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Boost Business With Blogs and Podcasts

By Peter Koeppel
Posted: January 2, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Editor’s note: Skin Inc. magazine has re-introduced its Bulletin Board and will be utilizing many of the practices mentioned in this article throughout the new year. Please stay tuned to www.SkinInc.com for additional content, peer interaction and more!

Just when you think you have it all figured out in terms of marketing your business, some new technologies have come along to revolutionize your spa’s ability to promote itself to prospects and existing clients. And although most people have heard of these technologies by now—namely blogs and podcasts—few are taking full advantage of what these marketing mediums can offer.
      Remarkably, as few as two years ago, blogs and podcasts were viewed as nothing more than places for opinionated people to rant and rave, or assert their viewpoints. But today, things have changed, and blogs and podcasts are the most explosive marketing vehicles to emerge since the Internet itself. Consider the facts: BusinessWeek magazine reports that more than 40,000 new blogs are popping up every day. And, in 2006, the number of podcast feeds exceeded the number of radio stations worldwide, according to The World Factbook, published by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
      This means that you have several powerful marketing opportunities that require little to no out-of-pocket expenses. Use the following suggestions to make the most of your blogging and podcasting efforts.

Blogs
      The word “blog” is short for “Web log.” They are easy to use and simple to set up, and are a great format for promoting businesses. Think of a blog as a mini Web site on which you post comments regularly. They are a powerful medium for delivering information because, when they’re done correctly, the message comes across as informational and less biased. Consider the following key points.

      Blogs enable you to get client feedback through an unfiltered medium. Sure, this can create some challenges, but if you get negative feedback on your blog, at least you can be aware of the issue and address it. So, in a sense, a blog is often like an instant focus group. Being receptive to client feedback on your blog positions your spa as being accessible and interested in client concerns. That’s a great selling point in today’s environment.

      Search engines like blogs and display them at the top of the search results. Construct your blog properly by using key words within your entries that search engines will recognize. That way, when someone types a particular term about your business into a search engine, your blog will come up naturally in the results. This not only helps promote your business, but it also positions your spa as an industry leader.