Boost Your Business With Blogs and Podcasts
By Peter Koeppel
While most people have heard of blogs and podcasts, few are taking full advantage of what these marketing mediums can offer their businesses. As recently as two years ago, blogs and podcasts were viewed as nothing more than places for opinionated people to rant and rave or assert their viewpoints. Today, blogs and podcasts are the most explosive marketing vehicles to emerge since the Internet.
BusinessWeek reports that more than 40,000 new blogs are popping up every day. And in 2006, the number of podcast feeds exceeded the number of radio stations worldwide, according to the CIA World Factbook. This means business owners essentially have a wealth of marketing opportunities requiring little to no out-of-pocket expenses.
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A Blog is a powerful medium for delivering information that, done correctly, comes across as informational and less biased. Blogs also allow for consumer feedback in an unfiltered environment, and while this can create challenges when you get negative comments, you can at least address the issues and be aware of them. A blog is like an instant focus group, and being receptive to feedback indicates a` company is accessible and interested in customer concerns.
Because thet are updated regularly, search engines like blogs, and display them at the top of the search results. Include keywords that search engines will pick up within blog entries, which helps promote your business while positioning your company as an industry leader.
Blogs provide an easy forum for delivering information to customers about new products and offers, as well as building relationships with customers. Likewise, if there were some sort of crisis occurring in the company, it’s a way to get the facts out there so you can deal with the situation quickly. To make blogs more relevant and non-biased, reach out to people who will contribute, including outside experts and customers, as well as employees. However, a blog makes it easy for a disgruntled employee to post information that should not be public knowledge—including proprietary information and trade secrets. So, when allowing employees to post entries, establish some controls over the content.