There is very little that can match up to word of mouth marketing in today’s online marketing scenario.
It’s said that Tata Motors, an Indian automobile manufacturer, got several hundred million dollars worth of free publicity for their sub $3000 car, dubbed Nano.
A large part of this came from collective blogging, where the general public took a keen interest into the automakers project and well, simply … blogged about it.
Now, while this cannot be replicated for every business or every product scenario, collective blogging for a business or a product is a powerful marketing tool and can be effective for any business, regardless of its size.
The first people to take a keen interest into a company’s products or offerings are its own employees — and they are the front line in any word of mouth marketing campaign.
Tapping the writing skills of your employees to blog about products and offerings can help develop a super PR strategy if coordinated and executed well.
With multiple employees advocating on behalf of the business and sharing what they write with their friends, who in turn may contribute to spreading the word, can have a ripple effect — but the key is to ensure that it is a coordinated effort. When we say that, we don’t mean that it has to be completely edited and controlled word-to-word by someone in a directorial fashion, but having some amount of administrative control over the employee blogging platform and being able to centralize efforts are just as important.
As powerful as blogging is to bring credibility to a business, it can be equally destructive if disgruntled employees decide to go public and express their dissatisfaction online through a blog. This is precisely why it’s better to use a business blogging software platform as a base for the collective blogging campaign. By using a single platform, each employee can setup their blogs and write individually, while still having a common administration back-end to ensure efforts are channeled productively.
How to Handle Employee Blogging
Here are a few tips to consider while extending your online marketing efforts to include employee blogs:
- Chart out a plan. It may not be very detailed, but it should help provide some direction to the blogging efforts
- Discuss the objectives and basic direction with all of the bloggers so that everyone is on the same page
- Put together a blogging policy for your employees covering both your company blogs posts and what employees can write about off the job. And make sure you let them know that the policy covers company and personal blogs.
- Remind your employees to respect copyright and trademarks
- Use a blogging software platform that can be built into your website and is specifically suited for a collective blogging effort, rather than scattering efforts on multiple hosted blogging platforms
- Keep a check on what is being published and curb any posts that can be damaging to the business
- Re-group regularly with the blogging team to take stock and ensure things are going in the right direction
When everything comes together and you have a strong process in place and a solid blogging platform to support your efforts, the results can be terrific.
Give it a try.