Monday, March 07, 2005

Stroplog: Small Business Blogs

The name of the trend: Business blogs.
Blogs are the new must-have tool for business. Even Bill Gates has shown his support for blogs. He points out the possibilities of blogging, and specifically mentions the merits of rss feeds. "

Benefits of blogging

New Communication: in the days when emails get deleted before being opened, blogging offers a new way of communicating with customers and potential customers. By subscribing to your RSS feeds customers can get notified everytime you update your site, and visit when it's convenient to them. You dont have to impose upon your customer at all!

Customer Focus: by updating regularly you keep yourself in the customer focus. You are demonstrating that you're a current business, important in the days of site-rot and bankrupt companies with websites that survive them. Moreover you can demonstrate you latest services easily: if you're a clothes business you can talk about new ranges, and you favourite picks, a IT consultancy can talk about the latest virus, and give tips on cleaning up. You can demostrate that you are knowledgble and professional, and that you keep up to date. As a small business this can be done in a easy-going manner that will tie in with the personal relationship you will invariably have/develop with your customers.

Easy Customer Interaction: Blogs allow an easy way to contact you, and indeed interact with you. The effort can also be time saving. If a potential customer has an enquiry about a product or service they may not bother to email or phone you, but they might click "comment" and ask there. Once they've done that their enquiry, and importantly your response, will be there for other customers to read. It demonstrates professionalism, care for the customer, and is another way of helping and supporting your clients.

What blogging [is] about is that you make it very easy to write something, like an e-mail, but it goes up onto a Web site. And then people who care about that get a little notification. If you care about dozens of people whenever they write about a certain topic, you can have that notification come into your Inbox and it will be in a different folder, and it doesn't interfere with your normal Inbox.
Bill Gates (edited),

"Before blogs, it was difficult for small companies to afford a way to stay in touch with their customers. Now they can," says marketing consultant Jack Trout. "It's a great marketing tool."
Matthew Foge in Inc Magazine

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