Better Business Blogging


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Better Business Blogging is a presentation providing an overview on the different kinds of blogs and the opportunities with the development of a corporate blog.

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Better Business Blogging

  1. 1. Learn-It #4: Better Business Blogging By: Corey Brand 4 December 2008
  2. 2. Agenda: What Will I Be Learning Today? <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>II. Value of Consumer Generated Content (CGC) </li></ul><ul><li>III. Why Engage in Corporate Blogging? </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Corporate Blog Features </li></ul><ul><li>V. Future of Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>VI. Summary and Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction: What is a Blog? <ul><li>“ A Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video...”-Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs often viewed as an online journal or diary to express opinions, beliefs, thoughts, reflections, facts, etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent for personal and up-to-date opinions and information publishing, as blogs can be updated at the convenience of the “blogger(s)”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The ‘Blogosphere’ is the collective community of all blogs. Since all blogs are on the Internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked.”- Technorati </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussions can gauge public opinion </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction: Blog History <ul><li>1983-1990: Pre HTTP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usenet features “Moderated Newsgroup”, which allowed posting in newsgroup to be under control of individual or small group. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simply moderated discussion forms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1994-2001: Online Diary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early weblogs were simply manually updated components of common websites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The evolution of tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of web articles posted in reverse chronological order made the publishing process feasible to a much larger, less technical, population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognize today. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2001-2004: Mainstream Beginnings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By 2001, blogging was enough of a phenomenon that how-to manuals began to appear, primarily focusing on technique. The importance of the blogging community (and its relationship to larger society) increased rapidly . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2004-Today: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasingly widespread and mainstream. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Introduction: Categories of Blogs <ul><li>Many categories of blogs exist, differing on the content delivered, as well as the method in which it is delivered. </li></ul><ul><li>Within each category of blogs, there are a variety of blog types that can be featured. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. A “How-to” blog can be featured within a personal blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Notable blog categories include… </li></ul>
  6. 6. Blog Types Personal Blog
  7. 7. Blog Types Corporate Blog
  8. 8. Blog Types- By Media Type Sketchblog Video Blog (VLog)
  9. 9. Blog Types- By Device Mobile Phone Blog (MoBlog)
  10. 10. Blog Types- By Genre Politcal Blog
  11. 11. Statistics About Blogs: According to “2008 State of the Blogosphere by Technorati” <ul><li>E-Marketer (May 2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (~50% of Internet users) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (~12% of Internet users) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bloggers are not a homogenous group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Educated and affluent: three out of four U.S. bloggers are college graduates, and 42% have attended graduate school. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally male dominated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater than 50% have a household income over $75,000. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Although predominantly a US practice (43%) it is a global phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati is now tracking over 70 million blogs, and seeing about 120,000 new blogs being created worldwide each day. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That's about 1.4 blogs created every second of every day! </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Blogs vs Forums Examples of Differences <ul><li>Forums : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rely on responses from the community to initial posts in order to form a discussion, reflecting the interests of the group rather than of an individual. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments typically segmented by topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can pose questions about virtually any related topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically create multi-sided conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More highly structured, often including log-in information. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogs : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single or group “runs” blog, and posts what he/she decides. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can post comments, but overall, not generally a discussion base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloggers can delete what he/she does not like posted on the blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not need to be segmented by category </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Forum Example
  14. 14. Corporate vs Personal Blogs <ul><li>Blogs have become increasingly popular and widespread among businesses. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Known as a “Corporate Blog” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Corporate blogs are published by organizations to reach many of its goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Posts/comments easy to follow due to centralized hosting and structured conversation threads. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to generate CGC through introduction of new products/services, react to public criticisms, and provide customer assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Approximately 12.8% of Fortune 500 Companies currently use corp. blogs- “Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Google, Dell, Coca-Cola, McDonalds </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Fortune 500 Blogs Coca-Cola Google
  16. 16. Value of Corporate Blogging WOM Online <ul><li>Word of Mouth (WOM) is the starting point in the purchase funnel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It serves as a catalyst to drive consumers to engage, research and purchase. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumers becoming creators of CGC, presenting their personal experience and opinions of the brand/product. </li></ul><ul><li>78% of respondents believe consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising - “ Nielsen Global Survey: Wo rd-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool Oct 2007” </li></ul><ul><li>Key Focus upon “Express” </li></ul>
  17. 17. CGC Value <ul><li>CGC is becoming a credible, authoritative and ubiquitous rationale for a purchase decision. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online social network users were three times more likely to trust their peers' opinions over advertising when making purchase decisions. (&quot;Social Networking Sites: Defining Advertising Opportunities in a Competitive Landscape,&quot; JupiterResearch, March 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>82% of online shoppers say reviews have a direct influence on what they buy, either changing their minds on which product to buy or to provide reassurance on purchasing their original choice.- Delloite Study </li></ul><ul><li>According to eMarketer, 65 million people are talking about products and services he/she encounters and 27 million of them do so online (~42% of total) </li></ul>
  18. 18. CGC Value <ul><li>User generated content is poised to have a greater impact on marketing goals in the near future. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 75% of Retail Execs using CGC in their marketing goals.- “Trends in E-Commerce” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Media’s influence on products prior to purchase is virtually undeniable. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Corporate Blogging Why Blog? <ul><li>Put a “face” to your company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease and access to information is favorable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Establish strong repertoire with customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users may write and respond to blog posts, creating potential continuous dialogue. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue can be more informal, allowing businesses to “speak” more personably, which may increase trust in consumers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Obtain “free” market research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May give insight in to consumer likes/dislikes, trends, expectations, etc, which the business can use to cater specifically to current and prospective customers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help increase brand recognition and may boost traffic to your website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate differentiation, leadership and authority. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Search engine marketing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs can help SEO and keywords within the blog can cause the blog to come up in natural search </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Corporate Blogging Why Blog? <ul><li>A corporate blog can positively enhance the perception of your business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. OpenSkies blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Built up enthusiasm, anticipation, and impacted demand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Started conversations that continue today, receiving ongoing feedback. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly positive overall </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Avis blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surpass competitive comment volume to achieve largest share of conversation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing customer complaints </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary customer advocacy- Peer help </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilitate the conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Continuum of Facilitation” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create “Peer to Peer” conversation and engage in peer service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog can lead to the user voice, then may lead to conversation on other forums, websites, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation is happening anyway, why not own or be a part of it?! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Can also have negative effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can become useless and stale if not used properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can tarnish business reputation (ex. Car body shop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to measure success ** </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Blog Features <ul><li>Utilizing “Friendly URL’S” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Dirty URL”- http://www. wetryharder .co. uk/ ? p=250 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Friendly URL”- http://www. wetryharder .co. uk/avis-offer-wifi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Mod rewrite” could be used so that the link to the current URL would change to the new URL without any link loss. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can assist greatly in Search Engine Optimization, as it is more “SEO friendly” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maximizes search engine rankings for the blog. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps users link to your blog from his/her own blog. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Blog Features <ul><li>Include username within context of the blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calling attention to a specific comment/question indicates someone is actually reading your comment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User may feel that his/her comment, question, concern, etc is worthy of being conversed about. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User may respond positively and speak about the company in the future, further facilitating the conversation about your brand across social networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing users comments in a helpful fashion may also encourage future contribution to blog content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May lead to a post that had not previously been envisioned. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creates sense of COMMUNITY!! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Avis “Community” Example
  24. 24. Blog Features <ul><li>Include “Tell a Friend”,“E-mail Article” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables users to either e-mail the post, or link to the post directly from the blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allows content distribution beyond “first-tier” users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit the amount of work necessary for a user to provide a current non-user with information from the blog. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Messages can be customized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can include Instant Message </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help promote WOM and CGC content through facilitation </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. “ E-Mail Link” Feature Marriott Blog
  26. 26. Future of Blogs <ul><li>Blog readership expected to increase in coming years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eMarketer predicts that more than two-thirds of Internet users will read blogs by 2013. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WOM influencers also expected to rise, to almost 20% in the next year. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CGC is becoming a well trusted source of information, which can impact purchase decisions and customer perception. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more WOM, the more influencers, the more your company can be affected, both positively and negatively. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As CGC becomes more credible and accessible maintaining a corporate blog for facilitation of commentary becomes virtually essential! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Final Thoughts… <ul><li>Future for Business blogs? </li></ul><ul><li>Creative blog features? </li></ul><ul><li>How to measure success? </li></ul><ul><li>Final thoughts/questions? </li></ul>