Volume 18, July 2009
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Web 2.0, especially Blogging, has suddenly caught everybody’s fancy, especially in these troubled times when companies look for cost-effective ways to communicate. How blogs can create an impact and whether SMEs can benefit from them are the questions we will answer in this section of ‘Marketing Buzz’.

crossBlogging has really caught everybody’s attention these days. Companies, irrespective of their sizes, are lapping up this medium, to reach out to their customers and to a larger audience. Web 2.0 is emerging as a smart way to market yourself and your organization. It is all about developing an edge through whichever means there is and blogs are the way to go, literally!

Since a blog is very inexpensive, it is one of the best ways for a small company to reach out to its present and potential customer base. SMEs or managers who blog, have the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas directly with their customers. Your customers can connect to you and a bond is developed which takes the level of customer involvement a step higher. They can identify with the brand you have, thus opening a two-way channel for communication, a channel which many other marketing tools lack. Blogging also allows you to get feedback directly from the horse’s mouth. It encourages participation from your extended value chain and you can get views on not only the final product or service but also how it can be bettered, the plusses, minuses et al.

   
   
Blogging is the first step in the Web 2.0 value chain. Once this channel is set and well accepted by your target audience, you can climb the ladder towards other social media tools like communities, forums and wikis.
 


Amazon, among many other companies, invites its visitors to evaluate products, rank and rate their value and have a say, thus making visitors an integral part of the whole process and not just being the consumer. Many companies now have custom blogs which are useful to build mindshare with the target audience. HCL has a CEO Blog which is great for the company and its value chain members as it opens a strong communication channel fostering trust and transparency. Similarly Infosys has vertical specific blogs which are specialized in terms of content and draw the right target audience.


Another benefit of blogging is that you can attract more people to your site hence increasing your chances of getting business. The more the number of clicks and views of your blog page the higher the ranking on the search pages.

Blogging is the first step in the Web 2.0 value chain to establish your presence online. Once this channel is set and well accepted by your target audience, you can climb the ladder towards other social media tools like communities forums and wikis which have their benefits. Companies like HP, Oracle, Cisco and IBM have their own user communities where people post their opinions, suggestions, guidelines and tips.

   
   
Web 2.0 tools require a high degree of participation and commitment from the company to sustain the effect. They can be great as a part of your marketing campaign and can take you places if implemented rightly.
 


Web 2.0 encompasses a broad range of tools: Blogs, wikis, podcasts and virtual communities like LinkedIn and FaceBook are some tools that are widely used. However, what is required is not only the presence of these tools but also constant updating and involvement from the management. This requires a high degree of participation and commitment. Web 2.0 tools can be great as a part of your marketing campaign and can take you places, if implemented rightly. It is just that they need some more action, in addition to planning, as compared to conventional marketing tools. And in times like these, they can be your best investment option demanding only some time and dedication on your part.