Whatis a blog ? A blog (a contraction of the term "web log")is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order so that the internet user get the newest information. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts (web entries)
A blog is basically a streamlined website that has easier technology and is designed to facilitate a two-way conversation. Word of mouth marketing
More on Blog Bloggers are those who write (called posting) original articles for the blog and/or oversee the editorial process of a blog. Commenters refer to the online public who read and interact with the blogger(s) by leaving a ‘comment’ on a blog post. Content is a common term for the information written on the blog. Blogosphere is a term for all blogs as a family and their interconnectivity - a ‘social network’ of all blogs. It is common practice that blogs link to each other and share or comment on each others’ posts. Syndication/RSS Feeds (really simple syndication)- Syndication means the ability to make blog content available for other bloggers to use and publish, typically at no cost.
nann The weight of a Blog
A blog is more than a voice People recognize marketing spin whentheyseeit, whattheywantisauthenticity. Communicatingyourdreams, goals, strategies, triumphs and failurestransparently to customers and prospects.
Blog is a thought leadership ! People rarelyspend money or invest in a product or service if theydon’t trust the people behindit Building a reputation in the industrythatisrecognized and respected, such as the travelindustry.
Bloggers are considerablyinfluencing consumer choice
What Makes Blogs Special?
Everyone is Welcome - No matter your internet or technical abilities; everyone can blog. The free platforms make it easy and available to all.
Conversational Content - Blog content is designed to be an opinionated, two way conversation. It is based on personal interests, expertise, etc. This applies to a corporate or organizational blogs.
Reader Interaction - Blogs by nature invite reader commentary. It is recommended to allow comments, with or without an approval feature.
Freshness - Frequent posting is necessary to attract readers, create stickiness, gain credibility, and rank in search engines. No less than once weekly.
Interconnectivity - Blogs create communities by reciprocal linking, blog rolls, blog networks, etc.
You have control of the content thatgetscreated.
No rules! You do whateveryouwantwithyour blog.
RSSTechnology - Real Simple Syndication allows for content to be instantaneously updated to other blogs, blog readers, etc.
Who are the bloggers ? According to Forrester Research, the demographic breakdown of ‘Spectators,’ defined as online users who read blogs, watch videos or listen to podcasts.
49% of 12-17
59% of 18-21
54% of 22-26
41% of 27-40
31% of 41-50
26% of 51-61
19% of 62+
What the average blogger looks like ? Resource: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
What the average blogger looks like ? Educated, financially stable, 25-49 y.o. Resource: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
Who reads blogs? (in the US)
42% of internet users have read a blog(s)
33% read blogs regularly
11% read blogs daily
8% of Americans have a blog
46% of blog readers saying that they visit the same blogs regularly
54% surf for new and different ones
43% of blog visitors notice ads on blog websites
28% of US blog readers have taken an action based on a blog post
59 % of the internet userswanted to visit a country or a regionaftersurfing on a blog talking about it (Source : Benchmark Group).
Blogs: Why is it successful ? There are more than 133 million blogs with 1.5 million created weekly. 94 million US blog readers and 23 million American bloggers. Nearly 1 million blog posts every 24 hours. 95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs. Blogs in 81 languages and 66 countries. Resource: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
Blogs: Why is it successful ?
20% of bloggers think newspapers will be obsolete by 2018
50% think blogs will be primary news source by 2013
37% have had a blog post quoted in the traditional press
Resource: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
Blogs: Why is it successful ?
61% learn about products & services from other blogs
Only 1/3 turn to TV/Print as a source of info
Resource: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008
Why a blog in the travelindustry?
Communicate openly with potential travelers.
Provides an alternative form of communication.
Engage the influencer audience.
Change perception of your destination.
Public relations’ effect.
Easy solution for online participation.
Employee ownership / pride / moral.
Rethinksuccess … Would you rather have… 500 people who have actively subscribed to receive near-daily updates from a blog. Or 5,000 people who have subscribed to receive monthly emails (that they don’t open) ?
But where to start? What do you need?
Do I blog as a person or as a company
How muchcan I write about a topic ?
Can I writeappealing content?
Whatelsecan I do to findtopics ?
Whowillmaintainmy blog ?
Will you and your team dedicate the time required?
How do you motivate the blogging team?
Will you openly show blogger(s) identity?
What happens when a blogger leaves?
How will you address negative comments?
Is this the right tool for your demo / audience?
When do I startseeingresults ?
Blogger / content schedule.
Design / layout / specs.
Turn-key blogging platform.
Multiple, dedicated bloggers.
General blog guidelines.
Tone / voice guidelines.
Marketing / promotional / distribution plan.
Goals / tracking / statistics / monitoring.
Tips prior to launch
Know your audience.
Know the tone, the influencers and whatalreadyexists.
Begin posting content to your blog prior to launch.
Work on SEO
Know the Rules of the Game Before You Start Playing
Research and find other local bloggers
Develop a 3 and 6 month evaluation plan.
Develop an editorial calendar and stick to it!
Be aware of the dedication required.
Prepare for pain.
Tips while Blogging Be patient while building your audience. Post often / Post actionable topics / Be confident and comfortable about the topic Create your travel community Cultivate it. Participate and communicate with other bloggers. Incorporate your blog in everything (signature, website, business card, …) Read, friend, link, talk, learn, reference. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Animate, illustrate with web.2 Self evaluationworks / Don’tjustreacthowever Buildapprovalintoprocess (eg: Southwest Airlines the lobby blog) Coordinate/integrate With Traditional PR/Marketing Efforts Company news can be a blog post if it’s compelling info and offers original content (interviews, etc) beyond the press release information Recruit Internal Bloggers Solicit people from within the organization to be bloggers
Identifyyour audience The oneswho are involved in the tourisme promotion: Institutionals, tourist offices, …. The TouristOperationalActors Hotels, B&B, .. Attractions providers, museums, …. E-commerce actors Aggregators, pure players, TO on line, … Remember that they are Consumers before Members Remind them of the WIIFM - What’s In It For Them ?
Setting Up & Owning Your Blog How to Select a Blog Name Make it: Easy to remember & spell Make it: Relevant to your business Make it: the same as the URL Make it: Letters only; no numbers, punctuation, etc. Don’t use “blog” in the name - it’s redundant Secure the Domain Name Use a free service, but buy the domain name www.bastillemarketing.com, not www.bastillemarketing.blogspot.com Google or GoDaddy.com - very simple instructions Buy the .org, .com, .net, etc - its worth the $10/year for people to find you easily! The Intersection of Blogs and Print Incorporate your blog into ALL print pieces; Wherever your website is printed, so should be your blog Insert it in your email signature (Read our blog: www.associationABC.com) & in your website
What not to do ?
Disguise or fake your identity.
Write content months ahead of time.
Farm out the work.
Delete / erase comments w/o guidelines.
Obsess over traffic and PageRank.
Get off topic.
Consider yourself bigger than your readers.
Which blog platform to choose?
How to create a blog? www.blogger.com (launched in 1999) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnploFsS_tY
The Anatomy of a Blog
The Anatomy of a Blog Clean design; easy navigation Topic Tabs Subscribe Feature Follow Me Buttons About Tab Advertising Tab - easily could be a Donate Tab Date & Author - linked to bio
The Anatomy of a Blog Easy to Share via Twitter Clean design of blog post Picture insert; yet not cluttered (pls credit all photos!) Interactivity - recent comments; frequent commenters; encourages time spent on the page
The Anatomy of a Blog
Hyperlink to Author’s Bio and Post Archive
Comments visible - link to full list
Blog community badges
The Anatomy of a Blog Social Sharing Features & Find Me Functions
Blog on etourisme !
Instead of focusingmy communication on my B&B, my main objective was to sharemy passion and knowledge on myregionwith the visitors, to givethempersonnalisedadvices on whattheirholidayscouldbe.
CDT Calvados created a blog on a historicalcharacter, Guillaume le Conquérant,greatsymbol for NormandyThis mixed modern/historywithgeolocalisation of the battleson Google Maps, pictures on flickr & videos. Tags are named “crown”, “Pape” or “Duché de Normandie”.A spaceisdedicated to childrenwith a videao, quizz and a booklet.OnlyFacebook page &Twitteraddress are missing La Fabuleuse Epopée
A blog not from a company but the ownerhimself !
The authorswho tell stories on Creuse are real « Creuse » lovers & from Creuse! Theirpictures are clearlyfeaturedon the right with links to each of them. Message becomesthusmuchclearer for the internet user.
A success story ???
A sample on a avdertising blog Creation of a website to support an offline advertisingcampaign 2005-2006 : cigale campaign 2007 : Ne partez plus en vacances, le blog New community trends, new travellers ‘ behaviours = enhance the everyday life, provide an authenticenvironment, full of simplicty, complicty and sharings Ne partez plus en vacances ! For a new internet area Create a community in whicheach one canfinditsown place and participate. = source of information for Bouches du Rhône Communication platforms .
3. The content
Select 4 spokesmenwhorepresent the brand identity
Go beyond the personalityshownthrough the traditionnaladvertisingcampaign. Reinforcetheiridentity via the blog .
Addressadded value to the destination throughpeople’s passions, e.g. culture, outdooractivities, art and tradition and throughtheir place of residence - Arles Camargue, Marseille Aix, Provence.
Alternatewithreaction to news
Suggest good deals, greatitineraries, new ideas to make the blog informative
4. Behind the scenes CREATION Cost : 10 000 € for a period of 2 years Designed & animated by an outsidecommuncation & web agency Follow-up, updates, emailings, contest & hostingmanaged by the web agency Bouches du Rhônes CDT was a moderator but not a censor (lots of spams to getrid of!). EDITING 4 virtualcharacters: 2 from CDT & 2 from the webagency In order to ensure the credibility, eachcharacterwas in charge of hisown passion and had to go on site ½ day / month NEWSLETTER 4 to 5 newsletters / yearwere sent out to inform about contest and updates.
5. The contreversy True or fake blog ????? At the launch of the bog, 2 bloggerscritizised the initiative. The blog coulddeceive the internet user by not givensincere information Reactionwas : A clear introduction addressed to to the commenters: Le blog nepartezplusenvacances.com vous est proposé par le comité départemental du tourisme des Bouches-du-Rhône (www.visitprovence.com). Damien, Sabine, Roberto et Jeanne sont des personnages fictifs, créés pour la campagne de communication nationale du CDT13. Mais leurs conseils sont néanmoins sincères, avisés et ont bel et bien été vécus par notre quatuor local, chargés de vivre par procuration les folles aventures de nos quatre amis, à savoir : Gilles / Damien (CDT13), Carole / Sabine (CDT13), Greg / Roberto (1=2) et Aurélie / Jeanne (1=2). 2. The bloggersparticipatedin the discussions raised on thissubject .
6. The Conclusion Almost 100 000 visitors in lessthan 2 years Substantial impact on the SEO A loyal audience Positive comments : « Oh merci ! Merci beaucoup pour tous ces conseils qui font du bien !! Une petite bulle de fraîcheur ! » « Je suis marseillais et j'oublie toujours cette superbe Vieille Charité. Et bien des chroniques d'art comme la tienne, ça me réveille : je vais y aller, té ! » « Je ne connaissais pas ce numéro, merci ! Et pourtant je suis marseillais depuis... sept ans ? déjà ? » A free editorial content A truetone for eachcharacter Picturestaken on the spot But the blog did not look real enough: Tooprofessionnal: with a perfect design Should have selectedtrue people but not professionnals Tooearly (2007) for non experiencedbloggers