Social marketing strategies have captured center stage on the internet over the last few years. The ability to interact with others at social sites is what makes them an effective marketing platform for any online business.

It seems that every day a new method of traffic generation is discovered utilizing another recently ‘uncovered’ technique influenced by one of these ‘interactive’ sites.

Blogs appear to be the primary choice amongst social sites for use as marketing platforms. So how do blogs measure up in effectiveness and popularity for online marketing as compared to websites?

Do blogs actually threaten to replace websites for online marketing purposes?

Let’s see how the two compare:

EASE OF USE

Well if you consider the ease involved in setting up a blog compared to a website it’s a no brainer. Even an internet novice would have little difficulty in setting up a blog and have it running in a matter of minutes. Posting to your blog is just as easy and consists of simply composing the content and then publishing it to the internet with the click of a button.

The set up of a website does require some technical knowledge involving the use of html coding, Frontpage, or FTP thereby making the setup a little more involved and time consuming.

SITE VISITOR INTERACTION

Blog visitors are able to leave comments and responses allowing them to interact with the blog owner. Websites on the other hand only give out information and generally limit the visitor’s responses to either making a purchase or not.

Benefits that are derived from the interactivity of a blog include:

? The ability to utilize reader comments and/or feedback to make improvements.

? The chance for blog owners to gain insight into the mindset of the readers thru their opinions and comments. The insight gained can be use to make any future marketing efforts all the more effective.

? The sense of community that results from the give and take between blog owners and their readers.

? The increased satisfaction of blog readers upon gaining the feeling of involvement thru the responses they receive from their comments.

? The development of a bond between and amongst readers and blog owners due to their opinion and idea sharing which results in a greater sense of trust.

CONTENT FRESHNESS

A website contains product information thereby creating little reason to routinely change or add to the content.

Blogs on the other hand reflect fresh content regularly. The frequency of posting insightful, informative, or entertaining content is what attracts readers back and is a major reason blogs are as popular as they are.

Search engines also love the constant posting of new content and reward blogs with higher search rankings as a result.

Now an argument here could be why even consider websites in your marketing mix. Well before you pull the plug on your websites consider this.

Websites serve a very definite purpose in online marketing since they are dedicated to extensive product pitching which visitors expect and accept.

Blogs however focus more on supplying free and useful content without any sales pressure. This is how the trust and respect is earned. Any sales efforts on a blog should be more in the form of suggestions or recommendations referring readers to websites more dedicated to selling.

In the end it seems apparent that websites still maintain a prominent role in online promotional activities.

While blogs, by utilizing social marketing techniques, are effective at developing trust and gaining influence, websites excel at pitching products and getting orders. Proper coordination between the two can explode your online business. All things considered there is very little reason to NOT introduce both these online platforms into your current marketing mix today!

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