Talk about an "in a nutshell" summary of a big topic in a few words!
Randy Kaipaniolo, commenting on David Meerman Scott’s explanation of social media marketing, brings it all together by naming four ways for businesses to gain attention:
You can BUY it (advertising)
You can BEG for it (media PR)
You can BUG people (sales)
You can EARN it by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free!
(Kaipaniolo includes YouTube videos, research reports, photos, Twitter streams, Facebook pages, and ebooks in the "earn" category, but lets talk about creating and publishing something valuable through business blogs.)
You wouldn’t believe how many businesses are venturing into the blogosphere, with millions of people putting ideas and information out on the World Wide Web. Some just want to share knowledge and give others the benefit of their opinions, but, if you’re a business owner, you’re using blogging as part of an ongoing marketing strategy.
Of course, a blog post is not an ad. You’re providing valuable information, with a particular slant that showcases your expertise in your field, the special qualities of your products or services, and your core beliefs about how – and with whom – you aim to do business.
The furthest thing from "begging" or "bugging", your blog functions through "pull marketing". Only those online searchers who already have an interest in what you sell, what you do, and what you know about will ever see your blog posts, and those are exactly the customers you want.
By offering a "content-tasting" on your blog, and doing that regularly and frequently, you’ll be earning the right to convert at least some "tasters" into buyers!