Today, online presence is important for any business. Some businessmen tend to underestimate the power of the Internet. Delusions like this often lead to high losses. Contrary to the popular opinion, online presence, be it a corporate site, an ad campaign or a local internet shop, does not come at a loss. A good online promotion pays for itself and brings you high profits. The Internet is an incredibly powerful marketing and communication tool that gives a company a 24/7 global presence. Like many other businesses, airports face the need to adapt to the new world and get the most out of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0. A site of the airport is the first step towards online presence, but it should not end there. Another web resource, a blog with all the relevant information about the airport bar the booking system, would allow the company to successfully continue its Internet expansion. There are four ways of Internet promotion your company should use: a site, a blog, groups on different social networks, and online ad campaigns. Coordinated use of all four will allow your company to thrive on the Internet. A blog, the subject of this proposal, could be one of the key elements of your company’s online presence.
Alexander Dreiling, an Airport Chair of Innovation at Brisbane Airport Corporation, wrote that “standing still is moving backwards… rapidly” (Dreiling, n.d.). This is the reason why Brisbane Airport paves the way in the use of Internet as a marketing tool. Apart from maintaining a site, a Facebook page and a Twitter account, it has become the first airport to join Pinterest, the world’s fastest growing social network (BNE first Aussie airport to join pinning craze, 2012). In order to expand its online presence and strengthen its positions, we propose that Brisbane Airport launches a blog.
This blog is going to be a multi-language source of latest news, discount retails, airport construction updates, weather forecasts and more, with a powerful and fast mobile version. Such a blog could allow you to offload some information from the main site, in order to make it more lightweight and easy to use. Customers could read articles from company executives, staff and guest bloggers, as less formal style would not look out of place on a blog. This blog would coordinate your social media campaigns. A blog is a great place to communicate with your customers (Joel, 2008), either via comments or weekly live chats. Apart from that, a blog is a great place to create an internal Knowledge base with all the questions and answers about your company, all in one place.
According to the recent HubSpot report, 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through the company blog (Bee, n.d.). This means that blogging benefits your business. If your blog is interesting enough, your customers are going to come back and share it with friends. A blog post is a great way to tell people that your company care about the nature; to promote a charity; to bring your company and its customers closer via an interesting post about your executives’ literary preferences. It only takes a small team of talented people to produce great content, but it might get you hundreds of new customers.
An important aspect of a blog implementation is its user interface. First of all, it has to have a powerful but fast mobile version, as more and more people browse the Internet from mobile devices (The Web and Technology, 2012). Second of all, there needs to be a tight integration with the rest of Internet services: the main site, social networks etc. Proper backlinking and logical navigation will allow you to separate the business component into the main site. It is important to make sure that the customer is able to buy a ticket or make some other purchase at any point with just a few clicks, even if he is currently reading the weather forecast. Just like the main site, a blog should give a customer an option to chat with a virtual assistant, as they proved to be efficient for business (Hyatt, 2012).
Alexander Dreiling said, “The innovation in utilising emerging technologies such as social media and mobile devices for communication lies in capitalising on the networked communication structures. Designing a holistic digital strategy for a system as complex as an airport and finding new ways to meet all stakeholder requirements and preferences will be a step forward” (Vandeven, 2012). Not only a blog would be a great way to capitalize on the power of Internet and mobile devices, but it will also allow you to get the best out of other links of your digital strategy.
A possible alternative to a blog could be groups (accounts) on popular social networks like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and YouTube. Social networks are on the rise as more and more people use them daily (Infographic: Spring 2012 Social Media User Statistics, 2012). Therefore, it is of crucial importance to take advantage of social tools. The case of Changi Airport proves that promotion via social networks like Facebook and YouTube can get you new customers and make your regular ones spent more (Dreiling, n.d.). An overwhelming number of airports have their own pages on popular social networks. For example, Melbourne and Manchester airports inform travelers on latest deals and news on their twitter pages (SimpliFlying, 2011). Brisbane Airport already has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. One way to expand your online presence is to invest heavily in advertising on social networks. However, in order to achieve the greatest success, your company should use social networks together with your main site and your blog. A number of airports employ this strategy to great success: namely, Kuala Lumpur and Harrisburg airports maintain blogs and social pages to interact with users and engage them in more ways (SimpliFlying, 2011). It is important to remember that although social networks are on the rise, each outlet allows you to target a different audience. While ad campaigns on social networks can be highly successful, you should not overlook other sources of user engagement, as, at some point, they can become more efficient than social media advertising. Peter Delgrosso, strategic vice-president for corporate communications with Web.com, says, "For the most part, these social networking sites should be viewed as complementary to your online presence… When used properly, it is something that can gain your business some attention. However, you need to realize it shouldn't be seen as a replacement to your traditional online presence" (Klein, 2008).