Last week I participated in a discussion on the CMO group in LinkedIn regarding whether websites were old school and blog sites new school (Posted by John Tantillo, PhD). Here’s my comment on that topic:
Angela Hausman • Good questions, John. I think it depends. For well-known brands, like Apple and Macy’s, consumers likely search for them. But, for businesses relying on search to bring traffic — and leads/ sales — to them, fresh, rich, valuable content is increasingly important in search algorithms and will likely stay that way. Similarly, without content, a social media marketing strategy is hard to sustain — after all, there are only so many contests and special offers your can make through social networks before they lose appeal.
So, I would say the transition to content marketing is inevitable for most businesses and e-branding has little to do with that transition. In fact, content marketing establishes branding both online and off.
Then, today, I saw this cool infographic about the value of branding on Social Media Today. So, I thought I’d expand on my comments regarding the important of blogging in your social media marketing strategy.
As you can see from the infographic, blogging is a big deal! But, we also see some problems with the way folks are blogging — namely using blogging sites or social media sites (microblogs) as the platform for their content marketing efforts. And, that’s a problem because:
- Blogging sites make it harder to rank well in organic search
- Microblogging doesn’t provide the rich content necessary to drive traffic to your website (and sell them). It’s a great add-on to your website (and blog), but shouldn’t be your only content marketing strategy — IMHO.
It’s no secret that blogging is the cornerstone of your social media strategy (some folks don’t think of blogs as social media marketing, but they are). The infographic shows why.
- Businesses get 100+% more leads when they incorporate a blog.
- Blogging increases your consumer trust.
- Blogging is the top reason why consumers follow your brand (and amplify your messages).
- More than 1/2 of readers view your company more favorably after reading your content.
- 70% of consumers gain awareness of your brand through your content marketing strategy.
Social Media Strategy
While some folks use a blog platform to make money or offset other costs, most of the bloggers I know use a blog in their content marketing to support their business. Big sites, like Mashable and TechCrunch, can make a living selling ad space or doing affiliate marketing, but most of us use a blog to attract visitors to our sites, build trusting relationships with customers and prospects, and inform consumers about our products. It’s a core element of our inbound marketing strategy.
My blog is the single biggest element of my business. I don’t do cold calling or send blast emails to prospects in hopes of gaining their business. I put myself out there as an expert in social media marketing — integrating marketing concepts and strong analytics — to bring in customers. And, it’s working. Every week I get several new leads from folks requesting contact using my vCita pop-up. I get more folks visiting my site and requesting contact after signing up for my email newsletter and finding great content on it.
Blogging gets you found
Without fresh, valuable, free content on your website, it’s much harder to get found in organic search. The Google algorithm (as well as ones used by Bing, Yahoo ….) include variables nearly impossible to score on without this content marketing strategy.
So what do you blog about? It’s really critical you blog about things your target audience finds valuable — stuff that solves problems for them. That means staying on top of trends of Facebook and Twitter and posting content that’s interesting, well-written, non-promotional, and solves consumer problems. You can’t just put up nonsense, like the embarrassment that is Miley Cyrus, unless it directly relates to your brand.JoT