Blogging is “old hat” now in the world of online marketing, being all of 12 years old as a truly mainstream activity, and nearing its 20th birthday (arguably) of any existence at all. That’s all well and good, but what is the value of blogging now? What’s the point? Doesn’t Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make blogging redundant? Let’s take a look.
I’m going to offer 5 reasons you should strongly consider blogging, and then talk a little about types of blogs and types of readers.
First, if you own a business, you should blog. Addressing the point raised about social media making blogging irrelevant, it actually does the opposite. “Shouting into the hurricane” of Facebook and Twitter means that you had better have something to say, and a loud voice to say it with. Blogging does both of those.
Think about it like this: you make a point on Twitter, then give it 5 seconds. Gone. No evidence it ever existed. If someone does read it, so what? What can they do? Reply? Favorite? Retweet? What does that do for your business other than grow your Twitter presence by a little bit?
Contrast this with blogging: Tweeting out a blog post gives you an anchor point to guide readers back to. It offers a foundation on which you can base your entire message profile on for your business where you can talk about problems you solve, ideal customers, horror stories and other facets of what you do. People read this and engage with you. If you go next level, you install conversion elements like buttons, linked images and linked text to send people in to other parts of your website. It’s hard to measure the gigantic difference in the level of engagement between the two.
Next, if you have any uniqueness at all*still talking about a business owner), you’re wasting tons of money in your marketing budget by not blogging. Uniqueness is a rare thing these days, because as we go forward and services and models evolve and are copied, there are many other choices of people doing what you do relatively the same. If you have something that makes you stand out, a blog is the perfect way to make that known.
By not blogging, you’re HOPING that someone runs across that uniqueness somewhere and….what? tracks down your contact info from your Twitter profile? Hunts down your website and calls you? Like we marketing pros often say, “Hope is not a strategy”. With a blogk you can create content like I’m doing right now as I type these words, place that in a particular point in your strategy chain, propagate it, and measure the activity. It’s much harder to do that with Social Media properties.
Online Marketing Equity
Third, and I alluded to this briefly in the previous point, you’re building your own online equity instead of building it for Facebook or Twitter. As you put out more and more material on your area of expertise, you build out a profile of keywords (if you’re doing it right, learn or hire someone to show you) that makes you relevant to Google and other search engines to return for that keyword cloud. This is a hige asset if you use it right. Most people don’t. They just blog and hope. If you do this you’re missing out on much bigger impact you could be having.
This brings up an accompanying point. If you have blogged, but it hasn’t moved the needle for you, you really should hire someone to come in and take a look at it. I’m not saying that because I do this kind of thing, hire someone else; just hire SOMEONE. The small amount of money you’ll spend on consulting is nothing compared to the change it will make for your blog and subsequent impact it makes. If you hire the right consultant, the impact will be what we like to call “Evergreen”. Evergreen means that it won’t go out of style or become irrelevant.
Speaking of “Evergreen”, let’s move on to point 4: Evergreen Content.
Evergreen Content is content that does not lose its relevance because of the passing of time. A blog about your recent garage sale is not Evergreen, but a blog about how to set up a successful garage sale is. Make sense? The power of evergreen content is that you can post something and repost it for years without ever having to substantively change it. You might have to make small edits to it, but bug changes won’t be necessary. Blogs are outstanding tools for this, and I could argue they are the best (and there’s no close second). Content is the hardest thing to do in marketing, so writing Evergreen blog posts is the smartest strategy.
5. Low Impact Content That Doesn’t “Threaten” Readers With Sales
Now you and I both know that all content is sales content, but readers don’t know that. No one wants to be “sold to”, and truthfully, most business owners push “salesy” content too much. Blogs help you NOT do that. Blogs are a great place to show educational, informative content that helps the reader make an informed choice. List posts are great (“Listicles”, or List Articles, is the hip name), How To format is another great framework, then Customer Stories are always great reading material.
Like I said before, whatever you do, just get started. A blog can’t do anything to hurt you, and could be the kick your marketing needs to take your sales to the next level.