Commercial value in blogging…
Lets play a game. Consider the following three statements:
- advertising could help me sell more
- marketing will get my company noticed
- my website can give me a competitive advantage
If you used those statements when talking to a business owner Im certain there would be complete agreement.
However, substitute the word blogging for advertising/marketing/website and what reactions will you get? I think you will be greeted with either blank incomprehension or disbelief. Outside of major brands, the commercial value of blogging is not recognised. Those businesses who grasp the concept regard it a luxury; many have still not heard of it. Part of the problem I believe is in the language we use. For those who have heard the term, blogging still suggests an activity strictly for students, intellectuals or over zealous hobbyists. The term betrays its origin as an online journal or diary, and many cannot see beyond this narrow range of activity. Most people running a seldom seems to read blogs. They are not seeing the wide variety of blogging. Crucially they are missing the link between blogging, their website and search engine performance. For those who have not heard the term, it just sounds wrong far removed from the marketing language they just about understand. Of course we have been here before. Websites were for the nerds, then for academia and intelligentsia, and finally for big corporations only. Marketeers had to be visionaries to get buy-in from smaller businesses and they will have to do so again for blogging. At some point in the near future the majority of small businesses will blog as part of a mixture that includes other social media but we might need to give them some help in arriving at the future a bit sooner. To go back to my point about language, perhaps we need to rethink the language we use in order to make clear the connection between blogging and the marketing mix. Blogvertising, anyone? At the risk of the word already being in use, it doesnt exactly trip off the tongue. But terms like blog advertising and blog marketing are perhaps easier to understand and at least start to make that link. As time goes by, new terms will evolve and understanding deepen but for now I think we need to recognise the fact that there is a lot of scepticism and lack of understanding from small businesses. Lets be imaginative about the terms we use and lets make clear the connection with increasing sales and business levels. Perhaps now is the time to stop blogging? No matter what your opinion, Blogging has never been easier than now, with providers such as WordPress and Google Blogger providing a platform to set up, design and run your Blog, for free. If you are looking for something a little bit special, you can consult a reputable Web Design and SEO company as many will specialise in solutions like WordPress design and will be able to support you in building an exciting and informative Blog within your very own website. Some may even provide copywriting support and consultancy to help you to formulate your blogging strategy and deliver your key marketing messages.