I recently spoke about the smartest hire for a company this year—a blogger. I can understand the panic any business owner would have in entrusting their brand to the hands of some “blogger.” In order to clearly state why this concept works for any brand, I’ll point out the advantages by shutting down five fears that many businesses have with putting the responsibility of their brand marketing on the shoulders of highly visible team members.
Fear #1—“Hiring an employee to represent my company online could result in disaster, due to poor brand representation.”
This is why you hire a professional blogger and not your nephew or your friend’s kid, who is a recent college graduate looking for a job. There are people who do this for a living for a variety of businesses who are very successful at it.
Fear #2—“If they ever leave the business, I lose everything I’ve built online.”
Your digital face is made up of daily posts on social networks and blogs. In swapping one blogger out for someone else, as long as you maintain the following three principles—consistency, relevance, and engagement—and with the help of our internet ADD, you should be just fine. Do you avoid hiring salespeople simply because you might lose them one day?
Fear #3—“Having a digital face to my company doesn’t offer any real value to my existing structure.”
In fact, it has both internal and external benefits to your existing structure. On the external side, the concept allows your brand to be “more human,” and thus easier for consumers to relate to and digest. Stronger customer relations certainly lead to stronger sales. Your company’s internal structure benefits, because you are able to use your company’s digital face to reinforce and define goals for your staff, and share valuable knowledge that keeps everyone on the same page. You are able to achieve this using the same networks your employees comfortably use in their personal time and comfort leads to an increase in team collaboration.
Fear #4—“It devalues the business brand.”
Connecting with consumers through online networks originally created for them and putting a face to your business brand is not only effective, it is also extremely cost-efficient. Currently, most businesses devote the majority of their budgets to outbound marketing. This form of marketing is business-centric, not consumer-centric. Whether skipping through TV commercials, tossing unopened mail in the trash, or adding their phone number to the “Do Not Call List,” consumers have become experts at avoiding outbound marketing.
Fear #5—“It has never been done before.”
This is completely false. Small business entrepreneurs have welcomed this concept, because they didn’t know any other way, from restaurants to retailers.
Blogger, Julia Allison, claims to have invented the idea of “lifecasting” or blogging about all aspects of life with subtle product reviews from product partnerships. The New York Times has been revitalized for younger generations, in part thanks to media journalist Brian Stelter, who blogs and tweets about every step of his life. Matt Cutts, of Google, is known for his down-to-earth videos and blogs that are both a reflection of Google’s culture and his own online personality.
The responsibility is on your shoulders
Once you embrace the best practices of inbound marketing, you can build an internal team with online personalities that match your business culture that utilizes the current popular networks to connect with consumers. Hiring a blogger or online personality could revolutionize your online brand. Or it could do nothing. Either way, that responsibility will fall on your shoulders. I say the risk is worth taking.
Christine Rochelle is the vice president of operations for PCG Digital Marketing.0