There’s a lot of misconceptions out there about what a blog is, because the definition of that word has evolved. A blog started out as what people today would call a forum.
Before Facebook, Myspace, or Friendster, a blog was the place to express an opinion or a feeling online. Whether you had strong knowledge and opinions about Nucleosynthesis, New York City, or Nietzsche, you could find your niche in a blog and it would give other people who cared about that topic the opportunity to respond to you. When people in the marketplace use the term blog, it has a different meaning.
Blog = Corporate News Story
In the corporate world, it’s equivalent to a news story. Because while the definition of a blog evolved, a press release and the way that is handled has evolved as well. In the past if you had a big announcement to make, you would formally write out a press release and release it over PR Newswire or one of the big public newswires, and be done with it. Although that’s still done, you can now add blog functionality to your website and include news stories about your company in that space.
Press releases have evolved, the definition of a blog has evolved, and now, I think the definition of a blog is an opportunity online for companies to educate their market about what they do, the company’s industry, or business and understand their problems. While the blog educates the reader, information within the content informs search engines of its relevancy.
Traditionally, to spread the word about your product or business, you would follow a specific line of reasoning. For example, if you sell boxes, you would say, “We sell boxes, they’re brilliant boxes, come and buy from us”—not verbatim, but the messaging would follow a simple formula: stating the nature of your business, that it is worthwhile, and a call to action.
Share What you’re Up To
By leveraging content, and specifically a blog, messaging on your website would be more all-encompassing. In the blog, you’d share information about your product to prove that you’re well educated about the product, the nature of why someone would want to buy the product, how it fulfills a need, where to get them. You first establish that you’re a thought leader on something, then off the product or service. It’s really a means of establishing trust.
It takes a different approach. So if you use IT cloud solutions as an example, saying, “Hey we sell mail on the cloud or exchange 365” is less effective than “We have tons of information about mail being delivered on the cloud, we are specialists in this information. We know how you can sync up your iPad, your tablet, your laptop, how you can work remotely, how you can link it up, and how you can make it secure. We understand why you would need that because we understand the way that businesses have evolved. People are more mobile and work remotely more often, and we want you to understand that we offer options that suit your lifestyle and fit your company culture. Oh by the way, we sell cloud solutions.”
Your blog gives you an opportunity to explain that and educate your market.
Image Credit: Andy Dean