Blogging has become synonymous with online communication in the modern marketing mix, but for many marketing managers, setting up a blog can still seem to be a risky, unprofitable decision. The main reasons to set up and run a blog include:
- Thought leadership: an effective blog can, over time, give a company or individual market share and set them up as the thought leader in their industry through their direct interactions with customers.
- Blogging enables the marketing department or individual to identify opportunities: a well-monitored blog can offer insights into forging new customer relationships online, and via great content, to also convert interested readers into raving fans.
- Search engines love bloggers: because content is updated regularly on blogs, the search engines value blogs and will reward page rankings accordingly – as well as generating inbound links to a blog.
- Search keywords can be placed: regular content into a blog is the ideal opportunity to place industry keywords into the content, adding further value to the microsite and assisting your positioning online. And for free.
- Great blogs all point somewhere: and this is usually to the company’s or individual’s main website, where readers can find out more about services and products. This saves a huge amount of time, effort and budget on less effective methods of attracting visitors to an online presence.
- Your competitors are doing it: it is likely that your competitors are either blogging, considering blogging, or are watching your blog and wishing they had been the first to dominate the niche online.
Measurable, dynamic, powerful
Blogs, like any other web-based marketing medium, are painless to monitor and measure. The main platforms, Blogger and WordPress, offer analytical tools which provide a huge amount of information to marketers regarding visitor stats, page links, trackbacks and associated detail.
Blogs have taken off since 2008 and the proliferation of company blogs currently in existence is mind-boggling. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report:
‘The blogosphere has continued to expand, and we are now beginning to learn more about what powers the blogging community. Though growth has slowed, bloggers are apparently becoming pretty savvy at making money while pursuing their blogging interests.’
In terms of statistics, 133 million blogs have been tracked by Technorati between 2002 and the end of last year. This number is almost double the 72 million tracked as of March 2007 and it appears that the growth of new corporate blogs has slowed alongside the rate of new blog posts on blogs. As is so often the case, audiences are favouring quality not quantity.
Quality not quantity
Quality is always linked to content, and the most popular corporate UK blogs such as Innocent Drinks and Virgin remain focused on providing their readerships with innovative, up-to-date, engaging content – regularly.
The result is that a well-written, engaging, transparent, reader-centric blog is one of the most dynamic and powerful tools available in the online arsenal of communications mediums.
Blogs provide an important element to any online marketing campaign, and due to the nature of their conversational, open, transparent format, many customers find they add significant value to their perceptions of the parent blogging company. So, are you ready to blog?