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Blog Marketing (Blogvertising)

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A new blog appears every second, with there now being billions of blogs worldwide. In the UK alone there are over 30 million blogs.

Research by Technorati revealed that 13% of blogs that they track are updated every week, and over half of new bloggers are still writing posts three months after they started. Blogging has grown so rapidly that one in every 50 web visits is now to a blog.

Whilst many blogs have a very small readership as a collective force they can have significant influence. They often amplify certain stories or messages, and occasionally uncover new stories.

For example, in July 2005 bloggers exposed Guardian trainee reporter Dilpazier Aslam’s membership of a radical and anti-Semitic Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir. Being able to tap into the power of blogs can be very beneficial, a term now named Blogvertising.

Blogvertising

Using bloggers as marketing tools is tricky because many are opposed to being used as an advertising medium. However, the growth of pay per post is threatening to change this, with companies able to submit ‘opportunities’ about which bloggers can write about for a monetary reward.

This form of marketing is controversial amongst the blogging community, not least because it threatens the impartiality and credibility of blogs, but it can work very well when looking to create buzz or even for search engine optimisation.

The power of blogs can also be harnessed to seed viral videos or games as well as link building. This is an advertising channel that is likely to grow very rapidly over the next few years. Blogs are increasingly becoming more mass market and early adopters will gain invaluable insights into the emerging channel, as well as cost effective sales. It can be expected that the cost of advertising on blogs will grow rapidly as it becomes more mainstream.

In the UK, the number of blogvertising opportunities is still limited, but some of the larger players such as MSN Spaces have huge volume potential. MSN Spaces are offering untargeted text links and banners for £1 CPM and £7 CPM, respectively.

It’s estimated that around two-thirds of consumer product sales are now directly influenced by word-of-mouth but increasingly companies are realising that it’s not enough just to wait for satisfied customers to recommend your company. More so than ever ‘fuel has to be added to the flames’ and companies are utilising blogs, forums, and communities to build awareness and drive traffic to their sites.

One form of blogvertising is to become actively involved and start a business blog. There are many benefits to doing this but it’s certainly not for everyone, especially as maintaining an interesting and insightful blog does take time. For more information see our guide to business blogs.

“This notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was web activity. Before that one it was email. Instant messaging was an extension of email.” Eric Schmidt

The area of blogging has even given rise to a new industry of media companies who survey the internet, especially the blogging community, to uncover the nature of feelings towards a certain brand. Blogs link to each other and as a result negative comments can have far reaching effects. By monitoring these online communities any bad feelings and opinions towards a company can be identified and dealt with quickly.

This is essential when you consider that many people do research online before purchasing a good or service, often by typing a company name into search engines. Unfavourable comments made on forums can often rank highly in search engines, putting off potential customers.

Surveying blogs and forums and responding to any negative comments is an excellent way to show that you are a company that is responsive and cares about its users.

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