You all have heard of blogs, you have probably visited without necessarily understanding its usefulness.
The principle of a blog is simple: a web page updated regularly, in the form of articles and / or news and classifieds. So, visitors can add their own comments, and become in turn, publishers content.
Thus, any user can become a content editor, or actor in its own web, describing her personal experience or simply commenting on any event.
In addition, no technical skill is required to create a blog. Indeed, its creation is often done through a content editing software (Content Management System like WordPress) that determines the structure of the web page and the graphical appearance. In short, no one needs to know code or programming to create a blog.
12 million Internet users have created their own blogs on the Internet. Some even compete with the sites of some corporate business, using the power of spreading the cloth (traffic, global network …). Many companies have understood the issue in their marketing strategies and it is a tool that can serve as a forum to gather valuable information for the company.
Indeed, the news posted on blogs can spread like a virus. Thus, companies try to control or use this marketing tactic to promote a product / service, or to promote a brand image. These methods fall into one word: Viral marketing, which is to convey a message that spreads among consumers, thanks to the Internet.
Blog is the new communication tool for businesses
However, communicating with blogs, with bloggers and therefore requires taking into account the specificities and sensitivities of any individual.
Otherwise, readers might eventually turn against the advertiser via a series of devastating reviews and a bad viral marketing can engage.
Return of Investment (ROI)
If one is interested in blogs and their profits, often referred to as ROI or return on investment. It is often a good measure especially for a company that invests in that medium.
There is an interesting article written by Charlene Li on the ROI of blogs. It subdivides the King in three parts, namely the benefits, costs and risks. We mean particularly benefits, even if we should not overlook the other two.
But how do you measure intangible things like the benefits of a blog?
Use only the number of visitors, subscribers Feedburner or the number of comments give an idea, but it is unclear.
Here are some benefits and ideas for the measure.
Better education of customers
If a visitor is converted into a customer is that he understands what you say, what you offer and trust you. If the conversion rate of visitors into buyers is higher for visitors to the blog so we can deduce that the blog provides a profit. Do your blog readers have a higher conversion rate for visitors from one web site?
Better visibility in search results
Does the traffic from search engines has increased? Is it due to articles on the blog? It can be measured easily by watching which pages are redirected to the search. The benefit is proportional to the blog attracts visitors from as percentage of search tools.
Reduced costs of public relations
Does the blog generate an impact similar to standard public relations? It can be measured with the number of media articles that take over our blog or inform through it. By monitoring the links referrers, you can follow and talking points to you.
Creating a community
Reach a targeted audience and create a community around our business. This results in less expensive communications. It can measure the number of comments, RSS subscribers and repeat visitors.
This ROI is typically for a Brand name. An individual’s blog can turn to an brand. For that, one need to write evergreen articles. Even a blog on knitting or gardening can turn to a Brand, not that you have to write a product’s feature, tutorials, technology related things. Success dependent on SEO for sure, but turning a visitor to friend via your unique writings is the key to success. Indirect measurements of this “turning a visitor to friend” is pageviews, time spent on your site etc; where as the direct measurement is via comments.