Starting a Dialogue with Your Market: 8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog

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Business & Mgmt

Published on April 13, 2009

Author: KarenOBrien

Source: slideshare.net

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Starting a Dialogue with Your Market: 8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog.

Karen O’Brien Crimson Consulting Partner, Interactive Services Oct 11th, 2007 Starting a Dialogue with Your Market:   8 Steps to Establishing a Successful Corporate Blog

Agenda Sorting Through the Buzz Who’s Blogging Today? 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog What Blogging Means to Marketers

Sorting Through the Buzz

Who’s Blogging Today?

8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog

What Blogging Means to Marketers

Blogging and Web 2.0

Elements of Web 2.0 Apply to Blogs Transparency Participation, not publishing Radical Trust The customer is the expert Collective Intelligence Tagging, not Taxonomy

Transparency

Participation, not publishing

Radical Trust

The customer is the expert

Collective Intelligence

Tagging, not Taxonomy

Agenda Sorting Through the Buzz Who’s Blogging Today? 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog What Blogging Means to Marketers

Sorting Through the Buzz

Who’s Blogging Today?

8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog

What Blogging Means to Marketers

Who’s Blogging Today? 70 Million + Blogs 1.4 Million new blog posts every day Most Major Corporations are blogging (approx 45% of F500) A LOT of Small/ Medium Businesses are blogging A LOT of individuals

70 Million + Blogs

1.4 Million new blog posts every day

Most Major Corporations are blogging (approx 45% of F500)

A LOT of Small/ Medium Businesses are blogging

A LOT of individuals

13% of online consumers publish a blog, 19% comment, 15% use RSS, 33% read blogs

Agenda Sorting Through the Buzz Who’s Blogging Today? 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog What Blogging Means to Marketers

Sorting Through the Buzz

Who’s Blogging Today?

8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog

What Blogging Means to Marketers

Step 1: Do Your Research What blogs are out there already? Are your competitors blogging? Who is addressing your target market? What are the “hot” topics of interest in your market? Who are the A-List bloggers? What can you learn from them?

What blogs are out there already?

Are your competitors blogging?

Who is addressing your target market?

What are the “hot” topics of interest in your market?

Who are the A-List bloggers? What can you learn from them?

Step 2: Re-Think the Basics Web 1.0 Acquisition Retention Growth Web 2.0 Attract Engage Extend Attract readers to you blog Engage readers in commentary/ discussion Extend your content beyond your website Source: Karen O’Brien, Crimson Consulting 2007

Step 3: Establish Clear Goals Keys to maximizing your blogging ROI: Know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish via your blog Set a "target action" – what action do you want the reader to take when coming to your blog? Which conversations will drive participation in your industry? What is the key audience that your blog will reach? Will the blog format encourage audience participation? What will a company-sponsored blog achieve for your firm? Who should own the blog's content? How will the blog fit into the rest of your communication strategy? Without clear goals, your blog will lack focus

Keys to maximizing your blogging ROI:

Know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish via your blog

Set a "target action" – what action do you want the reader to take when coming to your blog?

Which conversations will drive participation in your industry?

What is the key audience that your blog will reach?

Will the blog format encourage audience participation?

What will a company-sponsored blog achieve for your firm?

Who should own the blog's content?

How will the blog fit into the rest of your communication strategy?

Without clear goals, your blog will lack focus

The Organic vs. Engineered Experience Over-managing blogs makes them less effective Why? Freshness comes from the spontaneous expression of ideas Optimizing the positive impact of each thought will inhibit passionate conversation Marketers can align a blog with company goals by: Designing a smart blog strategy Choosing the right people to blog Setting an effective blog/comment policy Source: Forrester Research 2006

Over-managing blogs makes them less effective

Why?

Freshness comes from the spontaneous expression of ideas

Optimizing the positive impact of each thought will inhibit passionate conversation

Marketers can align a blog with company goals by:

Designing a smart blog strategy

Choosing the right people to blog

Setting an effective blog/comment policy

Step 4: Understand the Commitment To be effective you must blog regularly and the content must be relevant to the audience How Often? 2-3x/ week minimum – ideally daily. (A-List bloggers – blog 2-4x/ day) Typical blog entry “bite-sized” – 30 minutes to write Time to get a following of regular readers: up to 1 yr Practice in a personal blog before launching your professional blog

To be effective you must blog regularly and the content must be relevant to the audience

How Often? 2-3x/ week minimum – ideally daily. (A-List bloggers – blog 2-4x/ day)

Typical blog entry “bite-sized” – 30 minutes to write

Time to get a following of regular readers: up to 1 yr

Practice in a personal blog before launching your professional blog

Step 5: Choose the Right Type of Blog Which One is Aligned With Your Goals? Employee Blogs Executive Blogs Product Blogs Issue Blogs Thought Leadership Blogs Character Blogs Community Blogs

Which One is Aligned With Your Goals?

Employee Blogs

Executive Blogs

Product Blogs

Issue Blogs

Thought Leadership Blogs

Character Blogs

Community Blogs

Employee Blogs Vendorprisey SAP Employee Blog “ Wiki’s and RFP’s” “ We need to drink the koolaid of quality collaboration and co innovation Trust employees. Let them create open honest dialogues to the public from within company Create policies to control sensitive information, but do not restrict open dialogue The dialogue will happen regardless of whether you allow it to or not

Vendorprisey

SAP Employee Blog

“ Wiki’s and RFP’s”

“ We need to drink the koolaid of quality collaboration and co innovation

Trust employees. Let them create open honest dialogues to the public from within company

Create policies to control sensitive information, but do not restrict open dialogue

The dialogue will happen regardless of whether you allow it to or not

Executive Blogs Sun Microsystems Official blog from the CEO Jonathan Schwartz shares honest observation from a ‘conference’ of startups in Silicon Valley Excerpt from Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog regarding direct feedback from startups: “ BUT THERE WAS A TROUBLING, CONSISTENT MESSAGE. IT USUALLY WENT LIKE THIS, THANK YOU SUN. BUT HEY, WHY ARE YOU HERE? I THOUGHT YOU BUILT BIG EXPENSIVE STUFF THAT RAN IN BANKS? OUCH. " Being transparent in blogs builds trust for a company

Sun Microsystems

Official blog from the CEO

Jonathan Schwartz shares honest observation from a ‘conference’ of startups in Silicon Valley

Excerpt from Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog regarding direct feedback from startups:

“ BUT THERE WAS A TROUBLING, CONSISTENT MESSAGE. IT USUALLY WENT LIKE THIS,

THANK YOU SUN.

BUT HEY, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

I THOUGHT YOU BUILT BIG EXPENSIVE STUFF THAT RAN IN BANKS?

OUCH. "

Product Blogs GM’s Fastlane Blog GM’s Fastlane Blogs “ Where to see the Chevy Volt in Washington” Auto Industry News from GM Forum for GM executives to talk about GM’s current and future products and services, discuss the development and design of important products.

GM’s Fastlane Blogs

“ Where to see the Chevy Volt in Washington”

Auto Industry News from GM

Forum for GM executives to talk about GM’s current and future products and services, discuss the development and design of important products.

Issue Blogs AARP Issues Blog The power to make it better “ Art Buchwald on Hospice and Life While Dying ” Successful aging, including economic and retirement security; health and wellness; global aging; livable communities and mobility; and volunteering.

AARP Issues Blog

The power to make it better

“ Art Buchwald on Hospice and Life While Dying ”

Successful aging, including economic and retirement security; health and wellness; global aging; livable communities and mobility; and volunteering.

Thought Leadership Blogs Forrester Groundswell Charlene Li’s Blog “ Welcome to the Blogosphere, Sony” “ How Consumers Use Social Networking Sites" report now available ” Social Media, Research, Web 2.0, Community

Forrester Groundswell

Charlene Li’s Blog

“ Welcome to the Blogosphere, Sony”

“ How Consumers Use Social Networking Sites" report now available ”

Social Media, Research, Web 2.0, Community

Character Blogs Annies Homegrown Bernie’s Blog “ Could you eat well on $21 a week?” Healthy eating, organics, social issues, green and eco-topics New product announcements – EG: chocolate chip bunny grahams

Annies Homegrown

Bernie’s Blog

“ Could you eat well on $21 a week?”

Healthy eating, organics, social issues, green and eco-topics

New product announcements – EG: chocolate chip bunny grahams

Community Blogs Craig Newmark Craig from CraigsList indulges himself “ A Cheap Green PC that Delivers” “ OK I was on Charlie Rose Last Night” Non-Profit, Social issues, Community and Web

Craig Newmark

Craig from CraigsList indulges himself

“ A Cheap Green PC that Delivers”

“ OK I was on Charlie Rose Last Night”

Non-Profit, Social issues, Community and Web

Setting A Blog Culture is Strategic Source: 2005 BACKBONEMEDIA INC.

Step 6: Start Blogging! Jump in by starting with a practice blog A great majority of corporate blogs leverage one of the major blogging platforms: Wordpress, Typepad or similar Don’t aim to be 100% perfect Use a conversational tone, as if talking with a colleague Experiment with tone, content types, including links, photos, videos or other media to support your blog The longer you wait, you are delaying a dialog with your market

Jump in by starting with a practice blog

A great majority of corporate blogs leverage one of the major blogging platforms: Wordpress, Typepad or similar

Don’t aim to be 100% perfect

Use a conversational tone, as if talking with a colleague

Experiment with tone, content types, including links, photos, videos or other media to support your blog

The longer you wait, you are delaying a dialog with your market

Step 7: Promote Your Blog Include your blog URL on everything you would normally include a website URL on Submit your blog URL to search engines and blog directories such as Technorati Link to other blogs Become an active commenter on other blogs Provide RSS or XML feeds to allow syndication of your blog · Publish original research or breaking news

Include your blog URL on everything you would normally include a website URL on

Submit your blog URL to search engines and blog directories such as Technorati

Link to other blogs

Become an active commenter on other blogs

Provide RSS or XML feeds to allow syndication of your blog

· Publish original research or breaking news

Step 8: Measure Your Success Measure experience not page views Measure Return on Influence – not Return on Investment Blogs: Frequency and depth of interactions Blog traffic Number of RSS subscribers Advertising revenues Affiliate sales Product sales Consulting revenues Search engine ranking Number of comments Number of inbound links/trackbacks Brand impact

Measure experience not page views

Measure Return on Influence – not Return on Investment

Blogs:

Frequency and depth of interactions

Blog traffic

Number of RSS subscribers

Advertising revenues

Affiliate sales

Product sales

Consulting revenues

Search engine ranking

Number of comments

Number of inbound links/trackbacks

Brand impact

Understanding the Influencer Tends to be well known, mentioned and/or linked to by other members in the community or blogosphere Has a high number of views or readership to their blog or post Has a high number of comments/dialog surrounding their posts Source: Buzz Logic 2007

Tends to be well known, mentioned and/or linked to by other members in the community or blogosphere

Has a high number of views or readership to their blog or post

Has a high number of comments/dialog surrounding their posts

Agenda Sorting Through the Buzz Who’s Blogging Today? 8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog What Blogging Means to Marketers

Sorting Through the Buzz

Who’s Blogging Today?

8 Steps to Establishing Your Blog

What Blogging Means to Marketers

Why Marketers Should Care About Blogs Technology buyers are turning to blogs for info (word of mouth is the most trusted reference) The ranks (and influence) of corporate bloggers is continuing to grow B2B Marketers are investing more in emerging tactics

Technology buyers are turning to blogs for info (word of mouth is the most trusted reference)

The ranks (and influence) of corporate bloggers is continuing to grow

B2B Marketers are investing more in emerging tactics

Thank you! For more information, contact: Karen O’Brien Partner, Interactive Services Crimson Consulting Group [email_address] Tel: 415.720.6859 Email: [email_address] Website: www.crimson-consulting.com Blog: www.webstrategyblog.com

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