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How to Use Blogs as a Marketing Tool

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 10 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Advertising Marketing Blogs Internet

Today, the blog is a great way to not only connect with your existing and potential new customers, a blog can also be an important component of the marketing mix you use in the promotion of your business.

Business blogging is now well established and forms the core of the advertising many online businesses engage in on a daily basis. Just as with other forms of marketing and advertising, your online business must clearly understand how blogs fit into your organisation, who will update your blog and what level of return you are expecting.

Blog Marketing

Your online business can use a blog for many advertising activities, but business blogs can do much more than that. A well designed and above all well written blog can:

Bring New Customers to your Online Business.All blogs are indexed by the world’s search engines. This means that your online business can gain additional traffic to its website via the content on its blogs.

Develop Customer Loyalty.Today, if your online business can develop a close relationship with its customers, this translates into higher sales volumes and loyalty that could last for decades. Marketing and advertising to this audience is highly effective and above all profitable.

Better Customer Service.Marketing is all about understanding what goods and services the customers of your online business want to buy. You can use your blogs to better understand your customers, which ultimately leads to more effective advertising.

Inside Information. It’s easy for your online business to use its blogs as simply a glorified FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. This is a mistake as your blogs can be much more than that. Your online business via its blogs has an opportunity to speak directly to its customers first hand. This is a superb opportunity to develop your marketing strategy and refine your advertising.

Features and Benefits.Your blogs are also a great place to show customers extra information about the goods or services your online business sells. This doesn’t mean pack your blogs with additional advertising, but use your blogs to show customers the benefits that your business can bring to them. The more intimate setting of blogs can mean a more persuasive marketing message.

Trust and Knowledge. Every online business knows that potential customers use the Internet as a research tool. They will spend hours looking for recommendations about a product or service they want to buy. Your blogs can be used to offer that information as you can canvas your existing customer base for testimonials. Potential new customers will see this information via the search engine they use, attracting them to your online business.

Spreading the Word

Once your blogs have been established you can of course let the search engines find them for their indexes. However, it’s much better to take the marketing of your blog in hand and be more proactive about how you advertise your blogs. There are many services that enable you to register your blogs. Users looking for new blogs to register with can easily see which blogs might be of interest to them. Services like Feedburner, Technorati and Del.icio.us give you an opportunity to market and advertise all of your blogs.

Blog Marketing Checklist

The marketing and advertising you can do with your blogs can be a highly effective promotional tool for your online business. Use the checklist below to ensure your blogs are always gaining your online business new customers:

Customers First
It’s easy to start to ramble on your blogs, so ensure that every post you make is focused on your customers. Ask yourself if each and every blog post gives them a benefit or an insight into your online business and its goods or services.

Less is More
You don’t have to post new content daily, but if you can get into the habit of regularly updating your blog with new and relevant content, this will generate a pull to your customers to make them check your blogs regularly. This is where you can then use your marketing and advertising skills to reach this captive audience.

Brand and Identity
Blogs in the business world can be used effectively to reinforce a business’s brand in the marketplace. Your excellent content needs to be supported with strong brand messages that keep the attention of your customers.

Guest Posting
If your online business has strategic partners getting them to write guest posts for your blogs is a great way of gaining new content for your blog, but also a means of expanding your customer base. If your partners have complementary goods or services you can showcase, they may do the same for you bringing brand new customers to your business.

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