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The term blog marketing has no clear definition. It can refer to the monetization of blogs or be part of content marketing. In the latter, bloggers offer other bloggers or companies their blog as a publication platform for guest posts or to write posts on their behalf. Very often, the term “blog marketing” is also abused to mean the exchange of links through guest posts.
The blogosphere has grown with the development of the Internet and is an integral part of the Web 2.0. Private individuals can, for example, write about things that they enjoy and want to share with others with the help of numerous free CMS systems like WordPress. Unlike mainstream news sites or online versions of newspapers, blog posts are almost always subjective. And therein lies their strength because they generate high popularity with readers who can identify with the content.
In the further development of blogging, some bloggers managed to monetize their blogs through advertisements from affiliate links or programs like Google AdSense. Today, bloggers can live off their revenues from blogs especially in the US where blogs are very popular. The “blog” system has become a real business model for Internet writing enthusiasts.
Some well-known bloggers are opinion leaders in their field and often shape public debate. A recent example of such a blogger is Sascha Lobo who repeatedly writes on issues relating to network freedom. Blogs such as t3n or Gizmodo have a similar influence on technology.
Companies, online shops and big brands have recognized the great influence of powerful blogs over the years and attempted to either acquire the blogging system or failing that, get bloggers to write posts for them. This would be a case of blog marketing.
In blog marketing, blogs are monetized through advertisements. Moreover, bloggers can offer to write on certain topics. In this case a “customer” will book a post or article, which he will pay for.
In blog marketing as part of content marketing, marketing plans are usually created first. Blogs are reviewed in regard to topic and selected based on their scope and opinion leadership. A specific subject is then defined, which is spread across the blogosphere in the form of various postings. Bloggers usually write posts themselves in order to publish content that is as authentic as possible. Before choosing a blog marketing strategy, the objectives should be clearly defined.
Blog marketing is suitable for the following scenarios:
- Launch of a new product
- Testing or series of tests on one or more products
- Crisis PR
- Strengthening a brand
Advantages of blog marketing
Blog marketing has many advantages for online marketing. Firstly, brand awareness can be enormously strengthened through far-reaching posts on selected blogs. On the other hand, blog marketing provides a platform to positively launch products on the market as part of testing.
Other pluses are high flexibility and speed. Published content can be on the web and depending on topic, circulated on social networks within a few hours. At the same time, marketers can quickly react to topic changes or news and post in appropriate blogs.
If blog marketing is done sensibly, it can be very successful. However, there are borderline cases in which this form of marketing is not worthy of its name.
There are now thousands of blogs that deal with the issue of product testing. In many cases publishers are more concerned about obtaining a product cheaply or for free than testing it in an objective and appealing way. In such cases, advertisers must carefully consider whether a publication might be worth it and whether it would contribute to the reputation of the company if the brand or the name of the store appears on an inferior blog.
The term “blog marketing” is frequently used by link builders when they want to avoid the term “link exchange.” This is the practice of exchanging articles, which are published on the blog of the other. This has nothing to do with marketing and also contradicts the guidelines of search engine providers. In extreme cases, this type of “marketing” can lead to damaging the link profile of a website.
Similar to content marketing, blog marketing runs the risk of being characterized as surreptitious advertising. Paid postings are theoretically advertisement and would also have to be labeled as such.