I consider a blog the center of a content-based social media marketing strategy. Most content can be published as blog posts and then shared to social platforms. The general layout of a blog as well as the common software features make it easy to integrate with the rest of the social Web. Those visitors who find the content via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and follow it back to the blog can be prompted to subscribe to the blog via e-mail and become part of the audience sharing the next awesome piece of content your brand publishes.
But blogging isn’t as sexy as it used to be. There are so many shiny, new technology tactics and social sites around that the lowly weblog has taken a bit of a backseat in terms of marketer mindspace. In this chapter, I’ll present my body of research on blogging and how you can continue to use it effectively as the hub in your online marketing wheel.
As I often do when researching a new marketing channel or platform, I begin with a survey to understand the qualitative role that channel plays in the lives of users. When I started analyzing blogging, the first survey question I asked was, “How much do blogs affect your purchasing decisions?”
I’ve been a fan of blogging for many years. I started writing my first blog back in 2001, in fact. But even I was surprised by the importance of blogging for users gathering buying information. Close to 80 percent of my respondents answered “somewhat” or “very much” (Figure 7.1).