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Help Selling Blogs In

One of the attendees from the Boston AMA Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website workshop is looking for a few innovative approaches to help him sell-in blogs to his management. He's asked for help from the AMA blog community. The following are the concerns that he's struggling with:

- Blogs are time consuming and need a full time blogger to write, monitor comments/trackbacks and manage the bloggging process.
- A board is more dynamic in nature, people have the freedom to post whatever they want. People from the company, as well as, other other readers can respond - much the same as they would via a blog.
- A full-time employee is not necessary to implementing a board. Company saves on human resources.

The company is also interested in developing RSS feeds for targeted segments. Can RSS feeds be password protected so that only specific people are able to subscribe to the feed/or read the feed?

Thanks for your help!

Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work, RSS, Weblogs | Permalink


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If you want to build a successful company on the web you have to create a website that creates lots of good relevant, unique content. Creating a lot of good content on a regular basis will help with encouraging more readers to return to your site. Unfortunately there is no way to get around the dilemma of creating lots of content, i.e. creating content takes time.

However, Blogs give companies both the technical and cultural ability to publish quickly, that ability to post lots of (hopefully) quality content quickly is one reason why blogs have been so successful for many companies, that ability fulfills the strategy of developing a lot of good content.

A forum is a great way to develop a lot of content on the web. A company can leverage many people outside of a company to develop a lot of content. However, a good forum does require the services of an expert moderator, the moderator has to develop ideas around the company, answer posts, start posts, moderate posts and generally supervise the forum. Compared to a blog where I usually recommend 3-5 posts a week, a forum can actually take up more time on a daily basis than a blog.

Ask Lynn Brown, the moderator for the Internet Marketing Special Interest Group for the American Marketing Association about the time needed to manage the AMA’s e-mail serve, she has to review every post before it is sent out on the list serve.

One other advantage of a blog is that if you are using the blog for marketing the company, in the promotional sense, you can direct posts to the keywords your company is targeting on search engines. Your posts don’t have to be dry because you focus on your targeted keywords, but with some careful thought you can help your company to get higher rankings on the web.

I want to ask the prospective blogger what goals to you want to achieve? Is it customer service and product development, or do you want to use the tool as a promotional tool? If customer service and product development, and you were not considering having your product builders’ blog, I’d recommend the forum. If your goal is company promotional, I recommend a blog, it will probably take less time, and you will have more control over the development of your content blogging strategy.

Posted by: John Cass | Jul 9, 2005 11:01:45 PM

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Posted by: john | Jul 11, 2005 6:12:28 AM

Great thoughts on forums vs blogs. I sometimes find it rather difficult to explain to organizations how blogs can be a cost-effective method of creating an online dialog. One successful strategy to getting "blog acceptance" by management is to get the PR team on board as blog champions.

Posted by: Lionel Matecha | Aug 9, 2005 1:45:50 PM

This is a no-brainer. Once the company develops a blog strategy, and a posting style, the blog is a quick but effective connecting tool...able to do all the things a website does, but without the hassel. I recommend an editorial posting focus: choose specific topics for specific days of the week, and know who is going to write them. The author should only spend one hour -- maybe 45 minutes posting, and 14 minutes reading up on comments, or other blogs.

One hour, once a week...if more than one author is involved. If only one person is assigned the blog writing and maintenance, this person should gradually be able to post in under and hour, and respond to comments at will. Just as we fit any important task into our day, we need to consider blogging as a valuable part of our marketing package, and plan accordingly.

I've gotten more than 50% of my business from my blog, this year. And business has never been better.

Posted by: Yvonne DiVita | Aug 17, 2005 2:59:49 PM

While everyone agrees that you can generate awareness for your business online through blogs, I wonder if you can also generate awareness for and hence promote public company stocks through the judicious use of blogs?

If anyone has thoughts on this, or knows if it works, I would like to hear from you. Thanks.


Posted by: Ullrich Schade | Aug 18, 2005 2:24:08 AM

I use open source software to provide a service to businesses that offers enterpise blogging, forums, tagging, rss on tags, categories, individual blogs, security plus much more. Content can be made public or private.

selling it to mgt: no more wasted ideas and info trapped in email, better methods for collaboratiny with customers, employees, open innovation, better executin over strategies.

read my blog, www.advancinginsights.com

Posted by: Jim Wilde | Aug 19, 2005 12:42:12 PM

I also face the same challenge within my organization. I have approached blogs as a tool to collect passive VoC from clients. In addition, it is a great way establish yourself within the knowledge community of your industry. My executives have yet to be convinced. I will also use the posts above to guide me. Thanks.


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