External business blog
The most common type of business/corporate blog right now is the external blog, be it a promotion, PR, marketing or product presentation blog.
This type of blog is offered publicly for reading, it is not restricted to a specific audience (employees of a company, for example).
What are the advantages of an external business blog?
First of all, the community. The readers of the blog are people with the same interests of the author, who have the same hobbies or who are interested in the same type of products – it’s not unusual to see a community around a type of car, such as the one created around the blog of the Vice President of General Motors, Bob Lutz. A good example of the power of the community is the response to what Bob Lutz wrote about the new Chevrolet Camaro.
The community can offer you new business opportunities, new ideas, it can tell you if your proposals are wrong or not.
The community becomes the one to say yes or no to a new project (can you imagine creating a product which has no market?). The same community will suggest improvements and will criticize, thus reducing research costs. After all, your community is the one most likely to buy what you’re offering. If they don’t like your product, do you think there is a chance the others will?
It can be safely assumed that a community that reads a blog will ask the author(s) when they want to buy a product or when they need a service in that certain domain. For example, if the owner of a bed & breakfast in a mountain resort has a blog about how to satisfy your customers, how to get ready for a trip in the mountains etc., we can expect that his readers, when they decide to go to the mountains, will make a reservation with him.
There are also other advantages, such as recognition from the community, authority status on the subject at hand, communicating the messages directly to the community (when did you last have the opportunity to talk daily to 1000 people who use your products or services?) or the possibility to control the evolution of an unpleasant event by transmitting your own version of the facts, without the filter of the press or press releases, which may not be very credible in the community.
For the advantages of internal business blogs, tomorrow.
Here are the first two articles in the series: