As attention spans shorten and people’s love of social media increases, many have wondered if a blog is still relevant. When combined with a social media feed and social proof from your customers, we believe it is.
Here we outline our reasons why.
1 You have to be everywhere your audience is
As the digital eco-system expands, so too does the consumer’s expectations of the businesses they interact with. Consumers want to be able to communicate and reach brands on whatever channel they choose, at whatever time. Social may be the most popular way consumers want to interact, yet the blog is still the place they’ll go to if they want to do some deep dive research about products and services. Consumers making ‘considered purchases’, like buying a car or subscribing to a long-term service, will want to do a lot of research before they buy; and the blog is one of the best places to host informative, useful content.
If you are able to partner with influencers creating content on YouTube, Instagram, and other channels, that will add authencity and credibility, and saves time in content creation.
2 The blog content compliments and feeds the social channels
The blog and social channels do more than co-exist, they feed off and from each other. Hot topics being discussed on social can be expanded on in articles on the blog. Similarly, blog content can be broken down into bite-sized pieces to socialise on differing channels. You can share snippets of content on social that can act as a teaser to the long form pieces on the blog, or reformat slightly and create tailored content for those channels. Social channels are notoriously hungry for content, and disseminating articles, infographics and interviews from the blog makes for great fillers in this space.
Both blog posts and social media content can have a place in your digital services. With a social media aggregator, you can display your latest blog posts and curated social media content on your websites, mobile apps, digital displays, and more. Displaying a mix of social media content and blog posts makes sure your website is regularly updated with fresh content and it increases time spent on site.
Here's an example by San Francisco-Marin Food Bank:
3 It gives your brand/company credibility
Blogs that add value to the reader, give the brand/company/organisation that are publishing them, credibility. For B2B brands, they act as a thought-leader mechanism and way of displaying authority and know-how in their sector. For B2C brands, they are ideal for showing consumer trends and discussing topical, top of the funnel issues.
4 Blogs are part of a value transaction
Using the blog as a key tenet of content marketing works, because there’s a value exchange happening between you and the consumer. People/readers exchange their time, and possibly their sharing prowess, for quality, informative, educational or entertaining content. If brands give something away for free, they are rewarded by returning customers or readers.
5 It supports the SEO strategy
Every good content marketer knows that blogs should serve the audience first, and the machine second. Yet, the blog is still a great way to help your business rank well from an SEO standpoint. But, this isn’t an excuse for stuffing key words into every article, the content has to please the reader. When it does that, it will be successful on Google too.
6 You can tell authentic stories on your blog
A blog is a great place to share your customers’ stories. People are emotional creatures, and they love to read about other people’s stories. There are many ways you can incorporate these on to your blog. You can write case studies, personal pieces, that tell your brand’s story through the eyes of your customer.
Or better yet, you can create a user-generated content campaign and pull in content on to your blog that’s been created by your fans and followers on social.
Testimonial pieces go a long way toward helping people believe in, and understand, your brand and the value it can bring to their lives. Adding social proof to your stories and product pages increases time spent on site and conversion rates.
For inspiration, learn how e-commerce site increase sales with user-generated content.
7 Blogs enable you to get one-step closer to understanding your audience
If you look closely, and monitor it for long enough, the data underpinning your blog can tell you a lot about your audience. You may not be able to identify them as individuals, but you know how many people read, engaged and interacted with your content on the blog. You can see what they like, which article formats they prefer, which pieces are more likely to be shared on social. If you have a paid media budget, you can promote the most popular ones as a piece of native advertising, to spread your reach to other like-minded people too.
8 Your competitors are doing it, so you should too
It may be a touch of keeping up with the Jones’, but if your competitors are blogging, you should be too. Many people start their purchasing journey on a search engine. If your brand has no visibility there, your revenue will suffer. If you haven’t got the time, resources or ideas to write daily, commit to writing weekly or bi-monthly. And only ever publish content that is valuable to your customers. Even if only a proportion of your blog is ever read, if what you publish is of a high quality, it will enhance a person’s feeling towards your brand/company.