I compare my experience with blogging to a journey of self-discovery. The realisations I’ve made along the way include:
- It’s easy to spout your opinions without reasoning simply because you think you’re right. It’s much harder to explain your thoughts with substance.
- The freedom to create your own work schedule seems appealing but can be dangerous. Staying on track requires a special kind of motivation.
- It’s good to be a sceptic. Analyse what you’re reading and don’t be easily swayed by other’s opinions or false information. But if you do find a reputable source and learn something new, allow your views to change. This is how you grow.
Personal reflections aside, I’ve found professional value in blogging as well. In my opinion, the most significant aspect of blogging is its ability to connect you with others who have similar interests. Sadly, my closest friends and family do not jump at the opportunity to discuss marketing theory at length. Blogging has allowed the students in our module to continue our lecture discussions outside of the classroom. Additionally, I’ve come across some fantastic professional marketing blogs that I plan to continue visiting regularly. Some include Marketing Land, Content Marketing Institute and UnMarketing if you’re interested.
However, apart from connecting with other marketers, I don’t see much professional use for blogging as an actual marketing tool. The issue I find with company blogs comes down to authenticity.
As consumers, we are commonly sceptical of advertisements (Holtzclaw, 2014). If a business was to run their own blog, we would assume they would only write posts in the interest of profit. So why should we believe them?
To overcome this issue, I’d say the best route is to partner with the people who have already captivated your target audience. Provide the product or service and then leave the blogging up to them. Personally, I prefer to read lifestyle and beauty blogs run by people my own age as I can easily relate to them. I highly value the opinions of some of the bloggers I follow because I’ve tried and liked many of their recommendations over the years. They’ve gained my trust. Because of this, I compare a blogger’s review of a product to a word of mouth recommendation from a friend. And that is one of the most powerful forms of marketing to date (Nielsen, 2012).
So will I continue to use blogging in the future? Yes, as a tool for industry knowledge and communication. But as an actual marketing tool for business? Not likely.
Can you see any value in blogging for businesses?
Holtzclaw, Eric (2014) Authenticity and the Opt-Out Generations. Available from: https://www.ama.org/publications/MarketingInsights/Pages/Authenticity-and-the-Opt-Out-Generations.aspx Accessed: 14 November 2015.
Nielsen (2012) Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages. Available from: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2012/global-trust-in-advertising-and-brand-messages.html Accessed: 14 November 2015.