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Blogging as a tool for marketing and customer engagement

How to use blogging to promote your brand and to engage customers

   With the growth of digital technology, the number of  channels used for marketing and customer engagement has grown. Social media is the leading marketing channel brands around the world are using for promotions, to build awareness and to grow their influence.  Apart from social media, online advertising, email marketing and video marketing are also considered great for growth hacking. However, the potential of blogs as a tool for promotions and customer engagement has often been ignored. Still, you will see that the leading brands use blogs for sharing information and customer engagement. Leading technology brands like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and even food and beverages brands like Starbucks use blogs to connect with their customers and to build brand awareness. 

These blogs are used to inform users and followers about ongoing developments related to products, company culture and other important strategic changes inside the organisation. Companies use both written and video content on their blogs for promotions and  to grow their user base. The leading technology companies like Apple and Facebook have their newsrooms which had been created keeping in mind the needs of Media groups. However, with time the format of their newsrooms has changed a lot. These newsrooms are now more or less blogs and contain discussions apart from other information. Some companies use a blog apart from their news websites and some use their newsrooms to inform both the media and the public. Some also use several blogs targeted at different communities of users.

Here are some leading companies that use blogging for marketing, promotions and customer engagement. Check out how Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Starbucks use blogging to engage their customers and market new products and technologies.

Amazon: Blogging for Information Sharing and Brand Promotion 

Blogs can be very effective tools for attracting new customers as well as engaging existing ones. For example, take the e-commerce leader Amazon. It uses its blog to inform people about its company culture, its hiring and retention strategy, key HR policies as well as other important developments related to its global business operations. Amazon has got a really wonderful blog which reflects its culture of hospitality and customer service. The blog is named “Day One”. Leaders of various operating segments at Amazon talk of leading developments including technological, cultural and operational through their posts.

 On the one hand while it allows them to voice their opinions and show their enthusiasm about their work environment and work, it also helps the followers and customers of Amazon know the organization better. One important aspect of its operations that constantly receives attention on Amazon blog is its warehousing. From the technology to workflow and logistics, Amazon blog is full of posts related to its warehouses and workflow inside them. Another important aspect of its business which is given detailed coverage on the blog is its investment in CSR. Amazon does not forget to highlight the investment it’s making in its employees and for creating a superior work environment. In this way, a single blog can create several advantages for a business. It can help the business inform, build trust, create awareness, engage its customers and on top of all strengthen its brand image. However, this is just half of the picture. For many media publications and news agencies, these blogs are also sources of latest information related to a company’s operations and product development. Alexa, robotics and other leading technologies of Amazon including AWS are also some of the most discussed topics on ‘Day One’.  

Google Blog: Source of information and connection

Google ‘the search giant’ is also known to use blogging to drive user engagement as well as user loyalty and to build brand image. The company has named its blog ‘Keyword’ and targets bot the developer and non developers through its blog. Its  audience mainly includes people interested in information technology. However, the Keyword blog includes a large variety of posts on diverse topics. Apart from search trends, other important changes in the world of technology, Google (Alphabet) also includes posts in other areas like CSR, healthcare, journalism technology education and several more. Not just information sharing, the purpose of having a blog is to connect with followers and users from around the globe. In several of its leading markets, it also uses local blogs to connect with regional customers.  Moreover, the company also uses blogging to highlight the company culture and employee contributions to CSR. These things do not just help promote the organizational culture but also build higher trust and brand loyalty. On Google’s blog, you can find news and updates as well as read interesting posts on technology, society and economy too.

Microsoft Blog: Share, Empower and Inform

In the recent years, the style of marketing of Microsoft has changed a lot. The company is now more than ever focused on  customers. It is exploring every avenue that can help it reach its customers and build higher trust and stronger connection. Now, the focus of its marketing strategy is customer empowerment. It looks like Microsoft is using content marketing aggressively to grow its customer base and for customer engagement. It uses several blogs which are mainly aimed at informing users and creating trust as well as highlighting products and how they can increase customers’ productivity. It has several blogs, each of which is dedicated to a specific topic or area. For example, there are separate blogs for Windows, AI and other products or topics like Xbox. Apart from sharing information,what these blogs do is to drive the conversion ratio higher. They drive user loyalty as well. Apart from these, the company uses them to promote the company culture and grow its influence in several technological areas. As the technology industry grows highly competitive, blogs have become a leading tool to share information, grow customer relationships and drive conversion ratio higher. Blogs do not just fill the information gap, but also work as a leading communication medium to talk to a very large audience located globally. Not just media, but other user groups also follow these blogs to stay abreast of latest changes in the world of technology. While there are many more channels of digital marketing, the role of blogs is unique. Microsoft is using its content for marketing as well as customer engagement. Moreover, the size of audience has grown with the proliferation of technology globally. It is why the company uses several blogs to engage people on nearly every topic from CSR to AI and video games as well as other user needs related to organisational productivity and efficiency.

Starbucks Blog: Coffee with stories 

Starbucks blog is filled with stories about organizational culture, product development and company’s efforts in social responsibility and sustainability. The company uses its blog for promotions as well as for customer engagement. Apart from sharing information about new arrivals or launching new campaigns, Starbucks blog lets the consumers have a view of sourcing, product development and several other aspects of company operations at Starbucks. To engage the customers, there is a  special section on Starbucks Blog on which the company discusses various coffee and tea recipes. In this way, while on the one hand readers get a chance to become familiar with Starbucks culture and its products through its blog, the company also manages to grow trust, promote its brand, products and organizational culture as well as share information on important topics like community service and sustainability. The blog is now an effective tool to connect with customers, engage them and provides extra opportunities of building trustful relationships with customers and employees alike.

Several leading brands have blogs dedicated to various customer segments to engage these segments and to share information. Behind these blogs, the purpose is not just promotion, but consumer empowerment as well. Many of these companies also have their newsrooms styled as blogs. For example, Apple’s newsroom looks quite a lot like a blog. Apart from sharing information on topics including technology, new products, latest events and other fresh developments inside the organisations, it is also used to share resources with media and to create excitement around new products and services. Facebook also uses its blogs to  connect with distinct segment of consumers including developers and the general audience. The company apart from informing its users about latest challenges and issues being faced by Facebook uses the blog to disseminate information that builds awareness regarding top challenges including privacy and fake news. So, one can see that blogs can be a great channels for customer engagement and for creating trust. While mostly, they are seen as channels of promotion, they serve some more important purposes to including awareness and empowerment. Companies can use their blogs to keep their customers informed and to build general awareness on a broad range of topics. This will not just improve trust but also help to build loyalty and drive engagement higher.