A study by The Center For Marketing Research declared, “blogging declines as new media rules.” Based on results of a survey sent to the Inc 500, the article states, “there is clearly a shift in how these nimble companies are communicating.”
If it is true that blogging is on the decline, then I’d say these companies are more fickle than nimble. Throwing over — or not starting a blog because it’s easier to use Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest is short-sighted and risky. A blog may be an “old” form of social media but it has five benefits that the newer platforms can’t touch.
Unless the internet disappears, a blog is the one platform you know you will always be there when you log in. The equity you build is yours to keep. What guarantee do you have that the time and effort you put into building relationships on Facebook and Twitter will not evaporate one day five years from now? And based on how fickle marketers are, who knows what platform the next social media craze will drive everyone to? Are you willing to bet 100% of your social media efforts on platforms you don’t control?
The data you get from your blog through Google analytics is deeper, more detailed and more valuable than anything you can get from the other platforms. You have the opportunity to test and learn at will on your blog. Facebook insights are about as good as it gets on the other platforms, yet even that data pale in comparison to the information that Google analytics provides.
If Google loves your blog, why wouldn’t you? The Google algorithm prefers your blog to your website because it is fresher, and has (hopefully) valuable, original content. If you’ve been using best practices on your blog by keeping up with it, offering helpful content, writing to your customers’ needs, in the language they use (using keywords they are looking for), then your blog posts are helping your SEO. Individual Facebook posts or tweets don’t do that for you.
On your blog, there are no limits to the number of characters, image size or overall length. On a blog, not only can you take as many words and as much space as you want to tell your story, but you can use your blog to extend the space that you have on the other platforms. Where will you sent thad Pinterest link? Do you need your Facebook post to link to a story with an image or video? The blog is the perfect spot. While you may want to keep certain conversations within the Facebook and Twitter platforms, the blog provides endless opportunities to create landing pages where you can offer your communities on other platforms the opportunity to visit you in your permanent home.
Trust is what builds your business and your brand. Nothing establishes trust, thought leadership, and authority like a blog. It takes more than 140 or 255 characters to make a point, tell a story, or build a reputation. And it takes the ability to look back and read the history of what has been written to grasp the entire story or the depth of knowledge that a company brings to the table. You can’t look back very far on Facebook and Twitter.
Blogging has such value that virtually all of the most influential social media marketers are bloggers. Seth Godin, who is one of my marketing heroes, uses blogging as virtually his only digital form of marketing.
It’s easy to have our heads turned by the next shiny object in social media and in fact, many of the latest “crazes” are innovative, addictive and at least seemingly, effective. We want to test them, move to them and because we can’t do everything, abandon something else. That’s the definition of being fickle, not nimble. I’m not sure how to deal with all the new opportunities in social media. I do know that jumping from one thing to the next because one is easier, even if the other is more solid can come back to bite you later.
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