Why SME’s Should Harness The Blogosphere For Marketing

This post was originally featured on Fresh Business Thinking.

We’ve all read the articles about how you can use your own blog to market your business, but how about using other peoples’ blogs to market it too?

SMEs have a growing challenge to embrace social media, get heard above the noise and be transparent with any communication with consumers.  Most of us will have understood the need to claim our voices on twitter and facebook. This is all good and grand but it sits in a very closed environment.

Consumers are increasingly checking google in order to get extra background on businesses before making a buying decision, this is especially true for newly launched e-commerce websites and lesser known brands, they want the reassurance that the site is trustworthy, that other customers have bought from it and that most importantly there is help in need of assistance.

Embrace the bloggers

There are millions of people blogging daily or weekly about all manor of issues.  They blog about their favourite technology, cars, food and some even blog about what they wear every day.  These bloggers have an online voice, in an open environment, their findings can influence the buying decisions of their readers and the rich content of their blogs is like honey to a bear for Google and Bing.  Search engines value blog content highly and the long term benefits are SEO related needless to say that  you should start embracing the bloggers with your brand.

Bloggers should been seen as potential customers, they should be treated like a member of the press.  They are probably more influential than many of the press.  Fuelmywebsite was recently featured online in The Sun and The Guardian – collectively we received 150 visitors, from traditional mainstream press.. A quality blog review can deliver more visits but importantly, there are many quality blog reviewers to approach, many many more than mainstream press.

So how does it look for a new customer?  In this digital age, people will always firstly buy from recommendations from friends or family, failing that they look to google and will search for a brand.  If your business has no-one talking about, how will the new customer be able to determine that you are what you say you are.  In their eyes, you could be anyone.  Having bloggers talk about you not only enables initial coverage to their readers, it also helps Google position the reviews alongside your website, new customers can even leave a comment on the blog review and actually ask for that recommendation, why, how or what.  This also helps remove off some spurious comments that may have been written by your competitors..

Fuelmywebsite.com helps small businesses connect with bloggers through their blogger community of over 40,000 bloggers, Fuelmyblog. Businesses decide on a product they are willing to put in the hands of bloggers in return for a full review. This not only highlights SMEs products and services but it also generates fresh content from a customer perspective.

Bloggers only apply to campaigns if they are interested in the service or product in the first place and if it is relevant to their lifestyle. They receive no money and will blog in their own words their experience with the merchant and the quality of the service they receive.

Many SMEs are using our service to incorporate the reviews in their testimonial pages, they use this opportunity to engage with the blogger on twitter and use the link of the review on their facebook page. The service is both a powerful validation and SEO tool. While it may not generate a huge surge of traffic or instant sales a campaign is a fast track ticket to the blogosphere and online branding communication.

And that is why the UK Government are going to be using Fuelmywebsite to help UK companies export out of the UK and reach farther afield.

Kevin Dixie is Managing Director of Fuelmywebsite and can be contacted by email kevin {@} fuelmyblog.com (remove the {}’s) and found on Twitter @kevindixie

Is There Really No Such Thing As Bad Publicity?

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Ok so it’s front page of the Daily Fail, but how much does it matter to the brand of Superdry, that the guy wearing their top is accused of murdering his new wife?

As a brand, Superdry became huge due to a certain David Beckham being photographed wearing one of their t-shirts.  It grew partly, or as some say, mainly because of great press.

Would this bad publicity put you off buying the garment?

The question is in the title of this post.