I recently read an article by Ramona Sukhraj asking whether blogging for marketing is dead.
Clearly, the title was linkbait but it raised an interesting question about the value of blogging.
While there are millions of blogs and lots of content is generated, many of them suffer from fundamental problems, which I think Sukhraj wanted to put the spotlight.
First, there’s a lot of bad content. Many companies are blogging for the sake of blogging. They blog because they think content should be created on a regular basis.
They also blog for SEO. If they blog, their SEO rankings will presumably improve.
But that’s the wrong way to approach blogging.
Blogging is about delivering value to the people who matter to you: prospects, customers, partners, or investors.
Whoever the audience, make sure you’re delivering high-value content; content that answers questions, addresses challenges, talks about aspirations and goals, and gets people thinking about what you do, who you serve and why it matters.
The other way companies fail with blogging is a lack of consistency. Sometimes, the blog every week and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, it’s twice a week and sometimes it’s once a week.
Consistency is ultra-important. There’s nothing worse than going to a corporate blog and discovering nothing has been written for a month or two. What does that say about your company and brand?
Whether you blog once a week, three times a week or five times a week, do it consistently.
When that happens, expectations are established. Your audience knows what to expect and when to expect it. They know what you’re going to deliver. No surprises.
Blogging on a regular basis also creates a cadence inside your company. Everyone knows what to do, when to do it, and how it gets done.
If you’re going to blog once a week, people know their roles and responsibilities; everything from thinking about ideas to drafting blog posts to editing and publishing posts. But if you’re not blogging on a regular basis, when do people know when to do their jobs? They don’t.
Blogging for business is not dying, although blogging for business is being badly done in many quarters.
If you are blogging, focus on doing it on a consistent basis and generate high-quality content that meets the needs of the people who matter.
Another important consideration about blogging is whether it generates ROI. Is it attracting inbound traffic? Are people engaging with the content, clicking on links, and calls-to-action?
To blog for the sake of blogging is a waste of time if other channels generate more brand awareness, leads, and sales.
A blog – like any marketing activity – needs to move the needle.
So take a step back and look at whether blogging makes sense for your company and whether it generates ROI. If the answer is “yes”, you know what to do: blog consistently and create high-quality content. If the answer is “no”, it’s time to reload.
Personally, I think companies, particularly B2B companies, should blog but do it using best practices, creativity, and diligence.
In my new book, Marketing Spark, one of the chapters looks at how to write blog posts that make an impact. It puts the spotlight on best practices such as using images and inserting hyperlinks, as well as the tools to use.
Marketing Spark also provides insight on how to capitalize on other channels, as well as insight into the power of story-driven marketing.