Blogging Renaissance: Why You Must Blog Now

5 Reasons To Put Your Blog At The Center Of Your Marketing

Blogging renaissanceNow more than ever your business needs to tap into the blogging renaissance.

Blogs are no longer shiny new objects of marketing adoration.

No surprise.

Blogs date back to the late 1990s. They grew out of ideas documented in The Cluetrain Manifesto.

“Markets are conversations. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors. Conversations among human beings sound human.”

Over time, blogs have become marketing stepchildren. They lack the love and connection to the business’s core marketing strategies and plans.

Often, they’re holdovers from previous senior executives. As such, many blogs are on marketing life-support. They’re a catchall for the content equivalent of table scraps

Even small businesses pulled back on blogging. But in 2016, the Inc 500 increased their blogging efforts according to University of Mass/Dartmouth research.

Business Blogging use 2010- 2016 - UMass Dartmouth

 

Blogging Renaissance

Blogging pioneers, Copyblogger’s Brian Clark and Problogger’s Darren Rowse, are leading the blogging renaissance. It’s documented in their discussion Blogging Is Back”.

They want to recapture the power and human essence of blogging, especially as an owned home base.

Problogger’s Darren Rowse explains blogs as:

“… human being to human being connection that really is what I think blogging was built on. It was the person writing to a person and that second person responding to the person as this sort of relationship that grew.”

As a marketer, embrace this form of blogging. It humanizes your business. It gives your business a voice and a personality. (Align your blog personality with your brand! Here are 20 blog brand tips.)

Clark and Rowse laser-focus on fortifying and growing their blogs to connect with their readers. After a hiatus, Clark is back as Copyblogger editor-in-chief. He said,

“I need to feel connected to our audience at a level, as CEO, I might not have really experienced in the last five or six years.”

Blogging Renaissance

Audiences across a wide spectrum of interests find themselves in a barren no man’s land of empty information. They’re looking to make a connection with the content they read. They’re caught between unreliable but ever-present salacious fake news and bland, me-too content marketing.

To succeed, fill your business blog with a transfusion of human crafted information your audience actively craves and seeks.

Rowse puts it succinctly: “With this new definition of [blogging] being the home for all of the stuff that you do, I think it’s a great time for blogging.”

With the proper guidance and resources, transform your blog into a lead generating star by providing the information prospects, customers and others want.

 

Blogging Renaissance: 5 Reasons Your Business Needs A Quality Blog

To get your marketing team motivated, understand why the blogging renaissance is taking place now.  

Here are the 5 main reasons for the blogging renaissance.Blogging renaissance

 

1. Build owned media entities to remain visible

During social media’s rise, many businesses believed they no longer needed a blog. Building a presence on “free” sites like Facebook kept businesses top-of-mind.

Now, social media is maturing and consolidating. Facebook and other platforms are no longer a “free lunch”.

Facebook is a small business requirement according to Buffer’s 2016 social media research. [Here’s more in-depth analysis of the Buffer Social Media research.]

Translation: Businesses must maintain an active Facebook presence and invest in Facebook advertising.

More important for marketers, social media is no longer a set of human conversations. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research shows that B2B marketers use social media to promote content, not engage customers.  [Here’s in-depth analysis of the Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research.]

 

Facebook’s reduced newsfeed and other changes concern marketers. [For more information, check this article on Facebook.]

Rowse underscores this point:

“I suspect in 2017, we’ll see more embracing of the blog as that home base. As all of the different platforms continue to change their algorithms and make content harder to be seen, I think people are going to want that place on their own server, on their own domain, that they can keep all that stuff.”  

Actionable Blogging Renaissance Recommendation:

  • Build your blog as your owned media presence. Don’t assume your existing blog will meet the new competition for reader attention. Audit and plan your blog content themes and editorial calendar.

 

2. Produce blog content your core audience needs

Create audience-focused content to be the best answer when your audience needs content! Make your blog posts support your sales process. 

Before you plan and produce your blog content, assess your audience’s needs. Think of your readers. Include customers, employees and promoters.

As LinkedIn’s Jason Miller puts it: “Your blog is the jewel in your marketing crown.”

 

Blogging Renaissance

 

“They ask, you answer,” according to The Sales Lion, Marcus Sheridan.

 

Blogging renaissance

 

Give prospects the 5 types of information they seek pre-purchase:

  1. Product information
  2. Customer FAQs
  3. How to’s (including patterns and recipes)
  4. Product styling or best-in-class practices
  5. Ratings and reviews

Regardless of your product or service offering create a blog post to answer every question your prospects, their purchase influencers and end-users have. Include the tough ones like price. Make them accessible. Use your customers’ language and add visuals.

 

Actionable Blogging Renaissance Recommendation:

  • Work with sales, customer service and investor relations to answer customers’ questions. Transform this information into human sounding content employees can use reducing redundant work.

 

3. Attract your audience directly to avoid less effective, more expensive media

Your blog is a media entity. Think like one!

Publish blog posts on a consistent basis to become expected content and establish your presence in your specific niche. Focus on your documented blogging mission statement.

Maximize b2b blog results

 

Don’t limit your marketing worries to Google and Facebook. Together they control 75+% of digital media budgets.

 

Amazon, Apple and others (like Yelp and TripAdvisor) have become primary destinations for specific information types.

Amazon is the first place shoppers turn regardless of where they ultimately purchase. As the granddaddy of ratings and reviews, it’s no surprise. Amazon monetizes this traffic with targeted advertising.

Amazon is also the go-to book site supported with Kindle and its relatively low hurdle e-publishing platform.

 

Similarly, Apple controls music and app search through the iTunes store.

As a result, the power and reach of third-party content and its advertising continues to erode. You need your own media presence. This chart reveals that social media platforms don’t perform for news media.

 

Actionable Blogging Renaissance Recommendation:

  • Build and expand your blog audience like a media entity. Use every contact and piece of content and marketing collateral to accomplish this.

 

4. Optimize your blog content to remain findable in the evolving search environment

Your target audience must be able to find your blog content. They use a variety of methods to seek and gather contextually relevant information.

Organize your blog content so readers find the information they want when they want it. Your posts can’t look like a bunch of post-its randomly stuck onto your blog without thought or organization. This is neither visitors nor search-friendly.

SEO expert Bruce Clay refers to this as creating silos for your blog. The objective is to align your key topics to link them internally and make them findable on your navigation. This improves findability.

Bruce Clay Mixed Categories

Siloed content as with a blog -Bruce Clay

 

To ensure new visitors get the full meal of relevant blog content, categorize your information by major topics or buckets your audience actively seeks. (BTW, this was a trend at Social Media Marketing World 2016. Here’s an example from Darren Rowse’s Problogger.)

Social Media Marketing World 2016 Tactics-Audience Bckets

 

Take advantage of other search-worthy options. Specifically tap into the power of Pinterest, YouTube (the second largest search engine after Google) and podcasts. Include appropriate keywords in descriptions.

Actionable Blogging Renaissance Recommendation:

  • Utilize blog content and structure to improve product findability. Incorporate visuals and related text in blog posts. Include the words your audience uses to seek your products. Put these words in your URLs and image captions.

 

5. Attract and engage influencers to build thought leadership

Use your business blog to connect with influencers while fostering your thought leadership. Help people who’s attention you want to attract.

Support your content marketing and social media needs by spotlighting top influencers in your niche. Mention them and link to their websites and blogs.

Depending on your blog offering, interview influencers allowing them to tap into your blog’s reach. For example, Actionable Marketing Guide interviews authors to help broaden the reach of their books.

Podcaster John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire interviews well-known entrepreneurs to help listeners improve their business.

Don’t underestimate the value of tapping into your readers. They’ve got connections. Unlike individual influencers, you need to connect with more of them but they may have stronger connections to their followers. (For more information, check how to co-create content.)

Actionable Blogging Renaissance Recommendation:

  • Consider influencers broadly. Include your customers and fans, your employees and niche thought leaders.

 

Blogging Renaissance

 

The Blogging Renaissance Bottom Line:

The blogging renaissance is gaining traction.

Now is the time to include your blog in your marketing strategy.

Make sure your business doesn’t get left behind without an owned media entity. Integrate your blog into your content marketing and social media editorial calendars to fill it with quality content, not leftovers.

Rejuvenate your blog with life-sustaining quality content.

You’ll start to build relationships and qualify sales leads while building your company’s thought leadership and house file.

Even better, your blog will support other marketing efforts consistently while balancing your workload and resources.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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Photo Credits:
Statue of Liberty: https://www.pexels.com/photo/statue-usa-liberty-america-7539/
Books: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hands-books-feet-113776/  CC Zero
Crown: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-crown-175980/ CC Zero
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