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BlogVertising: Blog as a new platform for advertising

Blogging or weblogging has been around for quite some time. It serves as an informational site consisting of entries/posts that are published online.  In the late 90s, blogs functioned as digital “corkboard” of companies to update their constituents on daily internal business transactions. But eventually, the popularity of blog reached the masses. People have modernized blogging and made it as an online diary where they can publish entries of their personal life and/or commentaries on what interest them. The popularized blog then became as a venue for people to exchange ideas and information which ranges from personal to political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.

Soon, different types of blogs (personal blogs, collaborative blogging, microblogging, corporate and organizational blogs, aggregated blogs, by genre, reverse blog etc.) were developed and the roles of it became increasingly mainstream. These blogs differ not only in the type of content, but also in the manner of how it is written.

Sponsored content

Overtime the hobby of blogging turned into a lucrative work. Bloggers earn money through affiliate marketing. The content, which was formerly a plain commentary or journal, developed into sponsored content or native advertising. It became form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. A blogger or site editor may team up with a brand or retailer and create a post centered on a certain product or campaign that matches the content already on his/her site.

This new craze in the internet has gotten the attention of the business community. Marketers have collaborated with bloggers to advertise brands. Native marketing is perceived as a new and effective marketing strategy to efficiently deliver information. They regard this as a powerful method for advertisement because it’s empowered by the new technology making it possible for a particular business to cater to everyone, young and adult. 

Another feature of blog is the discussion board. Discussion board allows the readers to give immediate feedback on their thoughts and experience of the brand. Also, there are scenarios where a reader leaves a controversial comment. Other readers start a heated discussion in reaction to this comment, all leading to many, many more ad impressions. Comments and suggestions of every consumer are necessary to all companies, even though it is a negative feedback; publicity is still publicity as they say. 

Study shows that this kind of advertisement is far more convincing than the usual ones. It has a friendly vibe which attracts consumers. Bloggers way of advertising is two-faced. They do not directly promote a product. Their strategy of advertising is done through informal discourse such as telling stories of their experience in using the brand; thus, setting a friendly tone making the blogger as an outsider of the brand. In this manner, consumers don’t see it as an imposition, rather a friendly advice which is salient in Filipino culture.  

Conversion theory

Serge Moscovici’s conversion theory of minority influence is applicable in BlogVertising. The bloggers are the minority in the business community where there are a great number of “traditional” media companies, the majority group. According to conversion theory, a minority group is capable making a great impact in the majority group. The new ideas and opinions of the minorities, if valid, can influence the majority to adopt their way of thinking. This happens when a group of people make innovation and propose alternative which opposes the traditional norms. To such a degree, it sways the majority and leading them to re-examine their views or strategies. Compared to other forms of influence, minority influence is often more effective, innovative and long lasting because it focuses more on holistic development. Meaning, there is a personal shift in private opinion. 

If there are no minorities challenging the majority group, there would be no new ideas and innovation. Blogging is certainly a new advertising medium but it is as compelling as the traditional media. Especially nowadays, people, particularly millenials, are always on their phone surfing the net. A study in the US conducted by Zogby Interactive poll on social networking and other information sources shows that more than 60% of population visit blog occasionally or more often. Surprisingly, one in five of blog readers say they pay attention to the ads, and the same number say they have purchased a product or service advertised on a blog. 

In reality, change is inevitable. It cannot be denied that “BlogVertising” has deconstructed norms in the field of industry. It has become a new platform for market research making products more social. This kind of marketing strategy gives consumers a sense of community with the brand. Likewise, the use of blogs to advertise is made more convenient because of new technological advancement.

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