It would be best if you considered blogging as a marketing tool.
Last spring, I sent a letter to all of my customers, suggesting that they start letting their salespeople at least write blogs for customers and prospects. Many managers may find this idea radical, but it’s important to remember that authentic communication is the best way to build loyalty among people. And your customers are first and foremost people.
We’ll evaluate this idea using the PPC (Pluses Potentials and Concerns) technique described in Roger L. Firestein’s Leading the Creative Edge.
Idea: Let Your Customers Read Blogs Written By Your Salespeople
Customers will feel valued (always good).
The customers will hear about your business in a genuine voice from people primarily concerned with helping your company make money (so that they can also make money). This is a good motivation for creating positive material.
Salespeople are happy with the process and feel great about being in contact with their customers more often.
You are so well known to your customers that they immediately think of you when a friend needs a recommendation for your service or product.
You can be proactive in meeting their needs by being proactive.
Customers are more interested in your R&D and willing to test new products/services.
Customers are less likely to complain because they trust and know your processes. They will also be more tolerant of any problems or glitches with service.
What can you do to prevent salespeople from writing content that appears negative?
How can you overcome the fear of someone saying too much?
What kind of review process could you implement to protect trade secrets, intellectual property, and other items clearly understood as being off-limits in blog content?
Remember… Your salespeople spend daily with your clients in their offices, plants, conferences, and hotels. In these situations, you have less control over what your salespeople say than in a blog.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, a large corporation’s CEO presented a newly developed product at a company meeting. However, the majority of attendees already knew it.
They’d read the blog of a junior associate of the company, who chronicled the development. HBR hailed this as a warning to corporate marketers.
Blogs are a powerful marketing tool. A newsletter has all of the benefits of a website, but it also has the power that people will choose to read it.
Google indexes more than three billion blogs, but people will still find yours as long as it is a relevant topic. They’ll also spread the word! This is free advertising and uninvited third-party endorsements, which every business owner wants.
Calculate your potential gains, both for your company and your customers. Think of creative ways to reduce or eliminate perceived risk.
When you are confident in the power and effectiveness of sales blogs and your team is comfortable with your process, do not hesitate to extend your target audience to include trade and business editors, vendors, and prospects.