Blogs and the Business Value of Relationships

Yesterday I was interviewed by my local daily paper, the Boulder Daily Camera, for a forthcoming feature on business blogging. I’ll let you know when that comes out. The interview lasted about 30 minutes, hopefully I’ll get quoted!

The inevitable question in these conversations is always, “Where’s the business value in blogging?” Here’s something I mentioned to that reporter…

I tend to answer that question with another question: How valuable are relationships to your business, and why?

Used well, blogs can be excellent relationship-building tools for any organization. You can consider them not just marketing, but part of your customer or supply-chain support system. People who have (or who are considering having) a business relationship with your organization have a specific motivation to follow what you’re up to – which makes them likely blog readers (or feed subscribers).

For instance, if your reps keep fielding the same questions over and over from current or potential customers, your blog might be the best place to answer those questions. This not only may save time for your reps and customers – it may serve customers better by showing them that you are anticipating their needs. That always feels good.

Plus, the beauty of a weblog is that every posting gets assigned a unique URL, which can be linked to directly. Therefore, when one of your reps is fielding a question from a customer, and she knows that question was answered in your blog, she can say:

“Here’s the short version of the answer to your question. And if you need more information, we covered that in our weblog. I’ll send you a link to that article. You know, our weblog is a great way to find out all kinds of things about doing business with us. You might want to consider checking it out, or subscribing to it. It’s free, and it’s another way for you to ask us questions and see what our other customers are saying about us.”

More on this theme later…

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