Why You Cannot Ignore the Blogs
eMarketer recently released a survey that showed that fifty eight of the United States internet users would be reading blogs on a regular basis within three years, which is a twenty percent jump over the current total. By that same time frame, there is an estimated thirty percent increase in users that will be blogging- which means people will be talking. Think about it, they are out there. Your target audience. Talking about, discussing, and waiting to hear input- possibly already hearing input from the competition. It’s important to get your head in the game when it comes to the blogosphere. These are people that talk about the things important to them, and if they are talking about issues with, or benefits of your industry, it seems intelligent to pay attention.
The first step in any blog related marketing strategy is to find out if and where your business is being discussed. There are a few ways to do this, and if you use the methods that I’ve discussed before to measure social networking analytic, you can use the same to find out if your company already has a reputation brewing online. If you do find that there are some bloggers discussing your company in a favorable light, those are the ones that you want to focus on, not the negative ones. Curry favor with those who already seem to appreciate your business, and you will have much of the battle against those who don’t already won.
Be sure to pay attention to the posts where your company’s been mentioned and respond politely, but there’s a right way to go about this, as well. You need to identify yourself and explain a little bit about who you are within the business and why you’re reading the post. Go through the post, addressing things as you see them written, but leave out anything extra- stay on topic. Thank the blogger for their post, and then, offer to answer any questions, answering those promptly. If you are keeping a list, subscribe, keep aware of what is going on and be very open to talking to bloggers.
You’ll find that the more receptive you are, offering interviews, announcements and the like- the more exposure you gain. This is one very powerful yet free means of taking advantage of the free flow of information that the internet has supplied. The very last and most important aspect of engaging the bloggers is this: don’t only do it once. Make sure that you are open to questions, comments and continually on top of things.
Give them something to talk about and they will, it’s obvious to any one who has ever either had a blogger unhappy with their service or exceptionally happy- word travels fast, particularly if you’ve engaged an already popular blogger with a big following. The two options for doing this are mass emails which nine times out of ten just annoy the bloggers, or, you can do this the right way and enjoy the benefits of a well played blog move.