The ‘People’s Voice’ Builds YOUR Business!
What’s the definition of innovation? Don’t worry – I got this one. Innovation is “the act or process of inventing or introducing something new.”
In our continuing ‘look’ into the world of social marketing, media, advertising and networking, we are going to take on one of the most important facets of this ‘realm’ that will help you grow your business…the mighty blog. In the late 1990’s, blogs became larger and larger as more and more people began to keep what they called “personal diaries” on the Internet. When it all began, the blogs ranged from posting the latest recipe that someone had found to speaking with others about the best book or coolest movie out there in the world at the moment. Some were simple postings that included humor, tales about life in general and – what is most important to YOU – reviews and ratings of new products available in various industries. These bloggers built a following; a community was formed. And this community’s main job was to ‘talk’ about anything and everything that they wanted to talk about. You know what this is called? An excellent place to sell your product!
Think about it. Say you are a business selling the latest in footwear that helps people with arthritis or osteoporosis walk with less pain. A blog is begun where individuals speak about this product and the health benefits – increasing the much-needed ‘buzz’ where your product and/or company name is concerned. Soon, this blog accumulates more and more users who are truly positive about your product. What happens? Cash-flow!
We’ve seen the power of blogs increase in the 21st century. In fact, there are absolutely ‘unbelievable’ tales about teens or various other groups based on age, religion, etc. that came together and turned a horrible movie idea into the Oscar winner that year. They’ve built communities that forced Hollywood to take a book they wouldn’t have normally taken and turn it into a movie that makes billions – simply because someone on a blog began a conversation and started the ball rolling.
YOU, as a new business, need to start that ball rolling regarding your product. A website, of course, is the first step – which we have spoken about. But the website is more informational than anything else. There are ads, places to ‘click’ in order to see the products and buy, as well as a contact or customer service page – things like that. The blog is more personal. It is THE example of really getting ‘involved’ with the consumers you are trying to market to. Is there a bad side to this? Sure. If the product ends up to be something the community does not like well, then you may be looking at a very quick end to an idea. But blogs have the ability to turn a small business into a large company based on the ‘people’s voice.’ In fact, many will say nowadays that blogging is the ONLY place left where the people have an actual voice that is heard! So…wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?
The original bloggers were referred to as diarists or journalers – people who spoke out about their personal lives. As I stated above, cookbooks and recipes became a very large group of bloggers in the mid-1990’s with more and more people trying to share those new recipes with others. Humor also came about. For a great deal of time humor was something that was almost forbidden on the Web. I believe it was simply the fact that sarcasm doesn’t translate very well in black and white, but in the past few years websites like, HumorOutcasts.com, have grown into very large communities with more and more followers and writers signing up each and every day.
Unlike Twitter, where you are kept to a certain number of characters when you compose a message, blogs opened everything up and allowed people to speak, write and share with others all different kinds of information.
Another great facet of the blog is the fact that it is, in a great many cases, free. A blog can be setup in seconds, but as a company or individual with a product and/or service, you should really take the time to get the perfect backdrop, template, colors, and ‘extras’ that suit the needs of your company. You want to be unique in all things when it comes to your company, and the blog is one of the most important.
I say this from a personal perspective. In fact, I was one of those people out there who really didn’t come across or follow blogs much in my daily life. You know…there was always something that HAD to be done and computer-time was reserved mostly for the teen in the house. But recently I was lucky enough to be part of a blog tour where the first in a trilogy of books I’m writing went on a ‘tour’ where I was introduced to amazing fans and readers on all different types of blogs and websites. I came across some of the most remarkable ones that were not only informational but also visually entertaining. In fact, they were not the ‘standard’ diary entry blog; each offered reviews, interviews, a following that was extraordinary, and articles from the author in the ‘spotlight.’ It was truly an amazing experience to delve into the world of blogs, and I was also able to ‘discover’ just how much a blog is needed in order to draw readers and/or customers into your world.
As social media becomes the ‘it’ way to advertise and market your product, the blog you put together is far more visible – not to mention, far more valuable than ever before. And, like the world of websites, you do not have to own the skills and talent of a graphic designer or a computer programmer to create a truly interesting and visually appealing blog.
Now, yes, I will give you the fact that some computer knowledge is necessary in order to fix slight errors in templates, etc. – but the actual information necessary for you to learn these skills as a start-up or small business is provided to you on the blogger websites, as well as on the Internet, itself. So you’re never without the answer. Believe me; the word ‘tutorial’ has become as well-used in my daily dialogue as “get down” when I’m speaking to my dog who constantly jumps all over me while I’m trying to write.
Creating a blog is what you would call a learn-as-you-go process, and the true vast amount of options that you are offered on the Web makes building a blog a ‘fun’ event that will eventually lead customers to your product. To have a successful business in 2012, these communities need to be looked at as a true ‘group’ of citizens who are walking over the threshold of your brick-and-mortar store. Because that IS exactly what a blog is – a chance to build your customer base by using postings, blurbs, reviews, interviews, and even YouTube videos that will better explain your brand.
Remember – a website has to be unique and one-of-a-kind, and a blog needs to be that ‘home’ where clients can come in order to leave comments, suggestions, and get the ‘word out’ about why your business should be #1 in your industry!
To Gain the “Slight Edge to Get Noticed” Be First Inc can take you there.
Until Next Time, Everybody,