Evaluation of the Blog
Blogs play a critical role in the current age of social media in marketing and advertising. They have an important information and communication role, such as informing customers about businesses and products. Corporate advertising has benefitted from effective blogging, explaining why marketing managers invest in social media activity (Ho et al. 2015). However, different blogs’ impact depends on the professionality integrated into its creation and how effective it sends the intended message to the target audience (Hughes, Swaminathan, & Gillian 2019). Therefore, marketers should understand the art and science of creating effective blogs to achieve the marketing objective. Since evaluation can play a key role in ensuring that a blog achieves its purpose and meets its creation’s marketing goal, MARKETO blog will be the target for the current evaluation activity, to ascertain whether advertising effectiveness depends on the success of a blog.
One of the elements in evaluating a blog is understanding “the environment” before looking at the blog’s content. The MARKETO blog (https://blog.marketo.com/) fits in the marketing domain and effectively communicates the message. The blog entails the broader aspect of marketing, including modern marketing, content marketing, and digital marketing. The purpose of setting up the blog is indicated on the first page after opening the link (Grbovic et al. 2016). When evaluating the blog’s effectiveness, it is necessary to answer whether it communicates the right purpose (Koutsabasis 2017; Yihua 2015). The MARKETO blog is relevant since it delivers a message to marketers about capitalizing on marketing’s online environment. The blog’s title, “Why Digital Transformation Is Crucial for Marketing and Sales Alignment,” is clear and bolded for the audience to view and understand the message. Thus, the real dynamic content on the blog is evident and clearly expressed. Besides, the reader finds the relevance of the information right at the beginning of the blog. Notably, the reader does not have to explore the entire blog to understand the message that the writer conveys.
Another critical element of evaluating a blog is profiling it and its readership– the purpose is to create a picture of the typical visitor. Effective blogs should contain appealing information to attract the audience (Van Nuenen et al. 2017). While the blog lacks any statistics to indicate the level of traffic, it contains information that is appealing to the target audience. For instance, the target audience can use the blog as a resource for work and fits well into the “professional” market. The blog is welcoming to marketers, who are likely to find it relevant from the first impression, and provides a peaceful and classy place for marketers to have a learning experience in digital marketing. The information is presented in a clear, easy-to-follow format without information overload. As a result, the MARKETO blog is inviting and welcoming to readers and stirs their interest. The heading is clear and understandable, which shows the purpose of the information to marketers. Besides, it has clear links to detailed information, meaning that the reader can navigate the content with ease. Overall, the blog loads faster, making it easy for the reader to move from one range to the next to access the required information.
The screen is limited, and a good blogger should understand how to capitalize on it and provide all necessary information to the target audience. A blog with a massive amount of data can be boring and uninteresting to the audience (Nelson and Tandoc Jr. 2019). However, the MARKETO blog has maximized the usable surface to provide all necessary information to visitors. For example, the home page contains links to other pages to avoid placing all information on the page, which would make it uninteresting to the reader. The grouping and the sequence make sense to the reader since one can easily obtain necessary information from the same category without navigating around the blog. More importantly, all the blog information is relevant to the reader, who would be interested in learning more about digital marketing. The blogger appears to have a deeper understanding of market blogging and the target audience for the message. In general, the blogger is knowledgeable in marketing and manages to convey the message to the target audience.
Although I have engaged in other professional activities, evaluating a blog was the most interesting and played a critical role in my professional development goals. I critically assessed the MARKETO blog based on the digital marketing standard and other sources regarding what makes a good blog. I had an exciting experience as the person who evaluated the blog to understand its effectiveness in communicating with the target audience. I wanted to learn more about digital communication in marketing and create a successful campaign targeting the right audience. I did the evaluation alone since no one else was involved in the process.
The purpose of the evaluation was to understand what makes a good blog targeting the right audience with the right message. Since blogs have played a role in communicating with readers in various fields, including marketing, understanding what makes a blog effective and reliable will help in my future career if I decide to create my blog or a communication campaign. Since blogging has become an important communication tool in marketing, evaluation knowledge plays an important role in my career development plan.
As part of my personal development plan, I have improved various skills and competences, such as marketing communication, audience assessment and targeting. Besides, the evaluation process increased my competence in digital communication and marketing campaigns, such as blogging. The activity helped to address my prior feelings and assumptions about blogging. Before the activity, I assumed that anyone could write a blog and attract an audience since I thought it was an easy venture. Besides, I thought that the basic requirement in blogging is understanding what to write about and embark on the activity. However, I should counter the pre-assumptions to build my knowledge of blogging and digital communication. I want to become better at this field, because blogging is at the centre of market communication in the modern information age, and improve my communication competence by undertaking the activity.
My assumption on Self-Assessment Tests before completing them was that I am a good communicator, but the post-analysis activity revealed areas that I need to improve to become better. Tests and activities have changed my opinion about blogging and digital communication. For example, I have never tried to understand my audience before beginning a communication, which shows a weakness since the audience should determine my message. Hence, I agree with the assessment result because it indicated that I should be more reflective to become a better communicator.
Analysis of Learning
When undertaking any activity in educational pursuit, one should evaluate the learning outcomes. The learning process includes developing self-efficacy and perceived effectiveness in developing and gaining knowledge from the activity (Kuo et al. 2017). In evaluating my learning process, I applied 21st-century digital skills and educational learning theory applicable to the innovative environment. The knowledge economy demands that learners adopt the 21st-century digital skills to drive change and develop transferrable skills (Chu et al. 2017; Van Laar et al. 2017). Besides, I used the theory of Multiple Intelligences and Information Processing Theory to evaluate blogs to determine the effective way of gaining transferrable experience. The two theories were important in determining and distinguish important information from the evaluation process to help in my career development (Korbach et al. 2016; Şener and Çokçalışkan 2018). While I have realized that I can learn easily with adequate information by differentiating between important and unimportant details, competence is necessary to support the learning process, especially in the modern age of information overload. Overall, the activity has taught me to keep a learning log and journal to identify areas that I have understood deeply and those that need more attention.
Application in Context
I have learned important information about marketing communication that I can apply in practice. The data from evaluating the blog connects with my previous knowledge and understanding of effective marketing campaigns. The knowledge relates to learning theory, such as the 21at century skills, due to the need to learn the skills that can make me an effective marketer in the future. Innovation plays a key role in the modern knowledge-based economy (Chu et al. 2017). The connection between the knowledge and previous assumptions is important as it will inform the future learning experience and apply the information in practice. The current knowledge is also necessary to learn the previous knowledge since understanding where one is coming from that one can know the future.
I have developed personal, career, professional development/goals that I should achieve through the learning experience. The goals are informed by what I already know and my experience, learning, and assumptions. A learner should set goals before the learning process to establish progress towards achieving them (Reddan et al. 2015). Besides, the learning activity should align with the objectives to make them relevant to the learner. The knowledge will support my transition to the career environment, such as developing effective digital communication campaigns through blogging. Overall, the results of the evaluation suggest that I should continue learning about blogging since my goal is to become a digital marketer.
The blog evaluation activity provided a necessary learning experience that I can apply currently and, in the future, to create an effective market communication campaign. Although I have had other opportunities to learn, the blogging activity is the most effective in creating the type of knowledge I need in my future career. The evaluation activity was a great learning experience since it helped me understand the most important dimensions to consider when looking for an informative blog. I agree with the importance of the experience since it will help me in my future career, such as creating my blog or using one to obtain marketing activities. A blog is a reliable tool for marketers who require to learn about marketing activities. However, it lacked information about the level of traffic and views, which are critical metrics for marketing. Although I had always believed that anyone could write a blog, the knowledge gained from the evaluation process challenged my prior experience of blogging, such as the need for professionalism and adequate writing skills.
The learning process has changed my knowledge at a personal and professional level. I can make various changes at a personal level, such as understanding how to communicate with my audience by first appreciating what they need and how they are likely to benefit from my message. I have learned how to create a good market communication campaign when sending a message to my customers about my business and products or services at a professional level. Besides, I will make various changes in how I communicate, such as learning about my audience, to understand what they need and how the message will benefit them. I have also learned the need to reflect upon the message and its recipient to become a better communicator. Although I might be an effective communicator, the evaluation activity will improve my skills, such as becoming more innovative in sending a message to my recipient, and assist me when using digital communication channels to appeal to the audience. Digital communication strategies are critical in the modern era if a marketer is effectively advertising and promoting products or services.
Based on the insights received from the analysis, I plan to transfer the knowledge into action or practice to improve my communication skills and appeal to my audience personally and professionally. I will practice writing blogs for my friends and peers, who can read and critique them, to assist me in improving how I communicate with my target audience. I understand that practice is the best way to enhance my learning experience and improve my knowledge and skills. For example, I will write a blog on creating a digital marketing campaign and share it with my peers to evaluate and critique the work. Later, I will integrate what I have learned and the comments from my peer to improve the work as I continue learning. Therefore, to enhance my learning process, I will work with others to practice skills and continue to engage in such collaborative efforts in the future. Through practice, I will achieve my personal and career goals and become a better marketer in the future.
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