, corporate blogs would do well to learn by the examples set by Kodak and the like, who obviously care a great deal about the consumer’s day-to-day interaction with the brand. Useful product tips and industry-specific updates are necessary, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to blogging. It pays to be personal—and fun.

  6. Kyle

    Some good stuff here.

    That Kodak blog was very interesting. I’m not into photography at all, but that blog was intriguing regardless. I like that they give their customers project ideas and reasons to use their products in new ways. That Clorox blog was also well written. I’m not a huge laundry buff myself so I can see how having a blog like that around would come in handy.

    It seems like the more the blog caters to the customer, the more likely customers will return for multiple visits. You touched on that concept earlier, but reading through those blogs illustrated that point perfectly. Great stuff! Keep it up!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks. Yeah, it seems that blogging is just a no-brainer when it comes to engaging more effectively with actual customers. When there’s a certain degree of personality on display at a given website, it can go a long way in reinforcing the appeal of both the site and the company.

  7. Susan Oakes

    Kodak has always been a good example and I think they were one of the first companies to get on board. I agree about the benefits but I so think they need to be sure they have the commitment and resources to do it over the long term as with any marketing activity.

    Just another thought I am not sure having a blog is a necessity for every company.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      True, not every company would necessarily benefit from blogging, though it probably wouldn’t hurt for company reps to at least make it a point to offer website visitors up-to-date information on the company’s outlook or its gratitude toward existing customers. At the end of the day, a little outreach can’t hurt.

  8. Diana

    Yes, connectivity is essential and I agree with you that it’s a way for people to know who they are dealing before. That’s why I was shocked when I reached out to someone on their website last week and the email back was a sales pitch. How discouraging and you would think people would know better by now.

    I also think that Helping Helps! I have just started blogging and it’s all about giving value. I also that the blogging community really hold this to heart. It’s all about collaboration and not competition.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Wow, a sales pitch in response to a website visitor’s question?! That’s unfortunate—and it’s also a good way to lose a customer. I can see why instances like that might still occur from time to time (for example, some companies may feel that they have a large enough support base to risk pushing the envelope when it comes to potential sales), but there’s still no excuse for it.

      And I agree, value is definitely part of what blogging is all about. When you really care about the people on your site (or your blog page), then one of the best ways to show it is by providing blogs that are both honest and helpful.

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