I gave a presentation on online public relations last week to the Sales and Marketing Institute of New Zealand, which included the topic of corporate blogging. As a result of a number of questions following the presentation, I have compiled a list of key benefits, which are in no particular order of importance:
- Cost: it?s cheap to set up with little ongoing costs except your time
- Online makes sense: A lot of people now have broadband at work and at home, and they are with this as a communications channel
- Ease: online publishing is easy; posting blogs becomes second nature
- Content: Most companies are sitting on a mountain of content. One post minimum on average per week is respectable
- Media relations: the blog can help enormously in strengthening your relationships with key journalists.
- Blogger relations: a blog makes it much easier to start to attract the attention of influential bloggers; they provide links to your posts, driving traffic to you
- Connecting with customers: this can become a real cost effective direct channel to let your customers know what to look forward to
- Research/polling capability: the direct relationship ultimately may allow you to do this
- Gain better insights of your customers: find out what they want, get greater detail, demographics etc
- Providing an online community for customers: the comments capability will allow feedback and discussion; strengthening your customer relationships, and making isolated customers feel together
- Attracting prospects: the blog can drag in prospects virally and show them what they?re missing out on.
- Strengthens your brand: makes key influencers sit up and take notice; a blog shows that you are progressive, dynamic, 21st century, customer ?centric, etc
- Risk: comments are moderated which deflects unsavoury content or spam
- Potential advertising revenue: yes, why not? If you build your readership, you may end up with an attractive advertising target
And in particular, here are some important Search Engine Benefits of blogging
- Create inbound links to your blog: having a blog at yoursite.co.nz/blog means that these links benefit the ranking of your main site
- Create niche content: By blogging about niche subjects you are able to create highly optimised content, increasing your rankings for key terms as well as the ?the long tail?
- Fresh content: Search engines love fresh relevant content; regular posting will benefit search rankings
- Social media: By submitting each blog post to relevant social media sites like Scoopit, Digg & Reddit you not only allow content to spread virally, you can create a lot of incoming links