Company blog as an e-commerce promotion tool
According to research on the social media market in Poland in 2015, carried out by the IRCenter Agency, blogs and internet forums have a smaller and smaller share in the market. So is it still worth thinking about starting a blog? Is it already obsolete? Contrary to this statistic, not at all. For a very simple reason - there is currently no other place on the social media market on the Internet so perfectly suitable for content marketing (contextual marketing). A company blog is the perfect place to publish content for a specific topic and for the knowledge of experts in a given field. Hence the specialization of them and their authors. Apart from purely personal blogs - the diary type - most of them focus on a specific topic. Thematic specialization is therefore the first advantage. The second - a very good level of published content. Bloggers are either specialists sharing their knowledge and experience, or amateurs. Both groups create interesting and high-quality content. Regardless of whether we are talking about private or company blogs, these are great places to promote the company's marketing strategy.
Will blogs grow?
The answer is yes. Despite the trends reported by social media market research, blogs will be of great importance for a long time to come. In the Polish Internet, back in 2014, 98.1% of YouTube users and 91.8% of Facebook users read blogs at least once a month. It is still a huge number of Internet users. The development of blogs and the entire blogosphere will probably go in two directions.
The first will be the increasing use of audio-video content. There are already blogs that use podcasts, i.e. serial audio or video recordings, more often than text. This is related to the increasing use of mobile devices by Internet users: smartphones, tablets, eg on the way to work, school, traveling, etc. Such content is easier to play.
The second is the simultaneous connection of the message in social media, e.g. writing a traditional text blog with activity in other social media. For example, apart from blogging, Internet users often run thematic groups on Facebook or a YouTube channel, Instagram accounts, Pinterest accounts, etc. Such activities are also used to promote the blog and enable the creation of various content formats (text, photos, audio files, video files) the subject itself. In this way, the synergy effect occurs, i.e. the strengthening of all these internet marketing channels in social media.
Company blog in social marketing
The use of blogs to promote products or services of a given company is a necessity in modern internet marketing. Regardless of whether we run a company blog or cooperate with external bloggers, we get a place to publish high-quality content, which is what is currently important both for Internet users - our potential customers, and for the Google search engine. The second advantage is the high specialization of blogs and bloggers, which makes blogs an ideal tool for content marketing. Another advantage of blogs is their high suitability for positioning a company.
Regardless of whether we position a website or an e-commerce store, the blogosphere allows you to place good quality internal and external links in a perfectly selected content context. The current Google algorithms pay special attention to the compliance of the content with the internet user's query, so placing the links in an environment matching the keywords is the best way to increase the effectiveness of SEO marketing activities.
Company blog or cooperation with the blogosphere?
A professional company blog is also a good method to promote the company's image, its products, services, customer service methods, etc. It can be a perfect place for external communication with the client, eg through a system of entries and comments as well as internal communication with own employees. It is also a kind of knowledge base. Running a company blog helps to create a professional image of the company, as well as customer interest in its services or products. You need to take care of interesting, engaging content so that he would be happy to return to our blog and find answers to his questions there.This is especially important in the competitive e-commerce market. A company blog will help you stand out on the market, promote unusual products or services, and get interested in marketing campaigns. It is important to set it up at company addresses, and not to use free blogging services, as it does not look very professional.
Another rule applies when we use cooperation with bloggers. This is an important activity that complements our internet marketing strategy. It will help to promote the objective image of the company to the outside. In e-marketing and e-PR it is important not only what the company writes itself, e.g. in a company blog, but also what other people write about it (e.g. bloggers experts). As you can easily guess, cooperation with bloggers can also be used for viral marketing, creating attractive content, offers, information about events, etc. In this case, whether the blogger uses professional blogging platforms or free websites such as Blogger, Blox has smaller meaning. There are many forms of cooperation with bloggers, it is worth sending them interesting information, organizing competitions, training for them, barter exchange turns out to be helpful. Barter is the exchange of services or products without any money involved. Mutual barter of benefits between the company and bloggers can be an interesting form of cooperation for both parties. Barter exchange with bloggers may concern, for example, the publication of content about the company (benefits for the company: someone writes about us; benefit for the blogger - he has access to new information) and the exchange of external links (which involves the publication of content about the company).
Settlement of barter
One should only remember that barter contracts must be settled in terms of tax (including VAT) and entered in accounting documents. Agreements with persons who do not conduct business activity may also be subject to ZUS contributions. In practice, if both mutual services are valued at the same amounts, the transaction balance is zero.
The most interesting company blogs in Poland
As you can see, the list of the benefits of blogging is long. Now let's look at some examples. A company blog, just like other types of blogs, is evaluated and has its own rankings. This category is divided into small, medium and large companies. Here are the results of the ranking published every year on blogifirmowe.pl:
In the competition for the best small company blog in 2015, the winner of the blog interviewme.pl/blog of the company Workz Sp. z o.o. from Warsaw. It offers a lot of useful information on topics related to job searching. It covers the creation of a CV, cover letter, interview, etc.
The first place in the medium business blog category was taken by merixstudio.pl/blog by Merixstudio from Poznań. It is a blog with an interesting graphic design devoted to the issues of web projects (i.e. related to various forms of internet marketing, applications, programs, IT services, etc.).
The winner in the large company category was the English-language blog studentsinwarsaw.com of the Kozminski University in Warsaw, created together with the students of the university. Graphically interesting and very extensive blog promotes the university and attractive activities for students.
Among company blogs, it is also worth presenting a few blogs based on a good idea, which perfectly support both traditional and e-commerce sales.
Kuchalidla.pl - is a culinary blog coupled with advertising activities in other media, including with TV advertising. This marketing campaign uses the participation of celebrities and famous chefs to post professional content about cooking. The blog promotes products sold in the Lidl retail chain. Simple idea but how well it works!
Titleurzadzisz.pl - a blog about home design and furnishing, promoting IKEA products. The name of the blog refers to the advertising campaigns of Ikea with the advertising slogan: You will arrange it here! So, as in the case of Lidl's kitchen, the blog is a MIX marketing tool.
pixers.pl/blog - a blog about interior design, wall decoration and photo wallpapers promoting the pixers.pl online store. Blog entries with large photos visually complement the interior decoration proposals described in the text. Photos linked to Pinterest are a good example of using a blog and other social media channels to promote an e-commerce store.
As all of the above examples show, blogs are a type of social media with huge marketing potential. A company blog in e-commerce is invaluable, because it allows not only for effective marketing activities, but also helps in positioning an online store. If you run a business, you already have a website or an e-shop, don't hesitate - put on a professional company blog. What else can help promote sales? You can read more about it in the article on email marketing.