Blogging for Business

Online Forum Not Just for Expressing Opinions Anymore
As businesses scramble for an upper hand when it comes to marketing a company, blogs – short for “web logs” – have become a valuable asset in the online world. This virtual diary format was initially created to allow sharing of personal opinions and became especially popular among political pundits and journalists. Now blogging can be used to enhance a company’s website by drawing visitors interested in the content, who then browse the site to learn more about the company.

A company blog positions you as an expert in your discipline. “We can now prove to our Web visitors that we know a lot about staffing issues and solutions,” says Steve Emerson, President of Emerson Personnel Group in Cherry Hill. “Most marketing efforts tell customers about what you do; the blog allows us to show them how we approach personnel management. And we can receive feedback through the comment post. It is really becoming an interactive feature of our site.”

A blog’s effectiveness doesn’t stop with its ability to convey to visitors your company’s expertise. Because a blog is typically updated on a regular basis, it helps the website climb in search engine rankings (the order in which a site like Google™ displays the results of a search term). Search engines constantly revise their search results. Many times changes occur because a website has updated content. The engines look for new information first and rank search results according to the freshest content. Blogs are a perfect way to update the company website. And this means that prospects interested in your organization’s discipline are more likely to find your website because of higher rankings.

Connecting with visitors is another benefit to posting a company blog. “Many clients return to our website blog to view the pictures, personal messages and professional advice our employees share. We believe that a corporate blog allows us to express ourselves on a regular basis and listen to what clients have to say as well,” explains Alexander Hatala, President and CEO of Lourdes Health System in Camden.

Company blogs are not very difficult to set up; but experts suggest enlisting the help of a professional to implement the software into your site. Posting entries can be done according to your schedule, and entries do not have to be long to be effective. In fact, statistics show that the average attention span of a blog visitor is about 96 seconds, so be sure to keep your posts brief. If a subject requires more discussion, start another entry and continue your message.

Whether you’re appealing to southern New Jersey consumers or visitors across the globe, a blog can be a useful tool in your marketing arsenal.

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