Special Report Web Marketing New, Usable Web Marketing Ap
A blog, short for Web log, offers marketers several marketing advantages, including the following:
Blogs provide a personal voice for your brand. As the marketplace becomes more crowded, a personal voice that cuts through the clutter is essential. Executed thoughtfully, blogs can create meaningful conversations with current and future customers.
Blogs provide relevant extensions of your core message. Content on your core business site keeps a tight focus on conversion and your essential selling proposition. And while your blog always should link to your core e-commerce site, it allows you to cover a broader range of brand-relevant topics. It lets you participate in key conversations that occur higher in the conversion funnel.
Blogs offer low-entry barriers and low-maintenance costs. With numerous blog software packages available, entering the blogosphere is relatively easy (See sidebar, below). While your corporate Web site depends on ongoing support from internal IT and design resources, blogs allow — and require — you to be far more nimble.
Blogs are good for public relations. Journalists often mine the blogosphere for new content and leads.
Blogs can help natural search rankings. They provide bait for natural search spiders.
Let's take a closer look at these advantages and some pitfalls to avoid as you consider adding blogs to your overall marketing mix.
Blogs and Your Brand
Blogs, employee blogs in particular, shape the perception of your brand. This small fact is revolutionary, and the best book on this revolution was written way back in 2000.
Six years ago, four Web writers turned their online idea swaps about Web communication into "The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual" (Perseus Books, $14).
The book's authors argue that marketplaces are conversations. Historically, people have gathered in marketplaces to swap stories and goods. This perspective got lost during the rise of mass production and mass communication. The Web brings it back. Today, successful online marketing depends not only on broadcast and reach but also on word-of-mouth — the high-tech equivalent of the human conversation in a souk, bazaar or general store porch.