Why should you Blog? An Introduction
Dr. Ralston shares her insight on blogging
When I first started teaching electronic marketing in 1998 a website and email/direct marketing were the primary means of communicating over the Internet. Today, electronic marketing encompasses much more than a website. In order to achieve success in our global marketplace today, we must do more than utilize keywords, adwords, and online advertising. Social media are important keys to developing lines of communication, but content is essential to develop interest, increase visibility, and repeat visitation.
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Publishing content on a blog is superior primarily due to the depth of development that can be achieved and supported with references. Many forms of social media are limited in the amount of content that can be conveyed, such as micro-blogging on Twitter is limited to 140 characters. Pinterest, a social bookmarking site facilitates pinners (users) to share their favorite events, hobbies, recipes, and photos. Pinners can include a description of the "pin" with a maximum of 500 characters. A blog provides an opportunity to develop content that will not only generate interest among followers, but they also represent a significant opportunity to generate organic search results. This too will increase your visibility on search engines, such as Google. Linking your blogs on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other forms of social media will increase your visitation. Once a person discover that your brief posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or other forms of social media are interesting and valuable to them, then they can visit your blog to learn more about you. Further, a blog allows you to develop a professional/personal image or brand that establishes your expertise and broadens your audience.
Connecting with Word of Mouth Marketing:
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Allow me to share an analogy that I use with my students in electronic marketing that illustrates the value of integrating multiple social media tools with your blog and website. Imagine that you have a wonderful restaurant with stellar service and top quality food. Unfortunately, your restaurant is located off the beaten path. Word of mouth among your customers has led to great repeat business but you struggle to generate new business. What do you do? Without a doubt you begin with advertisements in the newspaper, on the radio, but just cannot afford the expense of a television advertising campaign. What do you do on a limited budget? Post a billboard adjacent to a nearby highway? Imagine how powerful it would be if you could get your customers to hold up signs with reviews of their dining experiences, photos of their favorite entrees, or videos of how much fun they had at their last party at your restaurant. This is just what happens on social media. Your customers can share their experiences via tweets on Twitter, photos on Pinterest, updates on FourSquare, or a series of photos exchanged by several customers across their respective Facebook pages. Nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing that occurs when satisfied customers tell other people of their positive experiences. Now consider the exponential growth possible when your customers share their positive experiences across social media, such as, Facebook (1 billion users in 2012), Instagram (100 million users in 2012), and Pinterest (25 million users in 2012). My question would not be why should you blog, but rather why not? Why not tap into a potential market that generates 100,000 tweets every minute during 2012? I would tend to agree with Socialnomics author Erik Qualman who predicts that "We will no longer search for products and services . . . they will find us via social media."