What do you want him to remember when the door opens?
You could imagine this to be a short trip or a longer trip, depending on the elevator speed, and how comfortable you are with the topic.
Blogs have been around a long time, and they certainly have evolved. They are the most time- and effort-intensive for companies that are still very much strapped for resources and want fast results.
So I thought we should explore what an elevator pitch would look like with some of the individuals who have had those conversations with CMOs in close quarters.
In the order received.
Here's why corporate blogs rock:
1. They give you great traffic. Jason Falls explains this in a case study he featured that shows that a LOT of visits to a specific corporate blog came via search.
2. They humanize your business. Want your business to appear more approachable? Don't write in the traditional press releases of old. Blogs are intended to be a little more personable. Done well, blogs have the amazing potential to connect customers and prospects with a business that shows that they care about their community.
Corporate-speak doesn't work anymore.
Look, blogging is just a tool, it's not a strategy. That said, it may be the most powerful publishing tool to communicate regularly with your customers and prospects. Smart blogging gets you found in search engines, can be the backbone of your social media strategy and may even help your employee motivation and turnover issues.
Finally, the only thing worse than not having a blog is having one that doesn't add to the conversation (just sells) and having one that is never updated. So, absolutely don't start a blog if you aren't going to seriously put some resources behind it.
Real interactions with real human beings. Blogs allow you to speak and create content in a human voice and drive it home through conversation. Most brands are looking for a semblance of community development in their marketing mix, well there is no community without a conversation first and a corporate Blog is a great way to highlight that voice, your originality and the people you work with and for.
You know all the things we take for granted here? Our processes and ways of doing things? It all seems routine and boring to us, but customers now want to see the sausage being made. They're fascinated not by what we do, but by HOW we do it. Blogging is like Nintendo Wii. Our customers can see what goes on here, and be entertained and informed, and they can also interact with us at the same time.
Also, every bit of writing, every photo, and every video we add to the blog will be found by search engines, and will bring more visitors to our Web site forever, like an information annuity. And it costs almost nothing, except for our time.
You may have heard about this blogging thing. It has enabled giant companies to humanize themselves, connect with consumers and stakeholders, revitalize their customer service practice, create their own news channels and respond to crises on their own turf. It has risks, sure. Humans are humans, and employees could post misguided, inflammatory or just plain stupid things on a corporate social media channel.
But now that the social movement has humanized companies, 93 percent of social users expect a company to have a presence in social media (Cone, September ’08). While the ROI may seem squishy, the opportunity cost of not participating in a conversation already happening about your brand clearly outweighs the risk.
And while you may be tempted to ghostwrite or outsource your corporate blogs and social network profiles to just to do “something,” I implore you to keep things genuine, internal and authentic. That’s what being human is all about.
Blogs are a repository for the mission and vision of your company. It is the place where thought leadership, expertise, passion, and differentiation can transcend bias to inspire those seeking insight, direction, and perspective.
It's not what we say about us that counts as much as what people hear and in turn say about us. Let's give them something to talk about...
Beyond impressions, blogging empowers us to leap into the realm of interaction with potential customers so that when they begin shopping for what we have to offer, or move naturally down into the "prospect" zone of the sales funnel and adopt a purchase mindset, they have already accumulated a number of positive experiences with our brand and its representatives.
Blogging is one of the best ways for your customers to get to know your brand on the inside. It's a great opportunity to engage with them to build a stronger community, to exhibit thought leadership, and to offer customer relations, through direct and open communication.
Blogging allows the people inside of the corporate walls to show their human side and to use their own unique voices. When customers interact with the people in your company they may feel closer to your brand, just by the nature of the conversations and for the meaningful information they receive.
Blogging requires stamina, passion for a topic, the ability to write well and to see opportunities beyond a company product or service -- for example, helping solve industry problems -- and time. In a corporate setting, it also needs support from the organization, both culturally, and physically. Half of the battle is often selling the value of it.
Thanks especially to the group who made time on a holiday weekend so you could have some thought starters for your CMO. How's your elevator pitch about blogs these days?