Blog ROI is the New Coffee

Blog the New Coffee
Originally uploaded by penmachine.

When coffee was first brought to Europe it caused a sensation. And as coffee houses sprung up across Europe, they became viewed variously as dens of iniquity and places of underhand dealings. Gradually though, coffee became respectable, and now I can hardly string two words together without a cup. Underlying this is, of course, a powerhouse global business that revolutionised the economies of the great trading nations of the 1700s.

Mario Sundar has a great post today over at MarketingProfs, talking about the ROI on blogging for businesses.

He draws on some very interesting analysis from Charlene Li at Forrester. Of course, when it comes down to quantifying the potential or real returns of blogging it is very difficult. Sure we can track user traffic, we can monitor the flow of users from a blog to other parts of a site and we can count comments, subscribers or feeds. But how do we measure engagement?

Mario’s view is that you start with an understanding of “ownership” … which is a great concept. But it presupposes that your corporate content is worthy or, or in a state ready, for sharing/co-ownership. However, it is a very interesting topic of conversation, and one that is many corporate and non-corporate bloggers are interested in — my friend Lewis Green recently started a conversation on exactly this topic.

And while Blog ROI is a great topic, it is just like a great cup of coffee — we know what we like and have a taste for particular brands. And while we may not know why some of the metrics make sense (we may even prefer to go with gut feel) … there is no doubt that the team that cracks this code will be worthy of the millions that will be bestowed upon them.

2 thoughts on “Blog ROI is the New Coffee

  1. Thanks for posting those links. I’ve just read over Mario’s article and there’s a lot of food for thought there. I need to read it again after I’ve had my second cup of coffee!
    The benefits of business blogging are very difficult to quantify. A lot of small biz owners are taking a leap of faith on business blogging simply because they don’t have many other choices that are within their price constraints. We small biz owners don’t really have anything to lose by trying it. I don’t have any stats to prove that it works–I just have a strong gut-feel that it’s a worthwhile endeavor for me and my biz.
    The big corporations, however, want hard cold proof before jumping into the blog pool. As you’ve pointed out before, blogging often leaves you feeling “stripped bare”, and it seems like corporations feel very uncomfortable with not being completely in control of how they are presented, which will make it especially hard for them to have the “engagement” that Mario talks about.
    Blogging is just something that you can’t fake–you have to be engaged (authentic, unguarded, willing to be vulnerable). It’ll be interesting to see how corporations adapt.

  2. I am still a fan of the blog as a living CV. And I guess that applies whether you are blogging for business or for pleasure (other personal reasons).
    But you are right … allowing others to have an element of control or even ownership of corporate assets/IP can be extremely daunting. However, I have a feeling that those brands or businesses (on whatever scale) that take-on this challenge will succeed in reaching and engaging their customers.
    In many ways, blogging is very much like small business … you become much less “corporate” and much more “human” or personable in your dealings with customers. It makes for a fascinating time!

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