Take a few minutes to read this iMedia article, Blog Blots, by Jim Meskauskas.
His is an “outsider looking in” perspective, but those of us so close to blogs that we can’t see the forest for the trees need that. As a business blog consultant, I’ve come to realize they are not the 2nd Coming. I also realize they have a strategic place in the overall marketing mix and should not be overlooked by marketers seeking to reach a niche audience.
In my view, the real strength to advertisers is that, in placing their ads on blogs, they are reaching tightly-niched, very passionate audiences, albeit small ones. So far as marketing is concerned, with few exceptions the real power of blogs is not the individual voice, but the collective. To place ads on many blogs (which is still an inexpensive venture by comparison) they reach a group of people most likely to buy and large enough to make it worth the effort.
The article mentions advertisers starting their own blogs, which is a trend that will and should continue. Blogs do have singular strengths marketers should take advantage of. But, blogs should be only part of the marketing mix, not the whole enchilada. Email, SEO/SEM, direct mail, are proven marketing tools with great viability.
Blogs as a marketing tool is still a nascent form to be sure, but I’m hopeful they will prove themselves over time to have a similar level of viability. I’ve staked my career on it. In fact, Jim shares a similar view, so let me close with a quote from the article…
Blogs are going to be a permanent tool in the marketing kit. They can provide marketers with a way into audiences that may not be efficiently or effectively reached any other way. But they provide no more marketing pixie dust than any of the other myriad tools marketers have at their disposal: better for some products and objectives, worse for others.
Thanks to Lee Odden for the heads-up on this.