Blogging: Should You, How Can It Help and What Should You Talk About?

Excerpts from a University paper on blogging (originally ~14 pages):

  • Studies have shown that around 60% of Western Consumers find advertising to be irrelevant to their needs / wants.Interacting with customers and fostering their participation has been proven to increase satisfaction far more than company centric mass marketing models;

  • Unlike several other interactive mediums, i.e. SecondLife and Twitter, which are not yet considered mainstream, blogging has a strong reach. The Blogosphere (no. of blogs published) has surpassed 60 million. At least 40% of the US adult population read blogs on a regular basis;

  • The life span of your blog posts moves to the point of ad infinitum. Do people re-read print ads? Nope! But an old blog may very well show up on a Google search;

  • Blogs can help you tap into cultural movements relevant to your target audience and provide targeted, relevant information to them. Let’s take a look at General Motors, who have claimed that blogs have helped to ‘keep the 97 year old company culturally relevant by being at the forefront of new trends.General Motors actually run multiple blogs with each one built around a different target demographic. For example, they run a Cadillac Drivers Blog, which focuses on regular updates on Cadillac’s and the FYI Blog, which has interesting facts about General Motors and their cars;

  • Other companies have furthered their interaction with Bloggers. For example, car manufacturer Vespa noticed how passionate Italian consumers were about their brand. Resulting from this they launched a platform allowing new Vespa owners to blog about their car and upload pictures – further involving their consumers with the Vespa brand;

  • Remember, the value of blogs lies in the encounter process and not the end result (the post). Always try to involve readers as much as possible, i.e. encouraging (and returning) comments; and

  • Be sure not to hide your commercial intentions. If you are blogging on behalf of your business, mention it and run it from a corporate domain! Mazda was caught out by this, who for some time were running a blog without honestly promoting their corporate intentions. Needless to say they were caught out and the blog was scrapped;