To Blog or not to Blog, that is the question?
Blogs, Blogging and how and why they can help your company have a much better year.
OK, so despite the lingering recession, you’ve all heard that Social Media Marketing is likely to have a BIG year in 2011 and you don’t want to miss the boat. You’ve got a company website that was built and designed by a web designer in 2004, but it really hasn’t made much difference to your company’s bottom line, in fact you can’t even remember the last time you looked at it!
First and foremost, Social Media WILL have a pivotal year, there’s little doubt about that and it isn’t too late by any means to start a company Blog. In fact starting a Blog today, is a very good idea, why wait?
But let’s take a quick look at Social Media first and see exactly why you have have chosen the right time to take a new approach to your marketing and business development.
Click on the YouTube icon below…
OK, so now you’re 100% sure Social Media is the right choice for you and you’re convinced that starting a company Blog will bring you a lot more business to your sad old website; no problem, because starting a Blog is really NOT that difficult!
Just one question before you get started, do you love writing about your company, your services or your products?
If you do, fine, you’ll be in Blogging heaven, but if you don’t, you may as well just forget it!
If you don’t love writing about your company, your services or your products you might as well not bother even starting – be 100% honest to yourself, admit to yourself that you can’t commit the time or the effort and it’s something you’ll soon give up on.
Now go and open a Twitter account instead; Micro Blogging is way easier! 140 characters or less per comment, ideal for company messages, company links, snippets of branding commentary, chit chat, gossip and lots more. Easy to use, any time, on a desk top, laptop or mobile. (Alternatively, you can always employ a Social Media Marketing company like us to write your blog for you, the cost will depend on how much and how often the Blog gets updated. A daily update is ideal, but many Blogs are only updated once or twice a week, it might only take an hour or 2 every week to keep your Blog fresh and up to date with new information on your services or products and snippets of information about your particular sector within the construction industry.)
But, if you can commit and you do love to write about your company and the excellent service or products it supplies to its happy customers, starting a Blog is easy; if you can send an email, you can probably start a Blog.
However, the tough part isn’t starting a Blog, the hard part is maintaining a Blog to an acceptable level, it takes time and it takes commitment and dedication.
OK, (again) you’re dedicated, you love to write about your company, you know that you can use any of the many Blogging formats out there, (Google it!) and maybe you’ll check out WordPress, as you’ve heard it’s very good!
If you were building a house or a car, you’d probably look at some good ones that have been built already, right? This is a very good place to start.
Here’s a list: (I posted this on Quora 08/01/2011 and if you visit Quora, you’ll see even more)
- http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ (Check Seth’s videos too!)
There are lots of different styles here, be original, know your audience and be memorable, but don’t over do it; sometimes, less is more! As mentioned, there are plenty more. but these are my personal favourites!
So, you’ve now decided you’re committed enough, you’ve spent some time “benchmarking” the best Bloggers out there and you’ve decided on a WordPress format. Now what?
At lot of people would now get started and spent lots of time deciding the template they wanted to use, one that suits their company and it’s requirements. To help you decide, here’s some more links.
Go to http://wordpressthemesbase.com/ for more information.
This is what they say on the website:
A wide choice of WordPress themes will help you to pick the right one for your needs. We tried to collect the most amazing designs and non-standard layout solutions. Here you will find creative approaches based upon a simple WordPress template. All WordPress themes are absolutely free and can be used for personal or commercial purposes. At times design-communities give in public use unique WordPress themes that offer high quality, elegance and a user-friendly interface.
Check out http://www.blogskins.com/ too, if you have the right skills, a little imagination and some time on your hands you can make you own design.
BUT, if I were you, I would 1st ask myself a very simple question: “What am I trying to achieve with this Blog?”
You made it quite clear that you hadn’t looked at your company website for ages, what makes you think the Blog won’t get the same treatment once the novelty wears off?
Maybe you’ll get into Blogging for a month or two, but when you realise exactly how much additional work is involved and the modest amount of immediate results for your company, you’ll start to think Social Media marketing’s not all it’s cracked up to be? Where’s the 1,000′s of new clients? Where’s all the new business you were counting on? It’s been a couple of months, how come nothing really exciting has happening?
Maybe your company just isn’t suited to Blogging or Social Media Marketing, not every company is. Plus, it depends on how you have approached the whole design, what your writing is like and what the content of the Blog consists of. Be honest with yourself, is it a well designed representation of everything good that your company is and does?
Maybe, we should look again at the aims of developing a Blog, or better still, what your company aims should be when developing a Blog:
- To provide an up to date, quality point of reference for new and existing customers
- To provide telephone contact details & email facilities for new and existing customers
- A means of communication for promoting new products & services for new and existing customers
- “Calls to action” to encourage customers old and new to interact and/or do business
- Tips and facts to help new and existing clients understand your services and products in more detail
- A great opportunity for your company to present its services or products to the world
- A great opportunity for your company to show Case Studies of projects or products you’ve successfully completed over the years
- A great opportunity to introduce your staff, your company, your “brand” and your standards of professionalism to the world
- Details of qualifications and affiliations (including green credentials) as appropriate
- Company structure and departmental set up
- Mission statement and company vision
- Newsletter subscription
- Blog comments section
- Social Media icons
- Video content relating to your business
- Useful links to help customers
- Technical information for the technical types and students
- Connections to other company Social Media applications
This list is in no particular order, all these things (and more) can and should be considered important or at least relevant to most companies depending on what services or products they provide.
It MUST be remembered that many old websites proved to be ineffective because they were built by web designers; as fantastic as some of them are as far as design is concerned, designers and similar creative groups don’t always consider fully appreciate the fundamentals of:
- Effective marketing design
- Social Media Optimisation
- Search Engine Optimisation
- The property development and construction sector
Can a designer really be expected to design a brilliant website or blog one week for a restaurant and a different one the next week for a residential construction company?
I don’t think so!
It is very important to specialise and that’s why construction and property development companies come to Construction Marketing UK. You wouldn’t ask the ground workers on site to do the 1st fix carpentry, would you?
Blogs and Blogging is a very BIG subject and I will write a lot more about this, but if you have questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be very happy to help you.
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If you or your company would like to know more about Blogging, Blogs or any aspects of Social Media and Digital marketing call Peter on 01473 435308 or just email firstname.lastname@example.org
- What future does Quora hold for PR and marketing: Three ways you should use it more, and three new areas of innovation (theblogconsultancy.typepad.com)
- Use Your Corporate Blog to Bypass the Media (socialtimes.com)
- A Marketer’s Guide to Quora (hubspot.com)
- Brands are becoming more active on Social Networking Sites (globalthoughtz.com)