There was once a time when a blog was, simply put, an online diary for ordinary people to express their thoughts, feelings and events in their daily lives. Today, blogs are widely read and can greatly impact the success or demise of a company. In 2005, only six percent of Americans read blogs, that number jumped to 40% in 2006. And in 2007, at least one blog was created every second of the day. Obviously, blogs are important, and they are taking the Internet by storm. It is even said that having your company mentioned in a blog is far more impactful then being mentioned in a high-profile feature story in a large circulation publication.
So who writes these blogs? There are several types of bloggers: those that simply blog to journal their daily life experiences; CEOs and corporate executives who blog to discuss their industry and to position themselves as experts in their fields; and those who report the news on their blogs – whether it be breaking news, feature stories or gossip news.
Why are blogs important? People value other people’s opinions and outlooks hence the success of tripadvisor.com and epinions.com. Bloggers are revered as experts in their fields which is why we encourage all of our clients to establish blogs of their own. Authoring a blog allows you to not only promote your expertise in a certain field but to promote your company as well. More and more, national morning shows and large circulation publications are calling upon popular bloggers to serve as experts in their features. In addition to writing your own blog, it is also imperative to initiate an interactive public relations program. Interactive public relations professionals can draft social media news releases and distribute them to a database of bloggers to encourage these bloggers to include information about your company in upcoming blog features.
Blogging is definitely the wave of the future and a very important part of the marketing mix. Bloggers are part of what Joseph Jaffe calls “Prosumers”- the new merchants of conversation. As marketers, we can’t ignore their importance any longer and brands must respect their power and influence.