The blogosphere is overtaking all of us. Today, with millions of bloggers and hundreds of millions of blog entries on any topic you’d want to read about, it’s apparent that whatever you want to market not only has an audience in the blogosphere, but a target audience, at that.
The better question than why advertise on a blog might actually be, why not?
Consider These Benefits
Blog forums are filled with folks who share some common interest. These are folks who love to speak out because they can offer up a candid opinion while they hide behind a screen name. This can give rise to interesting, sometimes useful discussions that are launched by the blogs themselves within the social networks that accompany them.
A reader’s interest in your product or your service can be just the right momentary distraction for a blog reader, if your target audience and blog forum culture that supports it have been thoroughly explored.
Blog readers are the perfect vehicle for creating buzz among like-minded folks who share an interest in one thing or another. And buzz can launch a concept, product, or idea to a point beyond your wildest expectations. If one’s marketing campaign is the cake itself, buzz is the icing on the top.
Where else can you examine your own potential audience thoroughly, participate in their discussion, get to know them maybe better than you need to, and test the waters for compatibility with your own ideas, concepts, products and/or services, and thereby project the outcome of your marketing so thoroughly in advance?
Where else can you become intimately familiar with the sensibility of your audience and the very specific interests that they share?
Remember, too, that bloggers and blog-readers are more likely to communicate with friends and on-line pals when they run across something that piques their interest on the internet. It’s just a click or two to forward something to a friend who might also want to take a peek. What a great way to stir up interest in your product or your service or, if nothing else, expand your potential audience through someone else’s effort.
Do Your Own Market Research
A quick search for blog forums turns up more than 56 million links. So, narrow that search to those that suit your specialty. Check out some of them and find out how they’re organized and categorized. Bear in mind the blogs that rise to the top of the search engines will be keyed to do just that. In any case, it probably won’t take more than five minutes tops to locate categories (indexed for your convenience) that relate to your own marketing interests.
A cursory scan of any blog will tell you if the blog or forum accepts advertising and, if so, how to investigate it. Spend some time checking out associated discussions to be sure the blog culture provides fertile territory for the audience you seek. Investigate their avenue for feedback and find out how to access their discussions. How much forum interchange is really taking place?
Look into blogs about related or periphery interests, too. If you’re selling real estate to first-time home owners, then look for apartment-living blogs and their links to discussion forums and advertising opportunities.
If you find the sheer volume of blogs is too much to sort through, then try topical discussion forums and work backwards from there into blogs participants mention, discuss, and link to.
Look for blogs and discussion forums that focus on marketing approaches. Get to know how others identify the best blogs to place their advertising. At least, marketing colleagues may help point you in the right direction to sift through blogs and blog forums that could suit your needs.
Blog Advertising in Soundbites
Once you’ve settled on the place to run your Blog Advertising, consider available tools of the trade to capture notice on those blogs where you choose to advertise. Don’t clutter up your space too much. Instead, provide a simple link to extended text on your own blog or website.
Try creating a mini-blog ad where text or picture changes over the days you’ve contracted to run your ad. Give folks a reason to check you out more than once. Give them a tidbit that’s worth savoring and invite them back for more.
Make your blog ad specific to the blog culture that surrounds your ad. Search for Blog Advertising¯ to find tips on ads that resonate, and consider those that make an impression on you, as well.
And while you’re at it, check out the worst blog advertising (yes, you can Google it). Find out what makes folks think it’s the worst, and avoid similar mistakes.
Create Your Own Blog Opportunities
Your own blog serves to enhance your website presence and provides an opportunity for reciprocal advertising of products and services that are peripheral to the one you aim to sell yourself.
A blog on administrative support services might advertise various products associated with a well organized, productive office. Think about alliances that pay off in reciprocal arrangements.
There are endless possibilities for blog advertising. Use your ideas and interests to harness its capacity for focusing the visibility of your product or your service squarely on YOUR market.
Why advertise on a blog, indeed. The benefits of blog advertising are limited only by your own imagination.