Blogging – opening the door to sales

May 10, 2008

Blogging for money may be a dangerous use of resources but what about ‘trolling’ for money.  Today I came across this awesome blog post by Jeremiah Owyang (Senior Analyst for Forrestor) – someone that I follow on Twitter and a blog that I enjoy reading.

The post (entitles CMS Horror Stories, and Your Soon-To-Be ‘Legacy’ Community Platform) is a real good read for anyone who is in the midst of a CMS selection.  In his post, Jeremiah asks to very key questions:

1) I’d love to hear from you about your CMS horror stories, feel free to leave a comment below, go ahead, vent away.

2) Are you deploying a community platform for your web strategy at your company? What are you doing to plan for the long term 5+ years impacts of this system in regards to the rest of the enterprise web strategy?

I work at PaperThin (makers of the CommonSpot Content Server) and I have to say that Jeremiah opened my eyes with this post to an amazing sales opportunity.  One that I am sure smart people are deploying (and we will be shortly as well) – and that is ‘Blog Trolling’.  A quick search on Technorati for CMS returns over 22K results.  Each search result a Blog with some information about Content Management Systems.

One of the most difficult thing to do in the world of sales is to find your target market.  What better way to find a customer interested in a CMS then on a blog post (an open communication channel) that is discussing pains or issues with their current CMS.  In solution selling this would give us the opportunity to “Recognize the pain” – for most of the people who post comments on Jeremiah’s post they are admitting their pain publicly.

Best thing about comments on a blog – since most people are constantly trying to sell their blog to readers of other blogs, they include the link in their comments (just click on the persons name).  Can’t fault a sales person from e-mailing or calling (most blogs extend contact information) you and saying:

“Hey, saw here that you were having difficulty with your current CMS and that you feel like it is ‘inflexible’.  Give me a half hour and I will show you how flexible our application is …”

In all honesty, when you post comments on a blog you are openly asking someone to contact you.  You are begging for it.

Note: More on his second question (about your Community Platform) a bit later.

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3 Responses to “Blogging – opening the door to sales”

  1. mikull Says:

    I wonder: is it too late for this idea? Is the common internet user desensitized to said comments to the extend that, in this instance, it would be too difficult to differentiate it from spam? In fact, does a interpersonal communication not warrant the undesired stamp of spammer nevertheless? I don’t know … but this would be only problem with this seemingly strong approach to marketing.

    On the other hand, I wonder if this type of sale is worth the whole time / cost / yield thing. I don’t know what the numbers are, but there sure are a lot of blogs and heavily active message boards out there – exposure may or may not be huge, but it’s unclear as to whether the right audiences are truly reached unless you can identify interaction through analytics, rather than direct reply. Of course it’s tricky to do this when you’re working through other people’s sites.

    Then there’s the ‘pay to play’ ethics of bloggers, and the quickly exposed ‘fake’ blogs that other companies were eager to attempt… I suppose I would end my thoughts with – would a “trusted” home base of intercommunication serve this better? Perhaps a branded login-reply system, that not only feeds in and out posts, but stamps replies and keeps the possibilities in a different house?

  2. Rich Says:

    Besides blog trolling, I think comment padding is another method of “exploitation.” If I’m trying to grow the readership to my blog or Web site, posting “profound” comments that link back to my site (usually through a hotlink in the byline of the comment) allows me to ride the coattails of someone else’s labor. In most if not all instances that link doesn’t do a bit of good from an SEO perspective (b/c of no follow), but if I can interest a few of your readers to visit my site b/c of a post I made, I get an opportunity for free exposure thanks to your hard work. Now the disclaimer: I’m not commenting on your blog in hopes of gaining visitors to my site, Ron. LOL!

  3. notronwest Says:

    Rich,

    Welcome! Funny you should say this – there has been some talk as of late about the value of cross linking between blogs. I think that your comment may have been true a few years ago but now with the advent of Twitter and FriendFeed (and others) this may not be as valuable as it was in the past.

    Here is a good post from someone that is in touch with new Media:

    http://www.louisgray.com/live/2008/07/importance-of-blog-linking-seems-to-be.html

    Any reader that comes to my site is welcome to yours – I will even add a link on my blogroll for you.


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