Tag Archives: AOL

Corporate Blogging: 7 Best Practices

Blogs have become one of the hottest communication tools on the Web. Offering the opportunity for anyone to create their own free Web site, encouraging opinions and interaction, blogs provide forums for individuals to create their own highly personal presentations to the Web audience. They also provide for consortia of all types to experience the sort of online community feeling that was pioneered by early newsgroups and by the phenomenal success of AOL in the 1990s.

Blogs have reached into the corporate and government sectors as well. What started out as an outlet for teenage expression and grassroots journalism has turned into a lucrative communications tool for small and large businesses alike.

Corporate Blogging refers to a company producing or supporting a blog that it uses to accomplish business objectives. As with anything, there are certain “best practices” to be followed to ensure your company reaps the maximum benefits. These seven tips guidelines will help make your blog a success.

1. Fine Print. Blogging can lead to legal issues. Companies should have real concerns about liability, exclusions and limitations, and indemnity. Although there are laws that protect against libel, misappropriations and other injuries suffered as a result of posts on the Web, companies can still be held “vicariously” responsible for statements made by employees that are harmful to others. Since there are so many legal issues surrounding blogs, it is imperative that the site has some sort of disclaimer and limitation of liability.

2. Know What You’re Doing. Senior management should be educated by the corporate communications and legal department about what blogs are and how they might affect business. That way, they can be contributing members of the blog, further improving employee relations. Their support and participation is often what makes a blog more effective.

3. Create blogging policies. In any medium where an employee is sharing information, there is the possibility of leaking trade secrets or financial information. Blogging also has a tendency to become personal. A company should have a list of policies regarding blogging to ensure that trade secrets are kept secret and personal lives do not become public. Policies may include keeping financial information from being posted, as well as severe consequences for anyone using the blog for negative publicity.

4. Avoid the Marketing Blog. Making your blog into a blatant marketing campaign is a bad idea. Customers are looking for real answers and honest opinions. They will pick up on insincerity instantly. Use the blog for what it’s for, transparency. This is an opportunity to make a real connection with your customers. Don’t ruin it by filling it with empty advertising.

5. Keep It Fresh. Blogs are usually judged by their amount of new content. Easy to add on to, they are designed to be updated constantly. To keep your readers coming back, make your content relevant and timely. Don’t forget, content can include anything from product releases to job openings, recent news to thoughts from the CEO. It’s practically impossible to run out of material.

6. Reinforce the company’s core values. Use your blog to reflect your company’s inner soul: its mission, goals and direction. A blog is just another medium by which you interact with your customers and employees. It’s another part of the brand experience. It should be consistent with the impression the company wants to make.

7. Encourage employees to use it. Create an atmosphere where they are comfortable asserting their opinions and concerns. You’ll be surprised how the quietest employees will speak up when given such an opportunity. With all communication, blogging can become negative, so remind employees of the public nature of the blogs and the ramifications for their actions.

Popup Ads – Redesign Them and Explode Your Sales!

Most people put popup ads and Spam in the same category; they genuinely don’t believe in their effectiveness.

However, marketing statistics show that popup ads are powerful marketing tools that can significantly increase your sales and subscribers to your opt-in list or newsletter. On the flip side, popup ads are the third most hated entity on the Internet, behind Spam and adware. This is because most popup ads are the rude interrupting variety that traps the user into an unending loop.

It is possible to produce Popups that provide relevant information to users in a non-intrusive way. You just need to be sure that you are providing relevant information to the visitors to your site (information that they are already actively looking for.

If you are using conventional popup ads on your site, you may have noticed oh, in the last year or so…that your opt in list has been continually declining. You can attribute this decline to the advent of the popup blocker. Just in case you’re not familiar with pop-up blockers, here’s the short summary…over the past year, a lot companies, even the major ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) such as AOL, Google and Yahoo have been releasing software designed to block pop-ups, so that anyone who has the software installed can control how many pop-ups they see from what website or even block them totally. In lots of cases, the average Internet user doesn’t even know that they have a popup blocker installed on their toolbar.

There is new technology available now that lets you create a new type of popup ad. This ad is an animated floating ads that look and behave like pop-ups but are essentially a part of the main web page, so popup blockers can’t stop them.
Unlike conventional popups, which open new browser windows, these ads are part of your web page.

Using this new technology, you can:

1. Conduct polls and surveys to can get useful feedback from your visitors/aid your marketing efforts

2. Capture email addresses from visitors by offering them free information

3. Use your thank you pages to introduce your visitors to your other products. Since they are already in a buying mood, there is a pretty good chance that they will be receptive.

4. Add “tips of the day” and change them every so often to generate interest.

As a smart internet marketer, I’m sure you know that by capturing the visitor’s email address, and then following up with them via an effective auto-responder campaign, you can more than double your chances of closing the sale. By using the new popup ads, you can do exactly that!