What’s the old saying, “news of my death has been greatly exaggerated?”
We’re seeing the return of a perennial trend, the “blogging is dead, long live blogging!” trope. And this time, we decided to jump in.
A blog is a tool, and as with any tool, in any toolbelt, the key is to know when to pull out the hammer and when to go with a screwdriver.
Or, in content marketing, when to write a blog post, and when to write a whitepaper (or tweet, FB update, or LinkedIn think piece). So, with that advice in mind, here’s a selection of the myriad reasons why we say: “heck no, blogging isn’t dead!”
SEO isn’t dead, and you still want to rank, right?
You want your site to rank and you have your keywords all sorted out. Now, what’s the best way to get those keywords onto a page, on your site, in a way Google will find them and use them to boost your rank? Well, we say it’s by working them into headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, and alt text on blog posts. Oh, and of course writing engaging posts on those keywords that people read and share (which also boosts your reputation and by extension your authority and rank).
You need to drive traffic, and people have an aversion to banner ads.
Blog posts are a built-in target for you to direct backlinks to. You can use them as landing pages for social media posts, resources to back up comments you’re making on other people’s posts, or just announce them in general via your Twitter feed and Facebook timeline. As your reputation and authority increase, you’ll start seeing your posts rank on page 1 of the search results pages, increasing your organic reach even more. Which is good, because studies are showing that more and more searchers are ignoring paid results and installing ad blocking extensions in their web browsing apps.
A great way to show your human side.
Social media updates are short and to the point, and need to stay in brand voice. So blog posts are your best option for expressing not only your brand personality but also yours. You have the opportunity to weave the two together, to show your audience that not only are you representing your company and product but also being your own wonderful, quirky self. And people trust people, so this is the best way to build rapport and trust to start building your brand.
Who doesn’t love a good story?
Your company blog is the best place for brand storytelling, too. Have a good one about how your founder came up with the idea for your widget? Serialize it and get it posted. How about a recent win? Maybe your infrastructure team pulled off the impossible and got the site back up after a catastrophic failure. Or maybe your dev team pulled a miracle out of their hat and released a record number of bug fixes in one day. Whatever the story, tell it on the blog. Then tease it on your social media channels, with links back to the blog posts, of course.
And on that note, who doesn’t love a good deep dive?
Shake up in your industry? Write about it. Get detailed. Go all the way into the weeds and really let your opinion be known. On the blog, that is. This is where you can go deep on industry happenings, upcoming releases, internal stories from employees, whatever. If you find yourself with multiple thousands of words, consider making it an ebook instead, then post a summary to the blog with a link to the gated content to help grow your email list.
People love reading deep dives into subjects that interest them. Go back to your company mission and the problems you started out helping your audience solve. Have there been developments in that realm that you missed? Go back and fill in the gaps. Read your competitor’s blogs, too. Then write about what they’re leaving out. Go Deep.
Gives a needed boost to your social presence.
Blogging doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’ll want to keep up your social presence at the same time as posting to the blog. That’s where automation comes to the rescue, but that’s for a different post. Blogging and social media were made for each other. Your posts get a needed infusion of readers from your updates, and your presence following gets a boost when someone reads a post that resonates and they find you on Twitter to get more. This is a mutual, two-way relationship, so be sure you have the resources to maintain both before getting too far.
Some keys to successful blogging in 2020 and beyond:
The bottom line comes down to your posts being engaging and relevant to your audience. That’s what will drive readership, encourage interactions, and bring people back for more. Some quick tips to drive clicks:
- Write better content
- Grow your community
- Invest in video to supplement your content
- Expand your reach on at least one social channel
- Focus on your email list
- Pillar pages/topic clusters keep Google happy
So, is blogging dead? Heck no! But as a discipline it is absolutely changing. Where once you found keyword-stuffed fluff pieces, now you find relevant content that’s helping readers solve problems. Where once you found lengthy think pieces that only served the author's ego, now you find appropriately deep dives into subjects that resonate with their target audience and lead to engagement and conversion.
As a tool in your content marketing toolbox, a blog is like a good strong multitool. It’s a place to engage your audience with stories, deep dives into industry goings-on, and a place to promote upcoming releases. It provides mutual support for your social media presence. It gives you a useful landing page for incoming links, and it provides you a place to link to other content on your site. All in, a company blog is an important piece of any solid content marketing strategy that shouldn’t be discounted.