“Markets are Conversations”- Rettberg, ‘Blogging Brands’
Blogs have evolved in that they are now being used for economic purposes. Many companies have blogs to entice and consumers. They have become an increasingly popular marketing tool to appeal to the masses.
The internet enables conversation, it allows consumers to ask questions and state opinions. Where print tends to be a one-sided dialogue, blogs and other digital media allow for a more interactive public sphere. Corporate blogs may not attract immediate attention, so they can pay popular bloggers to advertise for them, demonstrating the power of networking on the internet. Bloggers are now able to make a living off of their blogs. Trusty product reviews have always been in high demand, a blogger with enough credibility has a large audience an audience corporations want to turn into customers. Thus, companies can pay these bloggers to review and hopefully to advocate for their product. Bloggers can also make a substantial living through donations. However, living by means of “micro patronage” is risky, and rare.
The article states that businesses that blog “generally don’t want to monetize a blog through ads or sponsorship– instead, they want to use the blog to boost an existing income stream by generating new attention for their products or services.” The most successful corporate blogs preserve the sense of personality that blogs are known for. This allows them to connect with their audience on a more personal and less professional level.
Businesses also blog so that they can participate in the conversation that already exists about them. This way they can defend themselves if necessary or make statements. It allows their consumers to feel that they do care and want them to have a good experience with their company. When people know that corporations are actually in the conversation they tend to be more respectful and accountable for their words.
Many companies such as Google are encouraging their individual employees to blog. Further establishing a human connection with corporations and consumers. Google employee Matt Cutts created a personal blog at Google’s recommendation. Though it is a personal blog, many of his stories relate to his job, allowing people to get a first hand account of what the company is really like on the inside.
It is expected that corporate blogs allow fellow bloggers to be aware of their identity. This preserves the trust and accountability that is so important in blogging. “Conventions for displaying truth and integrity have long been established in journalism, marketing, and face to face communication” (Rettberg). These ideals are still being established in blogging, a newer and more interactive medium of marketing.