Blogs & Forums - A Two-Pronged Approach
By Jonathan White
Copyright © 2006
When discussing online marketing there is the inevitable
comparison between a Business Blog (b-blog) and an online forum. The feeling is
that the two serve essentially the same purpose and it is a simple matter of
defining which approach may be best for your company.
between these two approaches is something like comparing apples and oranges.
They are both fruit, but that's about the sum total of their similarities.
A b-blog is designed to allow you a controlling
interest in a conversation between you and your customers and guests. Your
guests can provide feedback, but they can't post.
B-blogs allow you
great flexibility in timely release of company information in an informal and
A forum is offered as a means
of allowing member interaction and conversation. Generally speaking a forum will
be member-directed and in most cases a moderator or administrator will simply
act as referee when needed. They may also answer a few questions along the way.
As the owner of a b-blog you have the
capability of keeping an informal line of communication with your customers and
prospects. You can keep your clients updated on a variety of aspects related to
your business. There is very little work that needs to be done with a b-blog to
keep it maintained.
When you develop a
forum for your business you are welcoming individuals with an interest in your
products or services to network with other likeminded consumers. In a best-case
scenario a forum will allow customers to discuss your product or service,
provide tips to other users and develop friendships with other customers based
on mutual interests.
Since this approach is consumer-centric it may seem
a less than ideal means of online marketing. The truth is, a forum is less about
active marketing and more about learning customer trends and preferences. If you
pay close enough attention to what your customers are saying to each other you
will learn more effective ways to connect with them.
It is a bit
surprising, but a forum board somehow allows openness in communication that you
won't likely find in face-to-face conversations.
By combining these two truly unique online marketing principles you
maximize your effectiveness in reaching your customers while allowing them the
opportunity to provide honest feedback. Sure, they may not realize that's what
they're doing, but an astute netrepreneur will take the information clients
voluntarily share with each other and maximize customer satisfaction whenever
About the Author:
|Jonathan White is a web
developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of HighPowerSites and many other
web projects. Get your own website online in just 5 minutes with HighPowerSites.com.