How to Use Websites, Blogs, and Social Marketing

Before we jump in with all the exciting new tools available, let’s take a step back and think about what you want to achieve. Too many people think: Everyone’s blogging (or podcasting, tweeting, or on Facebook) – I should be blogging – let’s start a blog! This is the wrong starting point. Just because it’s quick, easy and free to set up an account with WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or YouTube doesn’t mean you should. Like any form of marketing, your starting point should be your marketing aims and objectives, then identifying your community and where they hang out, then you choose appropriate tools to reach them. This article will give you a crash course in online marketing strategy, and help you understand some key principles of social media that will enable you to use any tool appropriately and effectively.

What is online marketing? There are almost two billion people online. Some of them are your ideal clients or customers. If you can reach even a tiny fraction of them, you will have a viable business. The internet has brought enormous benefits to the Sherry Dyson way we market our businesses. A website is like a virtual shopfront that is always open. Email reaches targeted audiences with news of our latest products. A blog provides regularly updated information for customers and prospects, which they can comment on. People can listen to us wherever they are on an MP3 player. They can watch video demonstrations of our products online, now that massive take-up of broadband enables us to watch large streaming video files. Social networks enable us to make direct connections with people who are interested in our wares. We can reach niche audiences more easily than ever before – and the power of the Internet makes these niches global. However specialised our niche, there is a market for it online, which not only can we reach but, by increasing our visibility online, will also come looking for us.

Whether it’s the latest album reviews or news about the big budget films that are about to hit the cinemas, the landscape of entertainment news throughout the industry changed irrevocably in the advent of the 21st century. Though the initial foundations for the massive shift were originally put in place from the mid to latter 1990s, the full effects of the shift have only started to hit fully throughout the 2000s. Now, in the teens of a whole new millennium the move is almost complete, bringing news and reviews on demand and online.

Throughout the 1900s, entertainment news was largely the domain of print publications. Magazines and newspapers have been featuring the latest and greatest from the industry since before the First World War. However, it was the 50s and 60s that saw them come into their own, probably spurred on by the materialisation of in-home entertainment with the growth of television availability and the rock and roll explosion.

Magazines like NME and Melody Maker had phenomenal readership figures in their early years and newspapers like the Sun in the United Kingdom achieved much of their success from covering the more glamorous side of life. However, as the home computer took hold in the latter stages of the 19th century, a new form of entertainment news provider started to materialise. The internet became a phenomenon overnight in the mid to late 90s and as more and more people logged on, more and more people found their news from online sources.

Throughout the course of the boom and bust, websites sprang up at a ferocious pace to deliver the latest entertainment news to the masses. Quickly following these early innovators once the online phenomenon gained a little more stability, the original providers also set up sites to deliver their news and to promote their “for sale” offline productions. However, it didn’t take long for the masses themselves to realise that they could easily become the bastions of all things entertainment. Throughout the 2000s they simply set up their own blog or e-zine and started to log the news, web style. With millions live, everyone is talking about their favourite movies, albums and computer games from their very own site, interlinking to the more influential, bigger news sites, as well as the online, user generated encyclopaedic catacombs of Wikipedia.

The area of biggest growth in the online entertainment news world is the growth of video content. People no longer have to go to the cinema to see the latest film trailer or wait for radio shows to listen to the latest album reviews, they can watch them whenever they want, months and even years in advance of a release thanks to the might of the likes of You Tube. With more video content than Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, You Tube is the internet’s largest video content distributor. Entertainment news, reviews and info has always been a big part of online video content, however, the likelihood is that it will grow into something even more significant over the course of the 21st century.

The most recent addition to entertainment news delivery is the massive impact of social media. Together, people connected online can change the world, so something as simple as entertainment news was an early win for the social socialites. Whether it’s used to promote other online content like trailers, music releases or celebrity gossip, or literally just kids in their room tweeting about their latest favourite album, social media is one of the first places to hear the most up to date entertainment news.

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