Before I get into the Global, Business and Marketing reasons why every Caribbean Business Should blog, let me start with the definition of business blogging. ”
Then I will continue with our own regional Digital context.
According to Internetworldstats.com, of the 42,108,083 people in the Caribbean ( 2015), less than half of them are internet users. Only 17,655,462 Internet users on or 41.9 % penetration rate as of November 2015.
When it comes to being online and social, which is now the default way in which we communicate and do business, when we use the numbers of the largest social platform in the world, Facebook, only 9,721,980 Caribbean people are there, as of November 2015. That’s a mere 23.1% penetration rate.
Added to that mobile penetration in the majority of Caribbean nations have either reached 100% of very close. Smartphone penetration is hovering over 50%.
The great news is that, there is a lot more room for the Caribbean to grow Digital and to go Social. A lot. It follows too, that the trends of what Caribbean customers want and expect from your Caribbean Business, not to mention your international customers have irrevocably changed.
Now, let’s talk about the global context in which the Caribbean lives and does business with.
There are 3.6 billion internet users worldwide. Mobile phone penetration and usage is now just before 2 billion people. As of July 28th, 2016 there are 60 million businesses using Facebook Pages each month. That’s the general state of Digital globally for our region, plus the people and businesses we currently do business with and want to do business in the future.
Ok cool, so my context is set.
My argument as to why every Caribbean Business Should Blog ( regardless of their size) kicks off with this:
1. We need more Caribbean content + Caribbean stories online. Period. Both for our cultural and business purposes and preservation. The globalisation trend that we are living now, shows that connected Caribbean tends to inhale American content first ( geography and migration), then rest-of-the-world content next. Now while being global, as we live local and regional, requires that we remain plugged into what happens around us, so we ca respond to potential impact or opportunity — where are our stories, our voice, our businesses and our products online — in the Global Digital Economy?
Let’s look at another good reason why your Caribbean Business should Blog.
2. The diminishing culture of a traditional PR only strategy. Getting into the local and regional newspapers and being heard on radio or seen on the morning TV shows, as the mainstay of publicity and sharing of your business stories is fact delivering diminishing returns. How your Caribbean Business and its products/services are making its customers and community better simply must have other channels — digital mostly to communicate that. I’m sure you’ve heard and even now know, that the readership of printed newspapers have fallen off a cliff, people get their news online, from the digital versions of newspapers, blogs, social networks, in fact wherever they are spending most of their time.
People are time-shifting in how they consume content — from appointment TV and Radio to now, downloaded, Netflixed, Binge watched and Listened to, On-the-Go and on their own time. We’re not saying the traditional will be replaced, but we are pointing to the shift in consumer behaviour and expectations that all Caribbean businesses must be aware of and respond to. And no, the Caribbean is not 5 years behind in everything, as we can sometimes hear from some, who can’t be bothered to wrap their minds around what is now and what is coming and become proactive.
3. Then Forbes.com made an argument for Business Blogging – 4 years ago!
“There are LOTS of good reasons for one or more members of company leadership to blog. These include:
Humanizing the company
Building credibility and trust
Establishing industry expertise
Promoting products and policies
Addressing important issues
Generating leads … and business
Defending the company against its critics. “
4. “Businesses are now in the minority if they don’t blog” – HubSpot Study.
Though this quote speaks to American businesses, I’m working up to what I’m going to share about what may be indicative of Caribbean companies via some research we did in Jamaica last month. We’re almost there.
According to HubSpot.com “businesses are now in the minority if they don’t blog. From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%. Increasingly, companies are recognizing the value of their blogs. Eighty-five percent of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful,” “important” or “critical.” A very significant 27% rated their company blog as “critical” to their business.”
I deliberately left those years in there for you, as we’re in 2016.