Is a blog just another marketing tool or tactic to try to build awareness, introduce services or even a sales tool to try to get people to buy?
No, I don’t think so! In fact: Emphatically NO.
A blog is closer to the town meeting, where one person leads the discussion, but many people get the microphone. It’s closer to a call in radio show where callers can pose some of the most thought provoking ideas. It’s like a telephone call where others can conference in and add their comments.
It’s not a brochure. It’s “alive”. It’s not one way. It’s not even 2 way. It’s multi-directional! With many voices and ideas and thoughts. The duty of the blogger is to keep the subject relevant to the topic of the particular blog. Not adding recipes for meatballs or talking about the game last Sunday. (Unless that’s the topic of your blog!)
A blog can kick start a company’s marketing. Supplement a boring brochure. Add life to a static website, until you can get your website renovated into dynamic content that is!
A blog extends the discussion with links. For example, here are some other blog posts about blogs are not marketing tools:
On the other hand, don’t expect that every post will result in a conversation! Blogging is NOT entitlement to discussion or links!!
The fax machine, the telephone, email, a store PA system, newspaper, websites and printed company literature… all are communication devices with varying levels of potential response.
- You assume a fax goes to a person who requested, but fax machines have been abused as one way advertising tools. (Man, do I hate the health care or travel agency that insists on using up my toner for a fax blast… don’t they know it’s illegal?!)
- Both telephone (telemarketers) & email (spam) have been abused by so-called marketers and advertisers to the point it has become illegal in many cases.
- PA systems in stores sometimes drive me crazy (remember the BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL?) but if people are annoyed, it only drives them out of the store, so the marketers are much more sensitive to the annoyance factor. But as far as two way communication, it’s tough to yell back to a PA system and feel any satisfaction that your voice or opinion has been heard.
- Newspapers have their editorial and letters to the editor columns.
- Websites, well, websites usually have an firstname.lastname@example.org feature that is extremely less than satisfying.
- Printed company literature doesn’t even invite response. Extremely one way.
Does your blog feel more like one of these annoying on- way mediums or do you encourage feedback, response and conversation?
The best marketing campaigns involve the audience. So, maybe I’ve come full circle in this post. Yes, blogs could be a marketing function. But they need to be more like the moderator at a focus group and positioned more on the market research side where you’re looking for information. Not the marketing communications side where you’re disseminating information.