Look beyond the hype. Determine how blogs can influence, and how to effectively add them to your marketing mix.
Blogging is suddenly at the eye of the media storm. Mainstream sources such as BusinessWeek and The New York Times are covering blogging as if it were brand new. Yet blogs are almost old news. The 2004 political conventions catered to bloggers, the White House recognizes bloggers as press, and bloggers caused CBS to reexamine its fact-checking.
Marketers must look beyond the hype to determine how blogs can influence their products and how to effectively add them to the marketing mix.
As the digital equivalent of Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner, blogs empower people to express their knowledge and opinions to anyone who cares to listen. This is important for marketers because consumers now control part of the conversation and can influence a brand's future based on their personal perceptions. In this context, the issue is how a Web-enabled public evaluates the quality of information on blogs and related posts, and to which messages they pay attention.
Blog Marketing Strategies
Regardless of your product, blogs can be an integral part of a marketing strategy. This doesn't necessarily mean running out to start one. There are other ways to harness this fast-growing medium's power:
Whether or not you have a blog, the related analysis is important to track how your business and brand are being discussed to better understand your consumers' perspective:
Blogs create more opportunities, and more challenges. As with any communications strategy, consider what you hope to achieve from consumer engagement. Don't ignore blogs until something blows up! Use them as another way to listen to and involve customers. People talk about you in the blogosphere; use the opportunity to influence the conversation.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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