“And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME’s Person of the Year of 2006 is you.” (Singh et al 2008)
Web 2.0 as described by O’Reilly is a ‘‘set of principles and practices’’ that include looking at the web as a ‘‘platform,’’ and aims at ‘‘harnessing collective intelligence’’ (Singh et al 2008) Blogs are one of the leading tools in the next generation of the Internet tools in Web 2.0. (Singh et al 2008) Consumer Generated Media (CGM), such as blogs (a contraction of the term “Web logs”), have witnessed explosive growth in recent. (Hiroshi et al 2012) For example, the number of blogs worldwide was estimated to be 184million, with a readership of 346million. (Hiroshi et al 2012)
Blogs “illustrate the fusion of key elements of human desire—to express one’s identity, create community, structure one’s past and present experiences—with the main technological features of 21st century digital communication”. (Gurak 2008) Blogs can serve as a “lens to observe the way in which people currently use digital technologies and, in return, transform some of the traditional cultural norms—such as those between the public and the private”. (Gurak 2008) You “cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they’re…the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they’re going to shake up just about every business. Blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite.” (Singh et al 2008)
These changes in the marketplace have forced “ﬁrms to seek new opportunities to differentiate their products and services”. (Singh et al 2008) Firms are now “involving the customer in the creation, delivery, and dissemination of the brand message.” (Singh et al 2008) The vast majority of “bloggers are said to be individuals who blog about everything from political issues to technology trends.” (Singh et al 2008) Blogs are important as “blogosphere, the collection of all blogs on the Internet, is made up of more than 60 million individual blogs, and the number is growing daily.” (Singh et al 2008) There are approximately 50,000- 70,000 blogs launched every day, with 29,100 updates every hour.” (Singh et al 2008)
Blogs are said to bridge the generation gap. Young customers use blogs as well as “71% of 16-34 year olds in the U.S. have participated in a blogging activity, and they are three times more likely than people 35-49 to manage or write their own blog.” (Singh et al 2008)
In addition, “Firms that use blogs are ﬁnding that it provides them a new way to stay relevant to their customers.” (Singh et al 2008) Blogs are also making it easier for marketers to “segment and personalise their interaction with customers, and more than 60% have increased both the level of personalisation and level of customization of interactions with their customers.” (Singh et al 2008) Thus “blogs offer firms the ability to connect with customers in a unique and personalised manner where everything from brand promotions to new product ideas can be effectively communicated”. (Singh et al 2008) GM is said to be “an excellent example of this where they use blogging to improve marketing communications.” (Singh et al 2008)
To gain benefits of blogging here are 3 tips for Business and Beginners:
1. Each blog post should have a goal to play where a style of a blogging technique is at it’s core. 8 Ogilvy Blogging Techniques are advised to be studied and followed, to reach a diversity of content across platform as well as relate to a variety of audiences.
2. Content is advised to organised around persona’s pain points and values where“personas should be brief, pulling out the highlights from your in-depth marketing personas that concisely explain who your target audience is, their pain points, the value your company provides, how they like to be communicated with, and a picture to give writers a visual to keep in mind when creating content”.(Eridon 2012)
In order to create a Persona, HubSpot advises on 9 questions to be asked when developing buyer personas’ so I made sure include these in my questionnaire.
Firstly,advised is the collection of “demographic information about your personas will help you perform more targeted offline and online marketing, but it also helps paint a picture of who your personas are.” (Eridon 2012) Secondly, the inclusion of questions which help to “understand “how a typical day in their life runs” (Eridon 2012) by including questions such as “what do they do for fun and who are the people who matter the most in their life.” (Eridon 2012) Lastly, identify pain points where questions raised are correlated to problems and stress.
Moving on, it is also important to understand “what would make your persona get really, really excited about”. (Eridon 2012)
An example of a created Persona of my own, here is an example:
Julie the Juggler : Between Profession and Social Life
Age: 20-late 20s
Occupation: College Student Undergraduate Course/ Postgraduate Course
Education: Leaving Certificate/ Diploma
Location: Ireland (mostly Dublin)
Pain Points: Finance, managing balance between professional and social life, time management, not enough hours in the day, no motivation to do work, procrastination habits, overwhelmed.
Values: Family, Friends, Travelling, Success in chosen Career, Wealth and Health as well as Happiness.
Behavior: Surfaces the Internet for academic and shopping purposes as well as to visit social media sites such as Facebook Twitter Instagram. Reads a daily newspaper as well as fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Tatler etc. Enjoys exercising as well as staying at home while watching TV series such as Game of Thrones, The Simpsons, Suits, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, Brooklyn 99, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement.
3. The creation of a year content editorial with the use of Hubspot Content Plan.
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