Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Blogs: Be real, not cute.

CEOs from major firms are entering the blogosphere, according to a story on USNews.com. Sun, GM, Hewlett-Packard and Boeing are the firms they examine in this story, but will Blogs work for smaller businesses?

In its print edition (US News & World Report, Oct. 24, 2005), the publication brings it home to smaller businesses with an admonition not to fall into the same trap that Wrigley's did.

"Then there's the Wrigley Co.'s JuicyFruit blog, a faux online diary chronicling the misadventures of two JuicyFruit fans grappling over a pack of gum. It's just cutesy advertising copy...Note to small-business bloggers: Keep it real."
Well said. People are reading blogs (Ask Jeeves estimates over 1.2 million feeds with upwards of 600 million posts in July -- and that's just on Bloglines) because they feel like they are getting inside information that not everyone is privy to. Serving up marketing collateral is not the way to get and keep an audience.

Your Blog's (or Podcast's) subscriber base makes up what we call your "educated prospect pool." These folks will be easier to convert to customers, which will compress your sales cycle, save you time and money and add to your bottom line more quickly. All good things. So if you want to get them, you need to go beyond the "cutesy copy" and offer them some value.