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Fancy Food Show (2006) Using Blogs To Grow Your Business

This document discusses using blogs to grow businesses. It defines blogs and explains their benefits, including creating relationships, increasing awareness and traffic, positioning as an innovator, and providing cost-effective marketing. Blogs can reinforce brands, provide customer feedback and research, and extend brands across mediums. The document also outlines blog challenges and strategies, including integrating blogs into an overall marketing plan and setting expectations. It provides a case study of a successful business blog and discusses best practices and resources for getting started with business blogging.

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© 2006 All rights reserved
July 8, 2006
Marketing On The Web:
What eMail, Blogs and Searches Can Do
Using Blogs To Grow Your Business
© 2006 All rights reserved
Our Game Plan
 What is a blog?
 Why should you care?
 Biz blog benefits
 Blogs as a marketing tactic
 Success a la Delicious
Destinations
 Discussion Guide
 Resources
© 2006 All rights reserved
What is a blog?
© 2006 All rights reserved
Is this your perception of blogs?
Teen Diaries
Cat Blogs
Photos
Politics
Geek Blogs
Silly Stuff .. 2nd most popular
219 links from 20,223 sites
© 2006 All rights reserved
Drinking The Kool-aid
An online journal which produces fame without
wealth for pajama-clad scribes, known as
bloggers, who write so well they don’t need
editors and survive by eating ramen noodles and
Tang powder from a spoon.
Heard it from: Scrappleface blog
[Courtesy link]
© 2006 All rights reserved
Blog - A Continuous Conversation
A weblog is kind of a
continual tour, with a
human guide who you
get to know.
There are many guides to choose
from, each develops an
audience, and there's also
camaraderie and politics
between the people who run
weblogs, they point to each
other, in all kinds of
structures, graphs, loops, etc.
Heard it from: Dave Winer
http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs
[Courtesy Link]

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Fancy Food Show (2006) Using Blogs To Grow Your Business

  • 1. © 2006 All rights reserved July 8, 2006 Marketing On The Web: What eMail, Blogs and Searches Can Do Using Blogs To Grow Your Business
  • 2. © 2006 All rights reserved Our Game Plan  What is a blog?  Why should you care?  Biz blog benefits  Blogs as a marketing tactic  Success a la Delicious Destinations  Discussion Guide  Resources
  • 3. © 2006 All rights reserved What is a blog?
  • 4. © 2006 All rights reserved Is this your perception of blogs? Teen Diaries Cat Blogs Photos Politics Geek Blogs Silly Stuff .. 2nd most popular 219 links from 20,223 sites
  • 5. © 2006 All rights reserved Drinking The Kool-aid An online journal which produces fame without wealth for pajama-clad scribes, known as bloggers, who write so well they don’t need editors and survive by eating ramen noodles and Tang powder from a spoon. Heard it from: Scrappleface blog [Courtesy link]
  • 6. © 2006 All rights reserved Blog - A Continuous Conversation A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there's also camaraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc. Heard it from: Dave Winer http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs [Courtesy Link]
  • 7. © 2006 All rights reserved Anatomy of a Blog Post Video Delivery Options Value-add Blog Title Title Tag
  • 8. © 2006 All rights reserved Anatomy of a Blog BlogRoll Archive Category Unique URL Links/Content From Other Blogs Post
  • 9. © 2006 All rights reserved A Website - even the best websites are usually static information that is difficult to update and with no ability to generate p2p (person-to-person interaction) conversations. How Does A Blog Differ… Coffee Cakes – http://www.coffeecakes.com Big Y Foods - http://www.bigy.com/ Paul’s Catering - http://www.paulscatering.nl/
  • 10. © 2006 All rights reserved A Chat Room: A blog maintains a searchable history and is indexes by search engines, unlike most chat rooms. Only a designated author can start a new topic A Listserv: A blog does not require email distribution, unlike most listserves. A Bulletin Board: A blog is easy to read, unlike most bulletin boards. Only a designated author can start a new topic. How Does a Blog Differ
  • 11. © 2006 All rights reserved The Essence of Blogging  People Talking to People  People Listening to People  People Interacting with People Within the environment of a website
  • 12. © 2006 All rights reserved Why should you care?
  • 13. © 2006 All rights reserved Blame It On The Web Web 1.0 - Information Web 2.0 - Easy Connectivity Social Computing User Participation
  • 14. © 2006 All rights reserved http://finding-balance.blogspot.com/2006/05/healthy-tasty-dessert.html People Are Talking … About You comment
  • 15. © 2006 All rights reserved How Big Is This Puppy? Tracking as of June 18, 2006 - 44.9 million blogs
  • 16. © 2006 All rights reserved Biz blog benefits
  • 17. © 2006 All rights reserved Corner Store Relationships People like to do business with people they like. “People-based relationships and performance will continue to be the most important formula for success.” Lorraine Tribe, Quest Personnel Markets are Conversations … Cluetrain Manifesto Markets Are People
  • 18. © 2006 All rights reserved A Baker’s Dozen Biz Blog Benefits 1. Creates and maintains relationships 2. Increases awareness 3. Increases traffic to website 4. Positions as an innovator 5. Adds customer touch points 6. Lifts search engine rankings 7. Builds brand awareness
  • 19. © 2006 All rights reserved A Baker’s Dozen Biz Blog Benefits 8. Provides cost effective viral marketing 9. Offers less disruptive marketing messaging 10. Provides unique way to distribute content 11. Engages people with similar interests (community) 12. Provides opportunity for value added content 13. Humanizes your company
  • 20. © 2006 All rights reserved "Here people understand me. If you keep reading a person, you get to know them.“ “Person like yourself or your peer” is seen as the most credible spokesperson about a company ...” 2006 Annual Edelman Trust Barometer
  • 21. © 2006 All rights reserved Half Dozen What Blogs Are Not 1. Blatant self-promotion 2. Press releases 3. Corporate “talk” 4. Online brochures 5. Alone in the wilderness 6. Smoke and mirrors
  • 22. © 2006 All rights reserved Blogs as a marketing strategy
  • 23. © 2006 All rights reserved A blog without a strategic direction … ... is a me-too play toy.
  • 24. © 2006 All rights reserved Blog Marketing Challenges  Time & resources  Blog strategy – integrate into your overall marketing plan  Corporate (blogger) guidelines  Comment (reader) policy  Blogs are a culture
  • 25. © 2006 All rights reserved Reinforce Brand To Target Segments Lesson Learned: Understand internal limitations/resources
  • 26. © 2006 All rights reserved Customer Feedback Lessons Learned: Informal, inexpensive marketing research. Caution: Consumer generated media is one data point in a research strategy.
  • 27. © 2006 All rights reserved CEO asks, “Where is the $ (value)?” Lessons Learned: Without a strategy it’s difficult to evaluate success. ??????Mystery Blog ????????
  • 28. © 2006 All rights reserved Blogs Are a Culture Bloggers exert influence – but approach with caution. http://www.restaurantgirl.com/restaurantgirl/
  • 29. © 2006 All rights reserved Blogger Relations: Wal-Mart & Edelman Lesson Learned: Transparency is the name of this game.
  • 30. © 2006 All rights reserved Corner Grocery Store Relationships Lessons Learned: Set expectations Heard it on: hyku.com http://www.wholefoods.com/blogs/jm/ Blog Link
  • 31. © 2006 All rights reserved A Little Self-promotion http://cheesaholics.blogs.com/cheesaholics_anonymous/ Lessons Learned: Self-promotion woven into rich, value-added contentcreates greater credibility. Content Services
  • 32. © 2006 All rights reserved Search Optimization Lessons Learned: Google loves blogs .. but a little SEO strategy can help too!
  • 33. © 2006 All rights reserved Extending A Brand http://www.jamieoliver.com/diary/ Lessons Learned: Integrate mediums and strategies Podcast eMail
  • 34. © 2006 All rights reserved Blog Brands http://www.amateurgourmet.com/ Lessons Learned: Creative Consumer Generated Content = Fame & Fortune Ads on blogs BlogAds – $200/week
  • 35. © 2006 All rights reserved Marketing Perspective “The 4 Ps of Blogging” Point | Passion | Personality | Perseverance C-Generation – people who create and consume their own content while building community. Thanks to Rick Short, Indium Corp. and Sher Taton, IBM
  • 36. © 2006 All rights reserved Success a la Delicious Destinations The Blogosphere is like playing jazz. You have to know the notes before you can change the tune.
  • 37. © 2006 All rights reserved A Character Blog Story & With T. Alexander
  • 38. © 2006 All rights reserved The Blog That Launched The Character Blog Debate
  • 39. © 2006 All rights reserved Gaping Void Presents T. Alexander The Beyond Lame Award
  • 40. © 2006 All rights reserved The Strategy Reinforce and build brand awareness  Encourage informal customer communication and interaction with the brand in a fun, informal environment  Provide value-added content about food, culture, travel and wines  Build on T. Alexander established brand icon  Increase awareness for GourmetStation brand  Increase search rankings
  • 41. © 2006 All rights reserved Success Metrics Drive Traffic to Website  Traffic increased 30%  Approximately 4.6% came from blog Drive Traffic to Blog  Click throughs to blog from website average monthly 15.5% “… there was no negative feedback from customers --and that's the feedback I'm most concerned about.“ Donna Lynes Miller
  • 42. © 2006 All rights reserved Blogosphere Debate Nay Yea
  • 43. © 2006 All rights reserved Media Buzz
  • 44. © 2006 All rights reserved Gaping Void Send Kudos
  • 45. © 2006 All rights reserved Let’s Give Donna The Last Word If a retail brand executes marketing strategies, whether blog or otherwise, from a strategically sound, honest and straightforward perspective, there is little risk. If a retailer wants to try a blog and they keep those 3 criteria in mind, there are very little risks. Donna Lynes-Miller, CEO Founder Gourmet Station
  • 46. © 2006 All rights reserved How to get started
  • 47. © 2006 All rights reserved Is Your Company Read To Write Blogs? Your Answers To Two Questions – Must Be “Yes” First Question: Will your company culture support a blog strategy? Second Question: Will blogs help solve or support a business challenge or marketing strategy?
  • 48. © 2006 All rights reserved The Whisper Strategy: Entrée Into the Blogosphere 1. Subscribe to a news reader 2. Identify and read blogs 3. Monitor the blogosphere 4. Join the conversation
  • 49. © 2006 All rights reserved Develop A Blog Strategy  Define your blog’s purpose  What business challenge or marketing strategy can a blog support within your organization?  Develop goals & objects  Establish success metrics  Develop your blog strategy  Develop blog marketing strategy
  • 50. © 2006 All rights reserved Blog Best Practices 1. Title and title tag  Descriptive  Optimized for organic search 2. Posts in reversed chronological order 3. About me page – credibility 4. Social networking/community building  Comments  Trackbacks  Linking strategy 5. Blogroll  Dr. Pho spends about an hour/day.  Feels worth the investment.  Patients benefit from doctor’s perspective.  It’s cathartic. I’m listening. I hear you.
  • 51. © 2006 All rights reserved Discussion Guide
  • 52. © 2006 All rights reserved Discussion Guide Challenges 1. What benefits do you think your company would derive from a blog strategy? 2. What are your concerns about starting a company blog? 3. What will be your management’s questions? 4. Why you feel your company is ready or not ready to develop a blog/social media strategy?
  • 53. © 2006 All rights reserved Discussion Guide Strategy 1. What is the main focus of the blog? 2. Who is your audience for the blog? 3. Is the context and content relevant and of value to your target audience? How do you know?
  • 54. © 2006 All rights reserved Discussion Guide Structure 1. What type of a blog will you consider?  Single author or multiple author? Why? 2. How will you identify blog authors/s?  What skills should a blogger have? 3. What are the author/s’ responsibilities?  Type of content  Frequency of posting  Linking strategies 4. What type of blog platform is best for your organization?  Internally or externally hosted
  • 55. © 2006 All rights reserved Resources
  • 56. © 2006 All rights reserved To Market To Market if you make it they will not come unless you tell them 1. Blogger relationships 2. Linking 3. Blog roll 4. Search optimization 5. Comments, trackbacks .. to other blogs 6. Tags 7. Pings 8. Directories 9. Traditional marketing
  • 57. © 2006 All rights reserved Success Metrics  New business opportunities  Traditional media  Links – to/from  Comments  Conversions i.e., email, white papers  Buzzzzzz, viral marketing  Search rankings  Image, branding  Customer service  Visitors  Page views  Trackbacks  Lead capture/business opportunities
  • 58. © 2006 All rights reserved Top 5 Strategies To Combat Negative Comments 5. Turn off comments 4. Monitor comments 3. Develop a comment policy Include a link on the nav bar and above the comment window 2. Delete comments that do not meet your guidelines 1. Show em what you’re made of! Use negative comments – those that express legit problems – as examples how you handle customer concerns
  • 59. © 2006 All rights reserved Finding Blogs  www.blogher.org  http://marketing.corante. com/  www.businessblogconsulti ng.com  www.marketingprofs.com  www.blogcritics.org  www.b5media.com  www.bloglines.com  www.technorati.com  http://a9.com  www.feedster.com  www.icerocket.com  http://blogsearch.googl e.com/  Search engines with “ key words “  Read blog-rolls!
  • 60. © 2006 All rights reserved Blog Tools Hosted Solutions  www.blogger.com—free/fee www.blogharbor.com  www.typepad.com—fee Non Hosted Solutions  www.wordpress.com—free  www.sixapart.com –fee Comparison chart:  http://www.ojr.org/ojr/images/ blog_software_comparison.cfm
  • 61. © 2006 All rights reserved News Aggregators  www.bloglines.com—free  www.newsgater.com—free/fee  www.feeddemon.com—fee  www.yahoo.com - my page – free  www.pluck.com - free
  • 62. © 2006 All rights reserved Partings Thought … There's a free market of ideas out there. And I'd rather be driving the dialogue than be run over by it. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun Micro systems
  • 63. © 2006 All rights reserved ~for more marketing ideas or information about blogs/social media~ Bloomberg Marketing ~strategic marketing & blog consultancy~ www.bloombergmarketing.com www.divamarketingblog.com www.bloggerstories.com 770.496.1711