We launched a blog last year to get some dialog going both in- and outside our company about interesting things we're seeing in digital communications. We didn't know where it was going, what it might become, or how it would perform. Interestingly enough, our blog now enjoys the same visitor count as our company Web site, and the majority of traffic comes from outside the company. I'd feared we'd be short of readers and content, but we have an abundance of both.
We're in the midst of evaluating our Web presence, and I was reminded blogging is a great (and often overlooked) way for companies to reach their target customers by either blogging themselves, posting, sponsoring, or even buying ads on other blogs. So, I thought it's time for an update on blogging as a marketing tool.
We've all seen the numbers, and they're impressive. The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published a research study on blogs and bloggers. According to the study, 12 million American adults keep blogs and 39 percent of the adult population (57 million adults) read blogs, a significant increase over last year. Blog visitors still skew young (under 35) and from higher income households ($75,000 and above). When you add in blogs generated by businesses (companies, journalists, etc.), the number expands substantially. According to Blogpulse, at press time there were 32 million identified blogs on the Web and nearly a million blog entries posted in the last 24 hours.
Advertisers follow the eyeballs. This is true with blogs, as well, although it's still a nascent market with less than $50 million in spend expected this year, according to eMarketer. Everyone expects blog ad spend will grow substantially, because there are a lot of viewers and not a lot of advertising. It's a fresh medium and relatively uncluttered, so response rates can be high for advertisers. This is why our media team considers blogs a natural part of the digital media mix.
Here, then, are some insider tips for advertising on blogs:
Last year, blogs were considered an emerging medium for advertisers. Now they're all grown up. Major advertisers have overcome their concerns about advertising on blogs. Blog networks have emerged that help advertisers aggregate audiences efficiently. Traditional digital advertising standards are being applied. It feels like a mature market, except it's growing -- fast. And it's still a very small part of the digital media mix.
If you haven't refreshed your blogging strategy recently, it's time you did.
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