There are more places than ever to market your brands…
so do you still need a blog?
To stay relevant marketers are now creating YouTube videos, making albums on Instagram, creating infographics for Pinterest and generally getting social. They have a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and might even be rocking Slideshare for marketing.
And then there are mobile apps—the new “in” thing. Almost every time you visit a site from your mobile device, there’s a popup message to say that there’s a proprietary app available for download.
So as a marketer, should you focus your attention on mobile and social and ditch your blog?
Could a Mobile App Replace Your Blog?
Not really. Let’s think about apps for a minute. Apps can be great to deliver content that’s always being updated, like news or details of a sporting event. And they rock for creating a mobile game around a particular contest or promotion—gamification is hot—but they are not good for everything and not everyone needs one.
As a recent article in Forbes points out, brands need to work out what data will power the app, how it will be created and how it will be maintained. It’s not for everyone.
The Problem With Social Media
And social media sites have their own problems because (here’s the elephant in the room) no matter what you think, your social media profiles don’t belong to you.
You may feel like they do, but they really don’t. They belong to the owners of those individual sites who let you use them—check the fine print and you’ll see.
That word “perceived” is important—it’s often a case of shut down first, fix later, like when Desmond Tutu’s Twitter account was mistakenly suspended during a spam cleanup. (Don’t worry, he got it back.)
Six Reasons to Keep Your Blog for Marketing
There are many examples of social media account shut-downs and they all prove one thing: the only safe way to build an online presence is to do it on a space that belongs to you. And that means there are compelling reasons to keep your blog as the centerpiece of your content and promotion strategy. Here are six of them.
1. It’s Yours, All Yours
As long as you stick to your web hosts rules and pay your hosting fees, the web space where your blog lives is yours.
Even if you experience a problem, as long as you have a backup (you do have a backup, right?), all your content is safe. Would that happen to your posts and social analytics if your social media account got deleted? Putting your best content on a space that you control makes sense.
2. A Content Strategy Testing Ground
Having your own blog gives you a space to interact with your customers around the valuable content you post.
It’s also a great proving ground for other information products because you can trial the content on your blog and then adapt the final product based on the feedback. Many writers have used this method in book publishing; there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work for you.
3. It’s SEO Heaven
Having your own blog helps you with SEO. Every blog entry gives you another potential entry in the search engines, more if you are also listing archive, category and tag pages.
If you optimize your posts’ titles and descriptions, you will attract more people to your blog and site, which is also a great way to get them interested in your social sites, products and services.
4. Analyze That!
Having your own blog gives you a headstart with analytics, making it easy to assess what’s working and what’s not in attracting people to your site.
Yes, there are dozens of social analytics companies out there, but there’s nothing to beat drilling down into the stats on your own site where you can see the visitor actions in black and white (or in color with Crazy Egg’s heat maps).
You can also use your blog to learn the impact you are having on social media by creating landing pages for visitors coming from the main social sites.
5. A Blog Builds Authority
If you consistently publish valuable content on your blog, that builds your authority, and soon people will see you as a go-to source for information on your niche. Hubspot, Kissmetrics and others have this nailed.
Reinforce your authority by claiming authorship of everything you publish and linking it to your Google+ profile, so you will have a headstart if and when Author Rank comes into play.
In other words, your blog is the starting point for the content you share, not an afterthought.
6. A Blog Generates Leads and Sales
And here’s one more reason to keep your blog: having a blog can bring in income. According to Chris Horton, blogging increases monthly business leads by 88 percent in the B2C sector and by 67 percent in the B2B sector. And business sites with blogs get 55 percent more visitors than those without. That could make a significant difference to overall revenue.
Simply speaking, not only should you not ditch your blog, but if you haven’t got one yet, you should get one now so you can build trust, engagement and revenue!