I presented during a webinar earlier this week and was a bit taken aback at the response to a poll taken during the session. When asked what type of social media the attendees participated in, they responded:
- 54% – Social Networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
- 21% – Microblogging (Twitter)
- 7% – Blogging
- 11% – Groups, Discussions, Q &A, Comments
I'm happy to see that marketers are embracing interactive online experiences, but I have to say I was surprised that only 7% are blogging. This makes me wonder what kind of links and content they're sharing via Twitter and on their Facebook fan pages.
Most B2B marketers will tell you that they aren't sure about the impact of social media on their marketing programs or able to prove ROI. Could it be because they are participating in social media as a standalone effort?
What helps drive effectiveness with social media is to share access to content that pulls people back to your company – to divert that traffic to your playground for a bit. But that means you have to have relevant and fresh content to offer. Blogs can help with that.
For those of you not blogging, here are a baker's dozen of reasons why you should consider incorporating a blog into your marketing mix:
- Blogging is more conversational in style and matches nicely with the need to create online dialogues.
- Blogging doesn't require an epic effort. A few paragraphs that share an insight offer a perspective, provide how-to tips or debate the status quo can work nicely.
- The Internet moves fast. Publishing a new article once a month on your website isn't enough to keep up a consistent dialogue.
- On a blog, it's perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to link to other bloggers and add your ideas to the ones they've shared. Can you say instant idea fodder?
- Blogs allow comments longer than 140 characters.
- Blogs enable you to take big, complex ideas and extract one point to simplify it.
- Blogs can help you get a read on what your prospects care about by monitoring which posts (topics) they interact with the most.
- Blogs let you share a variety of formats like embedding slide decks, podcasts, videos, graphics and charts, etc.
- Blogs are a great way to promote your webinars and other events.
- Blogs can offer a brief look at a topic with a link back to your website to other content that expands on that subject matter.
- Blogs invite other people to pass along your content to their networks, helping to spread your ideas beyond the reach you have today.
- Blogs can feed lead generation activities by offering opt-in opportunities for those who've come to value the ideas you share freely.
- Blogs are a kind of "natural nurturing" – the more often you touch your prospects, the more your ideas are top of mind for them. (hence, your company)
A blog is a natural extension to other types of social media and can help you improve the effectiveness of your overall marketing programs (including SEO). The trick is to incorporate your blog as an integral part component of your overall marketing strategy.