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Wall Street Journal : Blog as business marketing tool has arrived

If there you were looking for documentation that professional marketing blogs were an effective marketing tool, look no further than Monday’s Wall Street Journal article Blogs Keep Internet Customers Coming Back.” (sub. req’ed)

If you’re one of many legal marketing professionals who know blogs need to take priority over Web site design or email newsletters but did not think your firm’s lawyers and administration would buy into blogs, cut the Journal article out and circulate it around the office. If you read the article and still do not think blogs need be on the front burner of your law firm’s marketing plans for this year, you probably didn’t think Amazon would be a big deal when the Wall Street Journal told you it would be about 8 years ago.

With 32 million people reading blogs, the Journal says “What began as a form of public diary-keeping has become an important supplement to a business’s online strategy: Blogs can connect with consumers on a personal level — and keep them visiting a company’s Web site regularly.”

Heck, I felt like I wrote the article when I saw the Journal’s key reasons blogs work:

  • Build high name recognition
  • Outstanding search engine results
  • Establish reputation as authority
  • Interactive medium
  • Connect with people

I have detailed the advantages the Journal and their sources saw in blogs.

  • More effective than static, brochurelike Web sites.
  • More effective than electronic newsletters that may get blocked by spam filters.
  • Big increases in Web site visitors within months, thanks largely to search engines’ enthusiasm for the medium.
  • Quality blogs tend to rise higher on search-results pages because other Web sites link to them
  • Engines like Google consider those links virtual popularity votes and use them to help determine display order
  • small-business owners also use blogs to establish reputations as authorities in their fields
  • While blogs help any size business, blogs offer little-known small businesses name recognition, and the chance to boost traffic.
  • Rather than marketing, blogs attract the largest audiences when they avoid overt commercialism and deliver compelling and credible content (Charlene Lee, analyst at Forrester Research).
  • A professional marketing blog for a lawyer in a niche area or a law firm practice area done right can be up on the Internet and achieving outstanding search engine results, far beyond your firm’s Web site, within a month or two. There is no way you are going to get a new Web site up or an email newsletter campaign achieving results within that time frame. Better yet, a professional marketing blog costs less than either.

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