10 Reasons Blogs Are Critical to Social Media Marketing
With the high growth and expanded corporate usage of newer, shinier social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to overlook the importance of blogs, an older social media format that’s more like traditional publishing. Blogs provide the content that is the currency of social media and the context that defines its environmental relevance for participants. As such, blogs live at the heart of an integrated social media marketing strategy.
Are companies using blogs as part of their social media marketing plans? Yes, roughly one in three businesses has a public facing blog according to eMarketer.
Look deeper and you’ll see that about half of Inc. 500 businesses and about 23% of Fortune 500 businesses had corporate blogs in 2010 according to research by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Based on this data, newer, faster growing companies are using this social media format at about twice the rate of larger, more established corporations. To put these results in perspective, companies take about three years to have a mature social media adoption based on SmartBrief and Summus’s research. Since Inc. 500 firms tend to have smaller, more efficient marketing budgets than Fortune 500 companies, this suggests that you should consider integrating a blog into your marketing mix.
10 Reasons Blogs Are Critical to Your Social Media Efforts
Blogs are a hub for your social media relevant content and distribution. While they may not have the conversational glitter of other social media formats, blogs provide an interactive publishing platform to create and distribute your marketing message. Additionally, blogs enable you to engage with your audience and collect feedback. Here are ten specifics to consider.
- Blogs are owned media. You control the content. Whatever you publish on the blog is yours. You don’t need to worry about who owns the content and what happens if the site goes away. Blogs also can be used in lieu of a website.
- Blogs give life to your brand. They create a blog personality with a unique voice that’s aided by transparency and qualities of the human voice.
- Blogs enable you to control the context of your social media message. Blogs provide a branded social media environment across the communications senses. (Here are 10 blog design elements to consider.)
- Blogs supply a 24/7 message (aka always on) platform. In an era of real-time communications, blogs are useful for getting out brand favorable content that’s relevant and timely.
- Blogs can handle a variety of media formats. They can distribute your branded content in the form of text, photographs, videos, audio, presentations (PowerPoint) and PDFs.
- Blogs fuel social media interactions. Blog content provides food for other social media platforms. Use of social sharing options such as Tweet this or Facebook Like enhance this activity. As such, they create earned media impressions.
- Blogs engage in social discourse through the use of comments. Of course, it helps if you respond to readers.
- Blogs are easily searched. This is attributable to their keyword rich content, architecture, linking to other content within your blog and website (if you have one) and inbound links from other blogs and websites. This assumes that you’re using your own domain not WordPress or Blogger.
- Blogs facilitate content delivery. Using email and RSS feeds, blogs distribute information to an opt-in audience.
- Blogs can easily be modified or changed. Compared to other CMS (aka content management systems), blogs are easy to use and provide your organization with the flexibility to update messages.
When planning your social media marketing strategy, include a blog to create and distribute content that’s in line with your brand and supports your purchase process. Further check that the content on your blog is related to your search strategy to improve search optimization. Determine your blog’s objectives and appropriate metrics to ensure that they contribute to your business goals.
What’s your perspective on blogs as the heart of your social media marketing strategy?
P.P.S. This blog post is the basis for today’s #SMChat with special guest visitor, Mack Collier, the uber chat moderator of BlogChat.
Photo credit: qthomasbower via Flickr