by Sam Richter
Content marketing has, to some degree, taken over search engine
optimization as a way for companies to drive traffic to their websites.
Write educational articles that provide real value – and that subtly
mention the company’s products and services – and others will forward
the information to their friends, all with hope that the holy grail of
online marketing occurs and that the article goes viral.
Because posting content online is so easy, consumers also write and
post articles about products and companies. Sometimes these articles
feature positive reviews. More often than not, consumers share their
gripes online about a poor-performing product or inept customer support,
hoping that an audience of thousands or even millions will convince a
company to change its ways.
The vehicle that many companies and people use to post their
information online is a blog. Blogs are real-time online Web logs, or
“diaries,” on just about any topic imaginable. Content management
platforms like WordPress make it easy for anyone to create a blog.
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook make it easy for anyone to
distribute their content worldwide.
It’s estimated that there are more than 150 million blogs, some
updated infrequently, some adding new content daily. On WordPress alone,
more than 400 million people view nearly 20 billion pages each month.
To grab attention, blog posts must continually provide value with
companies and individuals sharing inside information about future
products, new ideas, industry research, and more.
Because you’ll often find information in a blog post that you might
not find on a company web site or in traditional media, searching blogs
is a great source of sales intelligence and competitive research.
came online in 2015, and it is designed to specifically search blogs
and blog posts. In addition, because of its multi-field form, there is
less of a need to use complex Boolean logic in your search than you
might with a typical search engine.
Type in the name of a company, or even a person, that you’re
interested in learning about and there’s a chance you might get lucky
and find something valuable. If you get too many results, re-enter your
search but this time add more keywords related to what you desire, e.g.,
marketing, sales, etc. Note that the default “All” tab will show
results from across the Web. Click the “Blog Posts” tab to limit your
results to blogs and/or blog posts that contain your search terms. Click
the “Relevancy” tab to sort by relevancy to your terms, or by post
One note of caution: Remember that anybody can write about or comment
on anything online, so what you read in a blog might not necessarily be
true. Don’t assume the information you read in a blog post is factual.
Verify it via other sources and when meeting with a prospect or client,
don’t quote blog content as fact; rather, use it to ask better