$224.2 billion dollars.
This is the predicted total for American online retail sales for 2012, according to an article on Mashable.com last week.
Is your business poised to capture its share of that spending? What does it take? Certainly capturing retail sales depends on a well designed website with sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure. But just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come to you.
Of the companies you do business with, how many of them have websites that you visit when you’re not planning to buy. How many of them have websites with some of the best corporate blogs you follow because they provide valuable information regularly. Whether your business provides business to consumer (B2C) products or services, or you market in a business to business (B2B) format, the trend of increasing online sales is one you want to be aware of. Very aware of.
Why? Because people who have developed the habit of purchasing consumer goods and services online will bring that same buying behavior to their work environments. As online retail sales grow, so too will online sales of goods and services to businesses. So no matter your client, the importance of your online presence will continue to grow.
Consider your own business website. Does it reflect how critically important this form of communication and marketing is becoming to your company? Have you studied the best corporate blogs you can find online and leveraged their success in your own business? If the only information your website reveals is your company location, hours of operation, and even an online catalog and ecommerce site, this isn’t enough. As more and more consumers move online to shop for products and services, something else will separate exceptional online experiences and websites from their ho-hum competitors.
And the secret is this: Who has the best corporate blogs?
In this era of relationship marketing, the personal, human touch provided by a company blog is the element that can make a company stand out online as a preferred provider for its customers.
Just think. The best corporate blogs bring readers to their website regularly. Monthly. Weekly. And even daily. Readers who visit these sites just to stay engaged with the company – not only when they have a specific purchase to make.
What would the addition of regular repeat traffic to a corporate blog help you capture your piece of that 224 billion dollar pie?
But maybe you’re stuck wondering how you would blog about your particular company? Take a look at these 3 examples of well known companies with very popular corporate blogs. See if there is a technique or theme that might give you an unexpected angle to provide value to your customers and set yourself apart as their favorite company to do business with.
1. Best Corporate Blogs: Southwest Airlines
What makes the Southwest blog an example of a best corporate blog? It’s a place where community is created around the topic of travel. Customers can create accounts and interact with one another, swapping stories of favorite trips. It’s also very inviting as a blog, including not just articles, but pictures and video as well.
2. Best Corporate Blogs Example: Caterpillar
An online community allowing members to exchange ideas about the best application of Caterpillar’s construction equipment is the genius of this best corporate blog. With forums divided by specific construction genre, this familiar business provider of heavy machinery has made it easy for customers to find value.
3. Best Corporate Blogs: ManpowerGroup: Employment Blawg
A standout example of a company blog that focuses on customer needs more than selling a product or service, this blog is a direct response to customer queries for easy to read information about employment law. Manpower came up with the idea through an easy and often overlooked technique. Believe it or not, they simply asked their customers what they’d like to learn more about.
Each of these blogs is a great example of different best corporate blogs and the practices that can help you connect with your customers and build your brand.
Which of these strategies might help improve your business blog? Leave a comment below!