In 2015, there’s no doubt that brands and agencies must integrate social media influence (SMI) marketing strategies in their development plans, and that blogs should be included in their priorities. With over 350 blog posts shared every minute through social networks, and nearly 200 million blogs in the world, the blogosphere is both an inexhaustible source of premium content, and a privileged social ecosystem to establish and maintain long-term relationships with influencers. It’s also the ideal platform to build an online reputation and expand influence. Here are 6 reasons to incorporate blogs into your SMI marketing strategy:
1 – Brands integrate blogs into their marketing strategies
A recent survey (the Tomoson firm), conducted among 125 agencies and companies, and reported by the Social Media Examiner, demonstrates that social media influence marketing strategies are profitable for brands and organizations. In 2014, social media influencer marketing campaigns made $6.50 for every dollar invested in a campaign.
It’s not surprising that almost 60% (58%) of respondents are considering increasing their SMI budget during the year. 50% of the respondents are focused on the ROI and use SMI to increase their generate leads and drive sales. 40% of respondents focus on building their brand.
Although the survey doesn’t draw conclusions, it does support the trend observed in recent years. Companies and brands now include content marketing in their social influencer strategy. And, when asked which platform they use, 37% opt for the blog.
2 – Internet users rely more on bloggers
Meanwhile, web users are turning more and more to social media for information and keep abreast of the news. With new mobile technologies and content platforms, such as the Huffington Post, anyone can share and comment on news and current affairs in real time. While the credibility and trust in traditional media are crumbling gradually, these bloggers – commentators (or journalists – citizens) are gradually replacing professional journalists in public opinion.
Over the years, some bloggers have acquired an excellent reputation, enabling them to reach a wider audience. These are the new stars of social media, which develop compelling content in popular niches such as health, fashion, lifestyle, or family and leisure and now with the emergence of mom and dad bloggers. As for celebrities, they’re often compensated in one way or another by the organizations and brands using them.
3 – Blogs can evolve in different formats and reach various clientele
When blogging first started, it was mainly text and maybe an image. But they have evolved to rich, robust content and are the primary tool of social media. Today, with all distribution means at their disposal, bloggers can offer their content in several formats, and engage various clientele.
Increasingly, bloggers – influencers operate on several platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or even Meerkat and Periscope, to engage a new generation of users increasingly turned into rich content. Others will use different social media tools, such as podcasts or webcasts and video panels, for their intended audience.
4 – Thought leaders favor blogs in their interactions
Celebrities and newsmakers use traditional media (TV, radio, cinema, press), and super users of social networks, prefer landing pages for their recognition. For opinion leaders, their blog platform becomes the basic foundation of their personal branding, on which they build their online reputation and credibility. It’s the seat of their influence in their communities.
Opinion leaders will emphasize collaboration that allows them to add value to their blog, and increase their authority to their community. They will seek further collaborations that enable them to create new content, and get insider information. (Read also: Three Major Challenges of Influence Marketing for Businesses)
5 – The blog reveals the key to social media influence marketing
An influencer’s blog is the nerve center of all their activities on the Web and social media. It’s their main broadcast channel, their owned media, all of their content will come off their web platform. This is their key.
For companies and organizations, who operate a network of blogs several and want or need to tap into an influencer’s network, they can use the influencer’s blog for research. The influencer’s platform will allow one to learn more about the blogger, their skills and professional services, and the influencer’s community, including who they influence and who influences them. In time, the influencer’s blog will reveal a good place to start and begin a relationship, including commenting their posts, or building on their content to create new content (with their permission). (Read also: Four Rules to Build Lasting Relationship with an Influencer)
6 – Blogs bring added value to communication
The blog is an essential tool for professionals, businesses, and organizations. It’s the foundation for social media influence marketing. It assists the influencer to stand out of the crowd and affirm their leadership in their niche. It establishes a blogger’s trademark and lets them control their digital identity.
By producing and regularly publishing relevant and quality content, which isn’t promotional, professionals, businesses, and organizations, can bring value to their community. By avoiding the trap of self-promotion, a blog will gain credibility and trust, of customers and influencers with whom one wishes to develop a lasting relationship. (Read also: Blogging Strengthens Social Media Influence)
What do you think? Do you think that blogs have become a must for professionals and companies on the Web and social media? Share your experience.