living on both sides of a blog.

If one thing has been made clear throughout these last weeks, it is this:

The digital marketplace is  vast, comprised of numerous interactive platforms that are constantly evolving and adapting to better suit our digitally motivated culture. The Internet is accessible to more consumers than ever, and that fact, paired with the growing desire for global connectivity, has taken our marketplace into new territories of brand accessibility, reach, and experience. Take a look at this infographic that shows just how connected our digital world has become. Some of these interesting stats include:

-78.6% of Americans are on the Internet daily
-The use of mobile Internet access nearly doubles every year
-There is an average of over 3.2 billion Google searches every day

a-day-in-the-life-of-the-internet_5186937ec9c53_w587

This information is probably not all that shocking. Of course there has been a shift in digital communication, with a great explosion of digital adaptation in recent years alone. That is why there is a clear place for everyone and everyone in the digital marketplace – for social-sharers, content creators, information disseminators, fact gatherers…regardless of how you use and peruse the digital marketplace, the one likely fact remains that you do, in fact, use it.

—–

A very powerful “vendor” in this marketplace is found in the blog. Lifestyle blogs, fitness blogs, travel blogs, marketing blogs, inspirational blogs, and special-topic blogs. The blogs that exist in our digital marketplace are as unique and diversified as the marketplace itself. A few examples of blogs that I follow include:

The Londoner
The Happsters
Thought Catalog
CravesAdventure
MindBodyGreen
Skinny Mom
What Have We to Lose (my personal blog)
*And of course, all of the lovely blogs by my classmates on my Blogroll

Why, though, are blogs such a powerful tool in the business world? Blogs are flexible, relaxed representations of a company. Blogs are a place for information gathering and sharing, but also for questions. Blogs are thoughtful, and are one of the great assets to the marketing mix. Again, why? Because to a consumer, a blog is one of the strongest ways to connect with a brand.

From a consumer’s perspective, I love that I can visit a blog and get exactly the information I expect. I never have to search for information and filter through a variety of Google results. I know that when I visit MindBodyGreen, for example, I’ll be met with a plethora of fitness and nutrition tips that I can utilize. I know that the brand I’m connecting with has valuable information I need, all of which I can sift through, save, pin, share, like, tweet, or otherwise hang on to. I also love the intimate nature of a blog. The words are written by someone I feel connected to, through our common interests. I feel like I’m valued enough to read their specific words that they took the time to write. It’s a very personal experience, which only makes me a more loyal consumer. I’m all the more invested.

From a brand’s perspective, there are several advantages to managing a blog. From bettering skills as a writer, to expanding reach to new audiences, brand representatives can learn quite a few things (actually, 20 things) from implementing a blog. A blog is an inexpensive way to create a personal relationship with  consumers. Businesses can take advantage of the conversational nature of a written blog, which welcomes readers and strengthens consumer connection to the brand. Andrew Davies wrote a blog post that confirms this, saying “We all relish the personal touch, and this is no less the case when it comes to the marketing we are subjected to online.” When consumers feel they are receiving personal and pertinent information to them, they are much more likely to engage with that brand long-term. Additional advantages of blogging include building brand network and database, enhancing company visibility, increased product exposure, solidifying and enhancing brand identity, and optimizing your search engine efforts. All of these ideas are explicated here.

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I have a blog for my personal and professional life, and can speak directly to the truths of this post. Blogs are not only an excellent way to express your own thoughts and observations on life and work, but are an incredibly exciting “vendor” in our digital marketplace. We experience the familiarity of our social media favorites. Of course, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr etc. will always have a place in our everyday. Yet, a blog offers a slightly different experience. As both a consumer and a marketer, blogs are a vibrant representation of the digital world in which we live, interact, share, and learn.

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4 thoughts on “living on both sides of a blog.

  1. Hi Lindsay,
    You make a great point about the blogs you follow because you know what to expect. It’s the same reason I choose Google for search and shop on the Boden and Amazon websites. In the past, these brands have made things easy for me: finding information, clothing, and search results. I know these brands are going to come through for me, making the path from point A to point B quick and successful with their relevance.

    • That’s incredibly true. A blog takes consumers from point A to point B efficiently, and without clutter. Another advantage of a blog – that I just realized – is how easily the information cuts through the normal clutter of brand websites. Blogs are up front, and give exactly what is expected! Great point!

  2. The point you made about the advantage of a brand blog providing intimate connection is the one that resonated the most with me.

    Personally, I love brand blogs because the voice is typically much more personal and honest that what you might read on a company’s news page with all of its press releases or even on the other pages within its website with a much more company-styled voice. Brand blogs often do a much better of connecting with the consumer on a more personal level and providing that feeling that the brand, or at least the staff who promote the brand, truly care about you as a consumer.

    When a company that I purchase dress clothes from takes the time to write about great ways to pair work outfits early in the morning when you’re rushing out the door, I feel a stronger connection to the brand because I see that the individuals behind it truly understand me as a consumer and want me to succeed in my life even when the result may not directly affect that brand’s bottom line.

  3. Rachel,

    This is exactly why I indulge in brand blogs as well. The voice is casual, relaxed, and one that I can trust and relate to. While so many brands seem out of reach (for size and power alone), a blog breaks down some of those intimidating walls and makes my connection with them easier and more trusting. Blogs are an extra effort made by brands, so when a brand takes that extra step to engage with me (and give me outfit advice), I definitely feel more valuable as a consumer!

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