Trust is the most valuable sales and marketing tool. Business blogging right will bring you that trust in spades. Blogging can be a natural format for giving your customers the transparency and accountability that breeds trust and loyalty in your business.
Corporate blogging or even small business blogging is often haphazardly tossed onto the Web. It gets immediately filled with PR-speak and marketing promotion. Then management wonders why it is not returning and value. Unlike typical web publishing, business blogging is meant to be like a conversation. There is a give and take–a necessary genuineness that must be there.
Granted, some consumers like the quick, easy, convenient transaction the Web facilitates. However, in the emerging age of blogging and Twitter, consumers are looking for conversation–brand interaction. In some ways it is like going back to the Main Street shopping experience. It is as much about the cup of coffee you share as the stuff you buy to make a profitable customer.
Nothing makes this easier than good business blogging. You get to quickly post up thoughts, initiatives, reactions, and solutions to your market. Yet, at the same time you can sprinkle in pictures, audio, and videos from around the office–pics of your cool office, audio of a funny sales call, or video of the Halloween costume contest.
These little sneak peeks into how you work and how you play create and solidify customer relationships.
Of course, the flip side is that you are in a conversation, a relationship now. That means there are going to be times you screw-up or someone is going to take you to task.
Never underestimate the value of, “sorry, I (we) screwed up, we are going to try harder next time.”
This is the hardest of the blogging tips to get, but it is the most important. Accountability in any relationship can yield the biggest rewards. In fact, accountability may be the biggest component of the trust equation.
Blogging is not your traditional web publishing–it doesn’t work as a one-way conversation. You have to be willing to have a balanced and fair conversation with your customer. The return on this type of real, genuine conversation is that elusive trust.
Once you get to trust you have a powerful weapon. Customers who trust buy more, promote more, and refer often. The cool part about earning trust online is that the barriers to amplifying that promotional and referral effect is zero.
In a moment, a trusting customer can blog to hundreds, Twitter to hundreds more, Facebook, FriendFeed, MySpace shout to thousands, and email dozens more. In a matter of minutes you can have hundreds even thousands looking, endorsing, and trusting your business.
Return on Your Blogging Investment
What a powerful effect for a few moments spent on your small business blogging, not your old-time FrontPage web publishing anymore. You have a marketing megaphone. Your small investment in blogging and following a few simple blogging tips about trust-building, and you have leveled the marketing playing field.
image credits to Laura Chifiriuc