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Companies start blogging for sales, dialogue

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has a nice article on the marketing success of companies who have been publishing blogs. The article also lists some marketing advantages from communication industry experts as well as businesses throughout the Twin Cities using blogs.

Ray Cox, owner of Northfield Construction Co., told the Business Journal “From both a relationship standpoint and a sales-lead perspective, blogging has helped business tremendously.” Cox explained that he knew the success of his business depended heavily on how well he communicates with customers. Frustrated with the stale format offered by traditional Web sites, Cox started a Web log to better connect with current and potential clients.

Cox, also a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, nails one of the key reasons for blogs. “Virtually all we do is custom work for people. You get a feeling that we’re very personal and understanding. … That comes forward in a blog.”

Communications industry experts told the Business Journal blogging’s fast-growing popularity and user demographics make it time for more companies to jump on the blog-wagon:

  • “The power of blogging is enormous,” John Blackshaw, a public relations and online communications consultant in Minneapolis, told the Journal. “There’s the reach and the instantaneous nature. But also, communication is no longer simply reliant on the more traditional ways such as advertising, public relations and direct mail. Now it can go out very cheaply.”
  • Per Blackshaw, companies are constantly trying to figure out how to reach customers more effectively, “That direct connection is what advertisers have been trying to get for eons. Now, blogging offers that channel very cost effectively.”
  • Blog readers are likely to be young, male, well-educated Internet veterans, according to the Pew Project. “This is the lost demographic,” Patrick Lilja, director of technology for public relations firm Tunheim Partners in Bloomington, told the Journal. “These are the folks who have stopped watching television and stopped reading the newspapers and are tougher to target.”
  • David Krejci, director of Web relations for Weber Shandwick in Bloomington told the Journal “I think the Internet had grown a little dry and become a corporate storefront, if you will, as opposed to this fertile environment it was a few years ago,” he said. “That’s what blogs have brought back to the atmosphere — a sense of excitement.”

Minneapolis – St. Paul Twin Cities blogging

  • Three Fortune 500 companies in town run internal blogs to communicate and get feedback from their employees, per Alberto Marzan, vice president of Tenth Floor in Minneapolis, a national Internet marketing and technology company that specializes in Web site and Web software development.
  • Shelley McKay runs a blog to help her Minneapolis firm, Cricket Marketing + PR, communicate with clients.
  • Hans Eisenbeis, editor in chief of The Rake, authors a blog for the magazine. “If you really love magazines in general, and if you like The Rake in particular, it’s meant to be that extra fix for readers who can’t wait a month for the next issue,” Eisenbeis told the Business Journal.
  • Staff at City Pages, an alternative weekly newspaper, run several blogs.
  • As of next week, Blois Olson, owner of New School Communications, St. Paul, will host a blog offering insights on the media and on tactics that affect the firm’s clients or the industries it serves (www.new-school.com).

I’ll continue to do my best to share news about successful marketing blogs and what smart communications are saying about blogs. It is up to you to digest the information and get moving so as not to be left in your competition’s dust.

Source for post: Micropersuasion

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