by: Ashley Sheinwald | March 7, 2012
Well, you could blog for fun, for money, for amusement, for many reasons really. But as a brand communications agency our aim is to aid you in building your identity and raising your profile. So the question of “Why blog?” can be answered with a simple – to add value! Open a line of communication and you can raise your brand awareness and loyalty by being of service, providing value, adding interest, promoting trust or instilling some love.
A little history
Tim Berners-Lee, the acclaimed father of the World Wide Web, first posted a web page in 1992 at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) that kept a list of all new web sites as they came online. This could have been the first blog though the term wasn’t created for years to come.
Blog was the 1999 word of the year for Meriam Webster Dictionary, defined as: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also: the contents of such a site.
It was coined from the original term webLog which was created by Jorn Barger in 1997 in his “Robot Wisdom Weblog”.
The short form, “blog”, was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used “blog” as both a noun and verb (“to blog,” meaning “to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog”) and devised the term “blogger” in connection with Pyra Labs’ Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms and the application now owned by Google.
Short and sweet huh! Lets move on, so why blog?
The current Scene
Blogging is using a new medium for what it is good for – connecting and interacting.
Social media as a whole is booming and it is simply because people want to interact. They want up to the minute information, events, deals, product info, viewpoints and/or opinions. But that does not make the blog any less valuable. Blogs are of value in that they can contain a lot more information, knowledge and opinion as well as provide means for a discourse that can resolve knowledge gaps, dispel miss-information or simply provide good will, knowledge share and resolutions.
There are blogs for everything, written by everyday people on things that interest them and then there are professional bloggers who specialise in blogging for money; however there is great value in businesses blogging to inform, educate and share with their clients, users, customers and the public, providing valued advertising and marketing avenues alongside valued information, opinion and knowledge.
I read blogs everyday, for different reasons. Whether to be informed on current business, design or development trends. Business information, lifestyle choices, events and social updates or simply for some comic relief. There are brands, products and organisations I keep up to date with via their blogs for one reason or another. But mainly because I can get a first hand viewpoint, perspective or insight into their products or services, learn how to do something differently, solve a problem, keep up to date on new products or services (before the rush) or just to be in the know (hell, I am a bit of an information junkie).
What started out as bloggers wanting to share their ideas on the Internet has blossomed into a revolution of information, and one not to be taken too lightly. For years, Technorati traced 112.8 million blogs, which were multiplying faster than.. well rabbits. But that doesn’t make your possible blog any less valid, it simply shows how valuable it can be if done correctly, for the right reasons and in the right way.
Benefits and tips
In a very real sense a corporate, product or service blog is a marketing tool, it can provide value-able information on your products or services as a whole. Help you share the love or dispel myths, and it can help build your profile, increase brand awareness and loyalty.
Be professional and be an expert
You need to be professional about it, blog as a professional and share your knowledge. Be an expert in your field and a point of contact or excellence, show you care by responding to valid comments or requests for information. You can be opinionated, opinions count as long as they promote your communication and point of view and brand strategy. This can sometimes be a very valid edge to your blog, when combined with your professionalism and your level of excellence it can make you stand out from the crowd and give you a platform to market yourself, your organisation and why you’re different, better or whatever.
Be creative, this can be in terms of how you communicate or the tone of your communication. This will be defined by your brand identity and the tone of voice you have identified for your communications. But regardless of this be professional, be of interest, there is nothing worse than a boring blog, a boring read or regurgitated information ones read a thousand times elsewhere. Be original, or at least have an original opinion and add value.
The bottom line
Blogging needs to be profitable, it needs to provide a return on investment. From a corporate sense it will be harder to track the value of a blog other than through pure metrics and analytics, which can hold great value in itself. But providing data on your brand awareness, increased loyalty, custom, trust and favour; that your blog is focused on increasing will be harder to track statistically; even though this is the reason for your blog.
- its a marketing tool
- share the knowledge
- inform on your products and services
- show you care
- be interactive
- be knowledgeable
- be informative
- be creative
It’s important to realise their has to be an added benefit in blogging. Simply blogging for the sake of blogging, or because you’ve been told you need to blog, or blogging will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is bad form or just bad advice.
Have something to say worth saying.
By blogging you have to add value. Provide information that is either interesting, informative, opinionated or downright cool. The key to successful blogging for organisations and companies for products or services is to actually have something to say worth saying. Provide valid additional data, add that additional information, provide the inside scoop, open up your processes and most importantly communicate with your users, followers, the industry, professionals and the public.
If you make a point of making a point, of extolling excellence, of being a point of reference, of knowledge, or professionalism, of information, of interest or opinion then you can’t lose, you’ll be marketing and you’ll be adding value so you should start blogging.
If you want more information on blogging for business or setting up a blog for your website get in touch now.