Friday, September 23, 2011

Blogging And You - Judgment Day - Part 1

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The trend is growing at an accelerating pace with no sign of abating. Blogging (which started as a means of simply sharing a journal before it became a citizen publishing medium) carries tremendous potential for branding, for thought-leadership, for announcements, for advertising and promotion, for building a bond of interpersonal connectivity with your company's customers, clients or readers. The blogosphere, with the help of search engines and the viral circulation mechanism of social media has truly become perceived as the most credible podium in the court of public opinion. This is not a technologically-oriented blog on tips and tricks - it is an alert about the rise to to prominence of blogging, and how you can harness and focus its fabulous potential with an emphasis on marketing, and with none of the usual blogophilic debate about Google (Blogger) versus WordPress; new plug-ins, widgets and apps; search engine optimization (SEO) or meta-tags.

Of course, blogging, as a practice is a double-edged sword; do it brilliantly and you will win name recognition, credibility, increased business and marketshare, and valuable customer loyalty. Do it improperly, and you stand to lose virtually everything. Either way, you must learn to use this powerful apparatus as a gardening tool or a weapon; you must learn very quickly. As a sponsor or author of blogs, you become a personality (even corporately) with a voice. The tone of that voice, as well as the content being set free to proliferate throughout cyberspace, will be judged.

The information which follows was gleaned from an excellent article written at the beginning of this year by Ms. Autumn Morris, titled "Technorati Predicts Continued Growth Within The Blogosphere For 2011." You can read the article in its entirety after you've finished reading this post by clicking *HERE*. Ms. Morris is a contributing author for Ignite Social Media. An excerpt follows:

Since 2009, all categories of respondents except for Hobbyists report that they are blogging more frequently. The top reasons for blogging more frequently were for valuable business promotion and for the enjoyment of interacting with readers. Blog growth is supported by other statistics:
  • BlogPulse reports 51,938 new blogs created in the last 24 hours; 152,948,304 blogs overall
  • WordPress reports continued growth with 27 millions publishers and 13.9 million blogs hosted on See more WordPress statistics here and here. [Excerpt Ended] ####
Take a brief look at some charts furnished by Technorati, generally acknowledged as the foremost blog rating service. These charts (you may have to magnify them a bit) yield quantitative information not only about the proliferation of blogging activity, but about the relationship between consumerism (both B2C and B2B) and the information provided by bloggers. Note the increasing influence that bloggers are having on consumer behavior. The first chart represents 2010 data, while the second chart represents 2009 data. The trends are continuing to favor the influence of blogs and of bloggers.

The article that you are reading (i.e., the one I've written) is using Blogger as a platform.  The little graphic and hyperlinked tidbit which follow popped up on my screen several hours ago, when I started my work on this article.

See what's coming to Blogger
Log in to Blogger in draft to experiment with upcoming features.

The Bottom Line: Blogging is becoming an ever-more significant component of every brand's marketing mix, with very few exceptions. For you to use blogging effectively, which I will discuss in detail in the next installment of this series, you'll have to toss out everything that you've been taught about advertising, advertorials and ad copy. None of it applies here. In the blogosphere, your objective is to get your staff (firstly) and other unrelated, objective experts (secondly) to 1) give your brand a very Human persona and to 2) write/blog about you, your company and your brand in a credible third-party fashion.

My pledge: is to provide you with the specific ingredients required to build an effective campaign utilizing the vast leverage and reach of the blogosphere in my next installment of this article in InfoSphere Business Alerts And Intel. And it will not be a technological or technical treatise. It will be set forth in plain business-speak, for your immediate use and implementation. Technology is not my focus. Interacting optimally with your target market is my exclusive interest. I'm far less of a technologist and much more of a negotiator, speaker, strategic planner and an amateur behavioral psychology buff. Let's not get caught up in technology. The next installment is coming soon. Please look for it.

Douglas E Castle

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