Blogging can be an effective brand development tool. The first step is to clarify what you consider to be a blog. An actual blog reaches people who want information and wish to contribute to a forum discussion. Many companies post frequent updates to what is essentially an electronic newsletter. Both can work as long as you 1) decide on the topic. Why should people care about what you have to say? 2) Know your target audience. Offer clients and targets the opportunity to subscribe (opt in) by announcing the blog and sending a link 3) Most importantly, leverage the content across other platforms. A blog needs company! Focus on providing value and service. Share enough so that people will want to comment, if it's an interactive forum. Take the conversation and turn it into a white paper. Send a release to the trades. There is one kiss of death for a blog or e-newsletter: stale content. Play a long game and make sure you have the resources to manage the content, keep it fresh and relevant, and leverage it across other media.
As I see it, it's like this; if they are reading your blog then they are already aware of you, so in that respect, blogging as a form of brand awareness is pointless. But as a means of brand loyalty, it's essential, the level of engagement it offers is second to none.
In order to build your brand awareness, you can't rely solely on your blog as nobody will say "hey friends, come and comment on this great blog" it doesn't work like that. I comment on hundreds of blogs but on over half of them, barely anyone I know knows I do it. Why? Because they don't encourage it. Don't get me wrong, they don't actively discourage it, but they don't give me the means and they don't give me the desire.
So how do you do that? For me, you have to use the Facebook / Twitter APIs. If you use for example Wordpress then you can get plugins that will take care of the back end for you. Automatically posting their comments on their social media feeds will allow them to share it without actually asking them to, this gives them the means to spread your brand, but what about desire? Offer them something in return.
Blogging is crucial for two big reasons: becoming a subject matter expert in your field, and for better SEO results. Other "side effects" include people sharing the items -- you never know what will go "viral". If you are looking to get more visibility on search try to integrate popular key words. You can do free keyword research on Google Keyword Planner: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2999770
It can often come down to the SEO behind the blog. I know of a handful of brilliant blogs that are not very well-known, because the SEO behind them is weak.
Also, it depends on how engaged your target audience already is with your existing brand. If you're not cross-promoting your blog articles through your other marketing channels, you're just accumulating missed opportunities.
Also, have compelling and engaging content. Both your blog, and YOU as an author, need to stand for something. Be original. Be different. Content marketing is a very noisy place. Stand out.
Lastly, be consistent. Don't throw in the towel after 30 or 60 days. Keep at it. Blogging should eventually be ingrained in your marketing DNA.
As someone who writes blogs for companies I would stress the points already effectively made.
You need to be aware of SEO - blogging is a great SEO tool.
You need to provoke a discussion. Don't be afraid to tackle tough subjects and have people disagree with you. If a blog post provokes a discussion then you've obviously hit the right note.
Know your audience. Develop a conversation with them. Don't talk at them but to them. A blog should be a conversation, one that they feel a part of and are comfortable enough to join in with.
As others have said, content is important. Keep it fresh, lively, entertaining and informative. You won't get success straight away but keep at it and promote your blog on sites like this one and on social media to encourage people to share it.
Lastly don't be afraid to inject humour into your blogs. If you can get your audience to smile then you have them hooked. The best way to engage someone is to make them laugh.
Very effective. Engaging content is key and Kathleen is spot on!
Thought leadership is an inbound marketing tool unlike any other. Because the marketing funnel has been flipped for brands, small and media business, enterprise corporations and public sector organizations, customers have an expectation to find you on social networks. Indeed, putting an effort into becoming a credible author is a high value activity for generating leads and creating brand awareness.
Thing is though, blogging as part of a content marketing strategy must be part and parcel of other earned and paid strategies. In other words, long form articles are not the same as photo blogging on instagram. Be that as it may, brand strategy is informed by people, groups and culture. In my own experience effective blogging is complemented by business intelligence research. For myself, I've been able to connect with clients due to my blog visibility. Great question Tony.
Not a tough question. Very effective when done properly. Make sure your blog is well connected to your website and your social pages, so it is shared accordingly. Make sure your website has traffic. SEO or ad words and last but not least make sure your blog is worth reading. Have content that helps people and is really useful. Do these things properly and it is very effective.
Everything hinges on HOW MANY PEOPLE are following your blog AND whether they will ever buy or influence a purchase of your brand. There are millions of blogs out there, and the majority of them get very little regular traffic, even less repeat traffic. Successful professional marketing requires clarity and brutal honesty. Unfortunately, wishful thinking doesn't help much.
from my point of view blogging is one of the most rapid tools for raising awareness. Because if we are talking about narrow audience or quite targeted product, concrete blogger has very specific and targeted audience under his influence.
People are highly social, they better trust respected person rather than mass media channels in terms of something really new. One word from trend-setter is more valued than the word from passerby.
Social scheme works like this [Trend-Setter-->Early Adopter-->Mass Followers]
And working with bloggers you directly send message to the Trend-Setter/Blogger, and he/she has very selected amount of adopters/followers. Its like pushing the first domino piece. You start with the first one, the others will follow immediately. It's natural human being. Blogger is like the leader of some concrete community.
In this case you don't have to spend tones of money for huge Reach banner or whatever campaign hoping to reach out to those concrete adopters/followers.
Blogging can be very effective. Many of the companies that are now industry leaders were/are heavy bloggers; however, blogging isn't purely for awareness. Blogging can impact all areas of marketing:Awareness --> Acquisition --> Retention. I have seen really good content create traffic to a website for years while still providing real value to the consumer.
They were trying to create awareness, build credibility and trust, and ultimately grow their business.
Here is my advice.
1. "Create Content that is Valuable"
2" "Start at the Customer and Work Backwards"
While I agree that SEO is an important element to marketing, you can't create content purely for SEO purposes. I my mind, I see SEO as a result of many actions created over a period of time. I have learned many hard lessons over the last 8 years with SEO. Your content should be written for your customers, and your architecture/design should be written to allow the search engines to easily understand.
When in doubt, refer to rule #1.
Blogging can be very effective for your brand if done correctly and with a goal in mind. All your online actions should have a purpose. What is the goal for your customer? Who are you speaking to? Have you identified your perfect client? Are you answering questions? Are you telling a story? Creating a blog and any content for your business should have a voice. Make sure you create a plan that designates your main content from your conversational content and keep it consistently themed throughout your website. As mentioned in many other answers SEO has its value with your blog as well. However, writing with a theme will create content that has natural long tail opportunities that will eventually drive targeted traffic to your website. Stay social don't just syndicate your content but participate with it and use social influencers behavior and content to help create your content.
It seems you have been blessed with many answers to your question Tony, and I agree with many of them. As a long time blogger myself, and indeed a business person I know the value of good quality blogging first-hand. The internet is actually all about communication, it is very crowded these days with over one third of humanity being online, and increasing daily! It is therefore of immense importance that you present the very best information, the very best quality you can produce. We all know the 'noise' level is very high online. To stand out from the mediocre, and deliver your message you must strive to talk with your audience. It is a strange thing, but for all the technical tricks, and expensive marketing that wealthy companies have at their disposal, it is the genuine writing, and power of authenticity that always captures the most attention-and this is very often produced by ordinary people who work at their gifts in a genuine spirit. So, yes blogging is very valuable and effective, but it takes time and skill to do it well.
A good campaign versus a great campaign makes all the difference. As a part time blogger, I enjoy connecting with businesses. I belong to at least 10 blogger groups on facebook and opportunities are always coming my way. For those that blog as a living, they understand it more and can relate that to a business. Even if it is a product or service review...or having bloggers at a grand opening, you'd be amazed with the power of the blogger.
Once you have created several posts across several sites, it is important to exploit them to further improve brand awareness. This can be accomplished by being interactive once the post has been published. Engage the audience and provide solid discussion points. Potential consumers like to feel the “human” side of a brand.
The more posts you publish with links to your blog or site, the higher your brand awareness will be. This will help drive readership to your site for additional information.
Wow, its a tough question. You have some great answers already but honestly it all comes down to your plan of action. Do you plan on building and maintaining a community or just blast news. It really comes down to how much work your brand or company is willing to put into managing a community. I personally like Kathleen's answer.
Very. Before you get to SEO, back linking, ad words, and optimizing make sure your content is WORTH READING.
Does your brand voice stand out? Is it consistent? More important: is your content relevant to your demo?
If any of the answers to these questions is NO then it doesn't matter how much money you throw at SEM, SEO, promotions, boosted posts, sponsored tweets, etc. Content is key!
Branding is one of the most important part of your internet presence. Without it, no one will visit your blog or trust your recommendations. I've worked hard to brand myself across all social media platforms and also on my websites and blogs and it has helped me considerably.
With branding comes trust, reliability, and recognition. Trust is probably the most important part of this. I've been building trust through over delivering to my clients, getting testimonials from them, and posting them on my sites.
So I guess in my opinion, yes it is one of the most important part of effective blogging.
Blogging is an excellent media for the discussion of increasing your brand awareness. As far as that is concerned, blogging is the portal that made brand awareness as important as it is today.Not only does it give you the ability to consistently feed your customers new and exciting information,about your product but it allows you to utilize customer quotes and referrals to further your cause. In addition, as you are blogging into the social media realm it allows some of your untouchables to provide likes and other referrals that will only further your cause.
It's only as effective as you are. It's a part of social media marketing. Without exposure, it isn't effective. With proper social media exposure, it can be an amazing tool.