We've posted numerous entries about the benefits of blogging for HR suppliers. The blog you ar reading exposes our company, HRmarketer.com, to many potential customers who otherwise may not have found us. It also enables us to communicate with HR suppliers about new industry white papers, research, tips on marketing, etc. All of which help to keep our brand visible. So it was with great satisfaction I read a recent New York Times (Thursday, December 27th print edition) article titled Blogging’s a Low-Cost, High Return Marketing Tool.
The first sentence of the article reads:
"to its true believers at small businesses, [blogging] is a low-cost, high-return tool that can handle marketing and public relations, raise the company profile and build the brand."Yes! Yet, a recent American Express survey found that only 5 percent of businesses with fewer than 100 employees have blogs.
But then the NYT article goes on to say:
"while blogs may be useful to many more small businesses, even blogging experts do not recommend it for the majority. Guy Kawasaki, a serial entrepreneur, managing partner of Garage Technology Ventures and a prolific blogger, put it this way: 'If you’re a clothing manufacturer or a restaurant, blogging is probably not as high on your list as making good food or good clothes.'”I must respectfully disagree with Guy. This is simply not true. Granted, as the NYT article points out, some companies like consultants are better suited to blogging (blogging can help you get hired) but if done properly, a blog can benefit just about any type of business.
Take Guy's restaurant reference. Imagine the benefits of a chef's blog at a popular restaurant whereby the chef posts recipes, announces upcoming special events, provides commentary on popular dishes, etc. This would take little time but could be a valuable marketing and PR tool to communicate and stay visible with both loyal and potential patrons.
The real problem with business blogging is finding the time to post. We advise our clients that if you can't make a new blog entry at least once per week, don't bother with a blog. But as an owner of a small business I know first hand how challenging this can be. Your first priority must be running the business and servicing the customers. Who has time for blogging? (notice how I'm writing this blog entry on a Saturday morning).
For many businesses, we recommend they share the blog posting responsibilities. If you divide the blog posting responsibility across four members of your team, then you can guarantee at least one posting per week yet each team member only needs to write one posting per month. Very doable. We practice this with our blog at HRmarketer.com. It allows you to get creative with your blog - for example, if you are a talent management firm you may have one person commenting on "technology", another expert dedicated to more traditional performance management coaching, etc. In other words, you utilize each team member's expertise to showcase your company's breadth of knowledge and appeal to a wider audience.
Anyway, read the NYT article on blogging - it's a good article. And if you don't blog, make it a New year's resolution :-) Trust me, it will benefit your business.
Posted by Mark Willaman