Are blogs effective as brand-building tools?

By Jhumur Nandi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | September 05, 2012
As more bloggers' meets are organised by various brands and more people share their experiences on social networking sites, does the brand itself benefit?

Max Hegerman
Sr VP and Digital Head, JWT India

Max Hegerman

In a word, yes. Consumer preferences in India are the result of many influences with (extended) family and friends playing a key role.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and now Pinterest do most of the heavy-lifting in the traditional social media space since consumers are connected to their near ones through these portals and are influenced by their affiliations. Blogs lie just outside the immediate circle of the influence of family and friends.

Once a person engages with a blog or forum, a connection - based on common interest that can be powerful and lasting - is formed. If there is an appropriate brand fit, brands can reach out to bloggers to leverage their influence. The right blogger-brand relationship helps in building consumer confidence and influences consumer behaviour.

Kiruba Shankar
CEO, Business Blogging

Kiruba Shankar

Each and every medium has its own weightage. And, therefore, a blog also continues to hold its value due to the fact that it is an excellent tool for long-term writing.

Blogs are fantastic in search engine optimisation as they get indexed on the net very easily. And lastly blogs are wonderful complimentary tools for brand networking sites because it allows brands to connect with the right target group (TG). Moreover blogs can be used as a public relations tool.

And if used effectively, blogs are a great medium for brand advocacy, as it allows consumers to share interesting stories with enormous reach.

Girish Mahajan
Co-founder and Director, Webitude

Girish Mahajan

If blogs have the right intent and commitment, then they most certainly work. By intent. What I mean is, it should have something different to share and should have quality.

A blog is successful in cases where the content is unbranded, and have a strong perspective which can - and will - interest readers. Commercialised content will not work for blogs. It will be extremely difficult. Moreover, a blog needs a dedicated team, which can be the in-house corporate communication team.

Moreover, bloggers come with a strong following - good bloggers have hundreds of fans and followers. They have the ability to captivate audiences and bloggers rank very high on Google Search. These are factors that make it easy for blogs to work well for brands.

Neeraj Goyal
GM (marketing), Johnson & Johnson

Neeraj Goyal

Bloggers are not used to sell brands. However, they can be a big help in propagating the brand's idea as bloggers can take forward an idea and change or influence the consumers' decision. That influence could be negative or positive.

Bloggers are writers with independent viewpoints. They have - and express - a certain opinion and have a certain number of dedicated followers. If a blog is written well and in an engaging manner, it can stimulate the thinking of the consumers and influence their buying decision.

This can turn out to be invaluable for brands.

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