A blog or web log is an online journal where information is instantly published, and is maintained by someone referred to as a blogger. Advertising and publicizing brands through this medium is known as blog marketing. It includes ad placements, blogger reviews & recommendations, promotion and syndication across blogs.
As with websites, different ad formats can be placed on blogs either through third party ad serving or directly through the blog owner. Depending on the type of blog and size of readership, these platforms can be important partners in creating extensive brand visibility online.
Whether you’re shopping for a new smart phone or reserving a hotel room, it’s very likely that you’d have visited a relevant blog and read an ‘expert’ review before deciding where to put your money. Increasingly, these independent reviews are affecting consumer decisions – a thumbs-up from a reliable blogger can significantly bump up sales. I never gave much thought to buying a Samsung phone until I stumbled upon a review on www.mashable.com. This was beyond an ad! It was an objective and clear assessment by someone who understood the technology and had used the product. My conversion was almost instant.
As news travels extremely fast, viral blog entries give amazing power to blog marketing. Interesting reviews are passed on from reader to readers and blog to blogs via likes, comments and shares, leading to exponential exposures for products and services. Recently, a popular tech blog TechCrunch posted a review of the new Samsung Galaxy S III and this entry included a drop test video from another tech blog GizmoSlip – positive or negative, the potential to go viral is always there.
The opportunities for brands using blog marketing are extensive, but a serious downside is the little control advertisers have over the message that goes out.