Over the past few years a lot of buzz has been created around the ideas of blogging. Like everything else on the web it started with a few internet geeks in the relegated corners of the networks. They wrote their thoughts and feelings and put them out there for others to read. And a few people did.
Then the momentum started to pick up. More people posted their own blogs, software was developed to facilitate the postings, people became interested and loyal readership developed. Innovation occurred, and vlogging and podcasts were born.
Now blogging is an internet industry unto itself.
And we all know that where there is a popular commodity there is a marketing opportunity.
Anything that people pay attention to can serve as a vehicle for marketing. Sports have sponsors, TV shows have commercials, pregnant women have built in billboards.
Blogs reach the public. People are paying attention to them and businesses can use that to connect with their market.
A web-log, or blog as we mostly call it, is a written journal that is posted to a user’s website. The content of a blog is completely user-specific. Some blog sites contain commentaries and reviews on places or people. Others give recaps and insights into news events. Some are educational in nature to showcase the thought leadership of the writer.
Some still retain the original journal purpose and function as personal diaries where people write their innermost thoughts and then publish them to the world.
Just as the theme of the blog is specific to the writer, so are any special features. Many times you will find that blogs contain pictures and other images, links to other sites or other blogs, and even more advanced features like audio files or videos.
But the hallmark feature of a blog is that the message is delivered as written communication.
Vlog’s, or video-logs are very similar to blogs in that they serve the same purpose. People use them to convey their thoughts and opinions.
The distinction between a blog with video stream and a vlog is that in the blog, the video will be what the commentary is written about, whereas in the vlog the video will actually be the commentary itself.
It’s similar to the difference between a newspaper and the six o’clock news – one you read, and the other you watch.
Vlogs really started to gain their popularly in just the past couple of years, so they and their technology are still relatively new. As digital video cameras have become more affordable and accessible, vlogs have become more common and I think that we are going to see a really big jump in the ways that vlogs are used. It is possible that they will replace blogs as the most common form.
Going even further, a podcast is a little more complicated of an idea. Unlike the blogs or vlogs, a podcast is meant to be downloaded directly onto an i-pod – although it can be experienced through the website as well.
Basically, a user downloads a feed that will provide them with updated podcasts on their portable entertainment unit. And for as long as they subscribe to the podcast they will continue to receive the updated feed.
Originally, the podcasts were audio only, but now that we have the ipod video, podcasts can be digital images as well. One of the greatest advantages of podcasts is that they are transportable. You don’t need to be at the computer anymore.
Blogging, vlogging and podcasts all welcome user comments. They invite interaction, and that attracts visitors.
These three methods are here to stay, and they can help your business a great deal. If you are not incorporating these methods into your marketing campaign, you are missing out on a great opportunity.
Companies and marketers are understanding that the use of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts can generate a lot of buzz around their products and services if used correctly.
Let us know how you are using these online tools to help grow your business.