A businessman asked me a few weeks ago whether blogs were the next internet bubble; a fad in other words. I told him no, that blogs were a subtantive communications platform and would likely become a stable among marketing communications practitioners. At the very least, I told him, blogging is a trend, but certainly not a fad.
I can understand this person’s reluctance to embrace something that might not have permanance. And, in light of the recent blog bashing, it’s reasonable to conclude they aren’t everything they’ve been hyped to be. Let me present what I believe is a balanced view.
Blogs are still a new, not-quite-proven communication platform.
There is insignificant data to form a hard-and-fast opinion of their benefit as a marketing communications tool. Yet, there are some success stories out there, and as blogs get the opportunity to prove themselves, I have little doubt they will.
Blogs are not the only marketing channel a business should employ.
Email which, according to MarketingSherpa is used by 91% of US Internet users on a regular basis, is still a very viable marketing channel. I’ve said before that blogs and email go together like “peanut butter and jelly.” Email is the channel of choice for many, but blogs open up and entirely new audience. RSS is also a new marketing channel businesses need to consider, and they are inherent to blogs. Add to that the use of banner and text ads and you have a pretty tidy marketing package.
Blogs offer a number of benefits if used correctly
I’ve said it a number of times, businesses that have a well-written, routinely-updated, keyword-oriented blog stand an excellent chance of getting high search returns. Consider for example what my friend and SEO-expert Wayne Hurlbert says about blogs potential as search engine magnets…
By adding a blog component to a website, the addition of relevant content is very easy. Simply by adding posts, discussing the main topics of the website, a webmaster can reap the benefits of fresh, keyword rich content. At the same time, the search engine bias towards fresh content, also boosts a site higher in the search rankings.
Not only that, blogs offer you the businessowner or corporate exec the opportunity to establish yourself among the elite in your industry. Journalists call you, not your competition, and you get the opportunity to set your business apart from the field. And those are just a few of the many benefits.
Are blogs a fad? Another hyped-up internet bubble waiting to burst? Nope. They’re here to stay. But neither are they the “goose that laid the golden egg” for online marketing. Yet, they deserve a place at the table alongside more traditional and long-established approaches like email and ad buys as well as even newer techniques like RSS.