Blogging is a growing industry that companies should take advantage of. It is a very important part of the digital world because it gives users places to visit to get both news and opinions (Miller, 2011). Blog articles are one of the “elements that shape and change the culture of the web profession” (Jamal, 2012). This post analyzes the current blogging trends and there is also short interview with Shani Higgins (from Technorati) I found very useful in the blogging industry. Here are the main points from the video:
- Blogging is a platform for an independent voice to have news worthy information where the audience can add value and truly participate in.
- The main bloggers in 2011 consists of 64% male and 34% female between the ages of 18 and 44. In 2012, females increased by 5% (39%). All generations younger and older are both eager to set up blog personalities.
- Blogging is both for personal use and business use. In 2012, bloggers have up to 3 blogs on average that they manage.
- Blogging is a big trend for brands. Brands want to get closer to blogs because bloggers are the main influencers that affect consumers.
- Companies need to find a way to get to influencers and partner up with them.
- The average salary for professional bloggers is $24, 000 per year; this is only a supplementary income to the one they currently have.
Here is another article that goes in-depth with the blogging trends. There are a lot of charts and graphs that are really helpful in analyzing and exploring this industry. In addition, according to the same article, there are 7 reasons why companies need to rethink their blog marketing strategies. Here is a brief overview:
- Bloggers are young, educated and experienced.
- Bloggers help brands.
- A growing number of consumers trust blogs.
- Bloggers depend increasingly on social media.
- Bloggers use multimedia.
- Bloggers are earning money through their blogs.
- Bloggers are increasing their activities.
Companies should start a plan to participate in this growing industry because it is another form of viral marketing. Blogging should be used by companies as a marketing tool in order to build relationships with their consumers, open communication channels, provide constant information about the company and the products they carry and as a “mix of public relations and promotions” (Miller, 2011). There are also two ways that companies can incorporate blogs into their web marketing plan: establish own company or product blog separate from company website and as direct public relations efforts to the most influential bloggers in the company’s industry, which leads to word-of-mouth exposure (Miller, 2011).
There are also four ways that a company can utilize blogs (According to The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide Book):
- Disseminating news and information – this allows companies to get the word out to their consumers and share news they want their consumers to know about. A few examples can be about a new store opening or developing a new product line.
- Promoting products and services – this allows the company blog to be used as a promotional tool to their consumers. It is also another way that companies can announce new products, upcoming promotions, events and upcoming sales. In addition, companies can also blog about how different customers use certain products in different/multiple ways.
- Interacting with customers – this allows companies to build and create online communities for their brand and be able to create and maintain a closer relationship with customers. It gives companies a chance to know what customers are thinking and feeling, which is a good tool for market research, as well as being able to be proactive by asking users and consumers questions to generate feedback.
- Providing more exposure – and more search opportunities - blogging gives companies more online public exposure and another home on the web.
Although companies should be taking advantage of this industry, it is also important for them to monitor web activities to ensure all conflicts and challenges along the way will be addressed accordingly. This is an important tool for companies that could provide more opportunities and expansion for the future at low costs.
Jamal. (2012). Is the blogging industry in a downturn?. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/blogging-industry-downturn/
Mershon, Phil. (2011). 7 Reasons to rethink your blogging strategy: New research. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-reasons-to-rethink-your-blogging-strategy-new-research/
Miller, Michael. (2011). The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide. Indianapolis, Indiana: Pearson Education Inc.
Stelzner, Michael. (2012). Blogging trends for 2012: what you need to know. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogging-trends-for-2012-what-you-need-to-know/