Five Ways to Leverage Blogs for Marketing Intel
According to blog search tool Technorati, more than 63 million blogs exist in the world—and that number is increasing by the millions every month. All those bloggers are writing about something, and that something could be your company.
That’s why marketers can’t afford to ignore the blogosphere, says Dan Lynn, co-founder and CEO of relevantNOISE, a Flemington, N.J.-based blog mining services firm. At last week’s NCDM conference and exhibition in Orlando, Lynn discussed with attendees some of the insights that can be mined from blogs, and offered a few ideas for how to leverage that information.
When it comes to mining, marketers can track keywords, tone (negative or positive), blogger gender and influence (based on the number and credibility of other blogs and sites that link to a particular blog). Based on the context of this data, marketers can develop strategies to minimize brand damage or maximize positive trends. For example:
* If you find content that is libelous, you can choose to take legal action, such as issuing cease and desist letters.
* If you find negative posts that are not libelous, be aware that it’s hard to fight back with your own counter-messages posted during the same time period as the attack. One of the best ways to reduce the impact of negative blogging, says Lynn, is to have already developed and maintained your own thought leadership blog that establishes ongoing credibility. In the online space, it’s about being proactive rather than reactive.
* If you find influential bloggers—especially brand evangelists—you could treat them like editors and reach out to them with information and other types of support for their message-spreading activities.
* You could find a growing segment of brand supporters you haven’t actively pursued, either in the online or offline space.
* You could identify ideas for improving your products, customer service, marketing creative or other aspects of your business.