Background of the Problem
In the age of globalization and rapid technological development, new technologies go far over IT sphere and are incorporated in nearly every field of activity. One of the spheres that are learning the benefits of technology and the new media that it empowered is business. One of the new media choices that have been underestimated until recently as a technology for business is blogging. A blog is a social media tool that can be defined as an online diary where users post their personal experiences, daily events, thoughts and ideas about a topic of interest or expertize (Palonka and Porębska-Miąc 36).
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On the whole, blogging allows sharing knowledge as well as obtaining feedback through commentaries, which empower the development of new ideas. Initially created as personal journals, blogs are entering the business sector providing unique opportunities for promotion of products and services, publishing of company’s news, and delivering g technical support to clients.
Corporate blogs are gaining popularity and coexist with corporate websites suggesting many benefits both for customers and a company. For example, a blog is less formal and uses a more lively, direct, and informal style. Also, a blog is interactive and implies two-way communication, which is important for many clients (Palonka and Porębska-Miąc 37). A blog is usually easier to navigate and updates information more frequently than a website.
On the whole, a business blog can be considered as a significant communication channel that empowers the growth of a business. Due to business enhancing communication, a business blog has a potential to develop relationships with both loyal and prospect customers as well as reveal clients’ needs. Finally, it is a powerful source of feedback that provides an organization with alternatives for further improvement.
The Relevance of Blogging Utilization in Dubai Tourism
A blog is one of the tools applied within Web 2.0 capabilities. It allows keeping in touch with clients and promote products and services (“Business Reference Guide: Telecommunications & the Internet Age” 17). Blogging applies to many business directions but can provide many benefits for tourism marketing. For example, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which is the major authority for tourism in Dubai, can utilize blogging as an opportunity to enhance planning, supervision, and development of the marketing that is aimed at making Dubai a leading tourist destination (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing).
Also, DTCM markets and promotes the emirate’s commerce sector being responsible for both licensing and classification of various tourism services including “hotels, tour operators, travel agents, and other tourism services” (Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing).
One of the evident benefits of utilizing a blog for DTCM is the attraction of visitors to the main website. The website itself is quite complicated and difficult to navigate for a person who visits it for the first time. A blog with entries that reflect the major aspects of the company’s services is likely to attract clients who, after surfing the blog, will come to the website for more detailed information.
A blog is a relevant new media for DTCM because it allows commenting on the posts for feedback of the clients. This type of communication is crucial in business as a whole and tourist business in particular because new clients tend to make choices not based on advertising of a company but the feedback from real customers. Moreover, the function of commenting under the blog entries involves question and answer format, which provides clients with an opportunity to clear up the issues they are interested in with a company representative or other clients.
A blog is an effective tool for promoting a business. Thus, in the case of DTCM, it is important to include an opportunity of sharing links to blog posts. Clients, who read the entries and consider them interesting, can share the links on their pages in social networks, thus attracting new visitors to the blog and, as a result, to the main website. Moreover, the blog can have pages on social networks such as Facebook, for example, to publish the most recent news and links to new posts.
Recommendations on Incorporating Blogging in Dubai Tourism Marketing Strategy
Blogging can be incorporated in Dubai tourism marketing strategy in case a set of recommendations is followed. First of all, it is important to involve professionals to create the attractive blog interface that is easy to navigate. Since Dubai tourism marketing strategy is oriented on international visitors, it is crucial to provide the choice of languages so that visitors could find what they need. At the launch stage, at least English in addition to Arabic is needed.
As soon as a blog is ready, the responsible bloggers should be identified. Even when a blog develops and functions independently, there should be a corporate representative to publish the recent news and answer the questions that cannot be answered by other users. Moreover, it is a proof of the company’s interest in customers. One more recommendation is to create a community on the blog where visitors can ask questions or share ideas about the company’s services and products.
The blog should be used as a source of customer’s feedback. It is vital to respond to clients’ comments because ignoring is not beneficial. This strategy adds value to clients and makes them believe that every comment is meaningful for the company. Another recommendation related to feedback is the implementation of the most interesting suggestions to practice. For example, if a client suggests an engaging innovation to the company’s services and this post or comment receives the support of other customers, the company can benefit by realizing the idea thus showing its interest in clients’ needs. Finally, the blog should be used for announcing new services and products as well as offering special deals to attract more customers.
Summarizing, it should be mentioned that among a variety of new media, a blog is one of the effective tools that enhance business communication. It has many benefits for organizations in case it is utilized properly. Thus, a blog is an efficient way for direct communication with customers. It is particularly important in the context of Dubai tourism marketing strategy since not all international clients are really to phone for information due to language or communication barriers. Also, direct communication is evidence of value that a company puts in its clients. Another benefit provided by a blog is interaction with customers.
This possibility creates a foundation for building strong business relationships that usually result in clients’ loyalty and retention. One more benefit of a blog is the provision of recent and relevant information about a business or new services and products as soon as it appears and is ready to be published. Thus, it is an easier and more productive way of delivering information, which increases the competitiveness of a company.
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Finally, blogging, as a form of social media, engages individuals interested in products and services suggested by a company and stimulates two-way conversations that are more effective than simply reading information on a website. On the whole, a blog can be recommended as a tool for enhancing business communication and attraction of new loyal customers.
Business Reference Guide: Telecommunications & the Internet Age. Salem Press, 2014. eBook Business Collection.
Palonka, Joanna, and Teresa Porębska-Miąc. “A Blog as an Effective Communication Tool in E-Business.” Informatyka I Ekonometria, vol. 6, no. 296, 2016, pp. 34-48.
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “About DTCM.” Web.