by Gail Dutton
Word-of-mouth has taken on a whole new meaning with the growth of the blogosphere, opening doors to both international and local markets. Blogs forge a personal connection with readers, adding local perspectives vital for successful international marketing.
“Blogs talk with customers, not at them,” says Chris Alden, CEO of Six Apart, an international developer of blogging tools. International companies therefore need in-country experts, or at least bloggers with significant experience there, to connect to local markets. For example, a U.S.-based law firm with offices in Germany should have a link to its blog on its main website, with one of its German attorneys blogging about new regulations and court decisions. The blog itself should have links to relevant German articles.
And companies in many countries should have region-specific blogs. An American winery that exports internationally, for instance, can have links to local sites discussing restaurants, food and wine pairings, and other related topics. Links drive traffic to your blog, Alden says, so “post as frequently as you have something new and useful to contribute.”
It’s not just the CEO or head of marketing who knows how to articulate a company’s vision, Alden points out. “Find a voice to match the enterprise,” he says. Companies in multiple countries may have blog postings from multiple authors in those countries.
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Gail Dutton is a freelance writer in Montesano, Washington, specializing in business and technology.