There are probably only a handful of large companies that wouldn’t benefit significantly from establishing a blog. In this post, I’m going to outline exactly why I think this.
In this day and age, when consumers can Google your product and find reviews even when they’re standing in the middle of your store, it’s nearly impossible to get ahead of your competitors unless you’re way ahead in either product quality or price competitiveness.
A business like Apple has a bunch of rabid fans that think that their phones are of the highest quality.
Google also beats the competition solely on the quality of its search product. But for most businesses, getting that kind of advantage on quality is extremely difficult.
Product innovation, especially in physical commodities, is usually one of evolution rather than revolution.
On the other side of the coin, you have companies like Walmart that dominate the competition through pricing – they have the economies of scale to price lower than everyone else, so more people shop at Walmart compared to any other comparable store.
Again, developing this kind of scale is nearly impossible without significant upfront investment and an incredible amount of strategic planning.
What if I told you there was a way to develop a fanbase for your products that cost virtually nothing (in terms of a corporate budget)? What if I told you that same loyal following would go out and basically market on your behalf, for no payment or reward?
Well, here’s the way. Start a blog.
Foster a community around your brand and around your products.
Give your blogger some authority to deal with customer service issues.
Even if your average customer service experience is poor (READ: I’m not suggesting you purposely provide poor customer service), if the public complaints that you receive on your blog or on your social media pages are handled well, it’s entirely possible that one of these positive experiences could go viral.
You can literally change the reputation of your brand overnight.
Now, I’m absolutely NOT recommending you just set up a blog on your website, post sporadically, and try to sell stuff on there.
More than anything else, the people of the internet hate being patronized and treated like they are idiots. If your blog seems like at all like a cynical attempt to ‘go social’ it will almost definitely backfire on you.
Your bloggers need to be truly engaged – they need to care about fostering and developing their communities. They need to care about customer concerns and more than anything, they need to act like people – not cogs in the corporate machine.
The absolute worse thing you can do for your brand online is to respond to customers with canned answers and pre-scripted text.
If the people who’re running your blog and your social channels are genuinely engaged, then your audience will begin to engage your brand.
If it seems for a second like your bloggers are just trying to market products and quash concerns – well, I can guarantee you that your brand and your company will suffer for it.
It’s not good enough to just have a company website anymore.
Every single day, young folks with big hearts and big dreams are talking directly to their customers and building loyal followings.
Unless you’re working for Google, Apple, or some other impossibly dominant company, you need to have a modern online presence.
Companies without the guts or the smarts to have a channel that can broadcast directly to consumers are doomed to die a death by a thousand tweets.