‘Why is Vespa launching blogs?
Piaggio USA feels blogs are an ideal way to connect with Vespa brand loyalists and encourage them to become online evangelists. It is an extension of the scooter clubs that have existed offline for years. One reason is that U.S. scooter buyers are heavy online users. According to internal Piaggio USA research, a full 65% of prospective motor scooter buyers visited the Vespa USA Web site, while 56% visited other sites when conducting research prior to purchase. Piaggio USA hopes that by hosting a transparent peer-to-peer discussion, it will enable more individuals to embrace scootering for a wide array of daily lifestyle needs. In addition, it will enable Piaggio USA to actively listen to consumer feedback in real-time.’
This is a very smart move. Vespas are a lovemark (if you haven’t read this book can I recommend you grab a copy from your local bookstore) and the best way that you can tap into the love that owners of your products have for such a product is to provide a space for them to come together to talk, connection, obsess, rave, gush, dream, evangelize and be excited about your product. This is what might just happen with such a blog.
Robert Moskowitz writes an article with Five Reasons to Blog which would be most worth any business thinking about starting a blog looking over. Here are his headings – he writes more on each one.
- Blog to put a human face on the company
- Blog to obtain free market research
- Blog to offer a “Buy In” that increases customer satisfaction
- Blog to leverage opinion leaders’ influence
- Blog to gain on the Big Dogs
Marketing Sherpa has an article with 7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine that might be useful to business bloggers wanting to increase the effectiveness of their blog to drive sales.
‘Call us cynics. Blogs may be hip and trendy, but they don’t do diddly-squat for most people’s businesses. After four years of research, MarketingSherpa reporters estimate only .03% of the 34.5 million existing blogs are driving sales or prospective customers to their bloggers. (That’s less than 1,000 that we’ve been able to find.) Want your blog to be the one that works? Discover seven practical secrets from a real estate blog that gets prospects to raise their hands and beg to be contacted.’
- Tactic #1. Seed your blog posts with keywords
- Tactic #2. Report exclusive news and insight
- Tactic #3. You don’t need to blog daily
- Tactic #4. Add easy contact links to every single post
- Tactic #5. Jump on incoming leads super-swiftly
- Tactic #6. Measure by qualified prospects, not total traffic
- Tactic #7. Blog elsewhere
Read more details of this article at 7 Practical Tactics to Turn Your Blog Into a Sales Machine
Congratulations to the winners of the Business Blogging Awards for 2005. What a great list of blogs there are in this list. Special congratulations to the team at Security Awareness for taking out the category I competed in here at ProBlogger. Here are the winners:
Best Overall Blog – Security Awareness
Best Group Blog – Monty’s Bluff
Best New Blog – 800-CEO-READ
Best Law Blog – Phosita
Best VC/Entrepreneur Blog – Business Opportunities
Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog – Between the Hedges
Best Personal Finance Blog – PFBlog
Best Blog by a Small Business – The Tin Basher Blog
Best Blog About Small Business – eBizBlog
Best PR Blog – Media Guerilla
Best Tech Company Blog – Security Awareness
Best Media Blog – Fast Company Blog
Best Real Estate Blog – Tampa Bay’s Inside Real Estate Journal
Best Marketing Blog – JSLogan
Best SEO Blog – Blog Business World
Best Project Management Blog – AgileManagement
Best Leadership Blog – Leadership Now
The Picasso Award (Best Design) – Signal vs. Noise
The Peacock Award (Most Self-Important) – Inside Real Estate Journal
The Chris Pirillo Award (For Shameless Self Promotion) – Chris Pirillo
I thought I’d do so by doing a commentary (horse racing style???). Here we go…
Business bloggers are under starters orders and in the gates waiting for the starters to give the light. There seems to be something of a holdup as one or two of the bloggers are a little restless – technical problems with voting are resolved – bloggers tense, sensing the light is imminent…. AND They’re off!!!
A flurry of posts are made announcing the start of the business blogging awards, bloggers beg, persuade, write nice things about each other hoping it will bring them votes, post buttons and banners on their site pointing readers to the awards and ask everyone they know including their great grandmothers to place a vote…..and a few begin to break away from the pack in some categories….
Best Marketing Blog
Best Marketing Blog is a neck and neck race as the marketers kick their campaigns into overdrive. Three blogs all sit within 3% of one another with the other three ready to make their move back in the pack. LSLogan and Seth’s Blog are both sitting on 28% with What’s Your Brand Mantra only a few votes back. Leading the charge from the rear is the Radiant Marketing Group followed by How to Blog for Fun & Profit and Decker Marketing. This is a race to watch and one I had a lot of trouble voting in as all five are on my daily reads – its like choosing your favorite child….
Steve’s got a good article on The Rise of Business Blogging which ends with three good solid pieces of advice for those wanting to get into business blogging:
‘Step One – Listen: The best way to become acquainted with the power of blogs is to read them and see what they’re talking about. Using tools like Google, PubSub and Feedster, you can find easily blogs that are already discussing your company/brand and its industry. Also be sure to check out sites like BusinessBlogConsulting.com and Adrants.com, which include examples of blogs done right and wrong.
Step Two – Reach Out: Once you have identified influential blogs, reach out to them by carefully posting comments on their sites. Let them know you’re listening. Some may invite you to sponsor their blog, which also can often offer a high ROI. Blogs can help your company build awareness among influencers who will talk about you to others. Marqui, a telecommunications company, recently began experimenting paying bloggers $800 per week if they mentioned their product. While the results aren’t known, blog advertising is certainly going to become a lot more prevalent in the years ahead.
Step Three – Launch Your Own Blogs: Finally, once you feel you have a firm grasp on the medium, roll your own weblogs. This can range from everything from a CEO blog to a product team site and more. Figure out first who you’re trying to reach, who will have the most time and what people in your organization are willing to be the most transparent. ‘
I really appreciate Steve’s advice – whilst a couple of posts back I advised the ‘just do it’ method of researching a new blog topic – I was writing more for the experienced blogger wanting to start new entrepreneurial blogs. There is a danger when blogging of rushing into a niche topic without really thinking ahead. I know that if I’d just spent a little more time thinking about some of the blogs that I’ve started that I would have done one or two of them quite differently. I needed to spend a bit more time in the ‘Listen’ phase. Of course there is only so much listening that one should do – there comes a time when you have to move past that and actually bite the bullet and start that blog you’ve always wondered about.