The Advantages of Blog Advertising

Blog advertising has recently emerged as an alternative to traditional marketing strategies and boasts several advantages. Researchers project that internet marketing techniques, including blog advertising, will influence nearly half of all consumer spending in 2010, and the decline of traditional media (such as television, radio, and snail mail) ensures that this trend will only continue.

Several factors make blog advertising a sound marketing investment in today’s uncertain economic climate, especially considering that online spending consistently outperforms brick-and-mortar stores. What makes blog advertising so effective?

One advantage is that bloggers attract loyal readers, many of whom subscribe to receive automatic e-mail updates whenever new content appears on their favorite blogs, and consumers often consider blogs devoted to retail products (such as fashion blogs, gaming blogs, music blogs, etc.) more reliable than other internet ads.

Blog marketing builds on the relationship between consumers and the bloggers they trust, creates an interactive forum for businesses and consumers to engage one another, and ultimately encourage customer loyalty. Because blogs enable readers to comment on each entry, consumers can offer valuable feedback on specific products and services and come away with the satisfaction of having their voices heard.

Blog marketing is also a more effective means of attracting new customers. In particular, blog marketing takes advantage of the frequency with which consumers use search engines like Google, MSN, and Yahoo to find products they are interested in buying.

A regularly updated blog will receive a higher rating on a search engine than other websites

…and blogs containing high-quality images and video content will also appear first on image- and video- specific searches. Consumers are therefore much more likely to consult well-maintained blogs than other internet sources. Moreover, when a consumer finds a blog advertising one product in which he or she is interested, that consumer will also find information on other products and services available from the same company.

Blog advertising raises product and brand awareness by word of mouth, giving rise to the concept of “viral marketing.” Viral marketing relies on the fact that peer-to-peer reviews and recommendations boost the credibility of advertising blogs and provide a cost-free means of increasing exposure.

A well-run viral or blog marketing campaign will allow a business to soft-sell its products or services and generate positive reviews from objective sources. In short, using blog advertising, businesses can reach their target markets for a fraction of the cost of running a television ad campaign or posting single-page ads on other websites.

More importantly, blog advertising is much more likely to encourage positive responses from consumers than other advertising tactics.

The cost of maintaining a blog advertising campaign is minimal for several reasons. The cost of purchasing a domain can run as low as a few dollars, and that price can secure a permanent URL with no maintenance fees. Blogs require few technical skills to create and update.

Anyone who can type can contribute to a blog, and even comments posted by readers will help boost the blog’s visibility and popularity. As a marketing blog becomes more popular, the cost of marketing research is reduced as well. Blog advertising thus offers businesses a highly cost-effective marketing strategy.

Several very simple tactics can contribute to the success of blog advertising

As with any other advertising medium, building a blog that is visually appealing and user-friendly can go a long way toward promoting a business. Considerations of layout, navigation, and other basics of web design encourage regular users. Another technique to consider is the maintenance of multiple blogs targeting different niches.

A blog advertising campaign can target multiple demographics simultaneously, so long as each individual blog is well-designed and regularly updated.

Blog advertising can also increase exposure through comments on other blogs that share the same target demographic. After all, each comment constitutes another link back to the business’ own advertising blog.

So what are the disadvantages to blog advertising, and how can they be avoided? One problem to consider is the poor quality of many advertising blogs. In order to ensure success in blog advertising, businesses have to find bloggers capable of generating high-quality content and willing to do so. Conversely, high-quality blog advertising will impress independent reviewers and encourage positive buzz.

Another problem is that search engines will often penalize search engine optimization tactics. Again, the solution is simple: avoid over-optimization, vary the anchor text of backlinks, and build up those backlinks slowly enough to avoid penalization. By insisting on quality over quantity and effectively managing search engine optimization tactics, businesses can create highly successful blog advertising campaigns.

The positive impact of blog advertising on public relations, as well as product visibility, makes blogging an excellent marketing strategy for large and small businesses alike. Blog advertising encourages targeted traffic, generates low-cost exposure, and creates opportunities for consumers to interact with businesses and provide feedback on specific products and services.

Best of all, even compared to other avenues of online advertising, blog advertising possesses unique advantages vis-a-vis credibility and customer loyalty, making blog advertising a superior investment to other marketing strategies.

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