Because of Web 2.0, companies have more "publishing power" than ever before, an expert has asserted.

Industry commentator Gary Smith made his statements in an article for online marketing resource PromotionWorld, noting that it can be hard for businesses to stand out among hundreds of millions of other websites.

Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and social networks can help build brand awareness but firms must be careful not to simply fire marketing messages at their readers as this can cause them to lose interest, he continued.

Promoters must offer readers useful content and not advertising, Mr Smith urged.

"You’re building a fan base so you need to entertain, inform and deliver consistently for your audience," he concluded.

Microsoft’s business center warns that companies using social networking and blogs to market themselves need to regularly update and revise both their content and context.

However, it suggests the effort can be worth it as social network advertising can often reach a younger audience which rarely pays attention to more traditional marketing.