This brief (approximately 90 seconds) video is a quick but important exchange between Seth Godin and Tom Peters on blogging and its marketing power. In it, Peters calls blogging “the best marketing damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude” he’s ever had and ironically notes that it happens to be free. If you are contemplating a blog or content marketing strategy, maybe this is the last nudge you need to move forward.
Businesses still scratch their heads when thinking about how to build a blog for their business. It’s often challenging to think about how to connect your product to the interests of consumers.
Let’s say you make or sell refrigerators. You might say, “who would ever want to read a blog about refrigerators?” You might stop there and then dismiss this whole blogging thing altogether. Not if you’re refrigerator-maker Sub-Zero.
This company, maker of ultra-cool refrigerators/freezers of all types (who can forget Owen Wilson bragging about his “twin Sub-Zs” in the movie Meet the Parents) decided not to make a blog about refrigerators (how many refrigerator enthusiasts do you know?). Instead, they recently created a blog about taking care of wine. I bet we all know several wine enthusiasts.
The blog is pretty cool–and sound from a marketing standpoint. It focuses on that which is of interest (wine) and then subtly touts that which protects that interest (their product). I think it’s a great example of corporate creativity and corporate blogging that truly connects.
I was told today about a new blog/community site launched by Ford Motor Company. The site is called Bold Moves. As many know, Ford has been struggling uphill in terms of sales, profitability (or lack thereof), and stock price. This kind of circumstance is very tough on an organization of this size and scale; trying to turn around a company this big is a monumental challenge.
This new site appears to be a site for employees, customers, analysts, and otherwise to truly communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is compiling news feeds from different sites that are both positive and negative toward Ford. Most noteworthy, though, is the series of video documentaries which literally take you into company meetings, conference calls, and insider conversations.
What’s so intriguing about this whole concept, as you’ll notice, is that Ford is letting it all hang out. It’s putting out very negative information about itself…negative analyst comments, negative press, and negative customer feedback. They’re attempting to be very transparent–acknowledging the difficulties they face in an effort to truly turn around the company. You see small companies taking this path fairly often, but not so many in the corporate/publicly traded setting.
It should be interesting to see what kind of impact it has. If nothing else, I think it is a great device for the Ford employees to stay abreast of the changes/tactics so each one has an understanding of how that should apply to them as individuals.
Many agree that blogging is really changing the face of journalism. One of the best things about journalists (especially columnists) who blog is that they now have an outlet to publish more content that isn’t necessarily appropriate for their regular column. I subscribe to an ESPN column by Bill Simmons (The SportsGuy) and I get immediate notification of when he publishes a new column or news-bite. That alone is pretty convenient.
But take The Orlando Sentinel’s ‘Taking Names’ column by Scott Maxwell. His blog gives him a place to talk about each day’s column and to share stories about the column that a reader would find interesting. His recent coverage of ‘Lynum-gate’ has given readers a chance to see how the column has evolved…and to learn more than the column could ever hope to reveal.
Want to see a good example of this? Check out one sports columnist’s case in point about Will Ferrell not always having a sense of humor!
Many people still don’t know about RSS, a tool that lets one subscribe to updated Web pages or blogs. Brian offers some ideas on how to make RSS more mainstream. Seth Godin has some interesting comments about this. All of this was sparked by Steve Rubel’s list of “35 Ways You Can Use RSS Today.”