Is it just me or has this been the year of the video content? From Facebook and Instagram lives to Snapchat stories and every other person starting their own YouTube channel, everybody and their mother is running towards video for their marketing content. And don't even get me started about podcasts!
Now I'm not here to be a hater. I love a good podcast episode or a piece of video content as much as the next girl. And I'm a huge believer that letting audiences see your face and hear your voice is critical, building that constantly talked about "know-like-trust" factor. We all care more about people once we can see them face to face.
But when I'm looking for someone's expertise on any subject or just an answer to quick question, I do not have time to sit through your 10 minutes of funny antics with your dog before I get those three takeaways I really need!
Audio and video content are both great ways to turn new followers into raving fans, but they're not the best way to make contact with those new followers in the first place. For that, you're still best off going back to the basics - with good old-fashioned, keyword-rich, search-engine-optimized written content.
I know, I know, compared to snapping a cute Instagram photo or filming a fun video, generating more written content for your business probably doesn't sound like the most fun. It's hard work! It takes writing skill, detailed editing and thought and energy to create consistent content at the quality you need. But keep reading friend and I will make you a believer yet! Let's look at all the critical reasons that blogging is still a key regeneration tactic for your business in 2017.
There’s No One Size Fits All Approach to Marketing
If you're a creative business owner in 2017, following the lead of other more experienced creative business owners turned business coaches or online educators, you might assume that the path they're taking right now is the one you should be following for your own business.
You watch their Facebook lives, or Instagram live stories every week or tune into their webinars and think, "I should be doing that too!"
Now, if you're a consultant or have a service-based business selling to other businesses—YES, you should absolutely be pursuing a strategy that includes live video, podcast guesting, and joint venture webinars.
But, by the way, you should also be blogging, because—see point number one.
However, if you have a consumer-based creative business, if you're a photographer, or a wedding planner, a baker, or you sell a physical product, your audience is a totally different one than the coaches and educators you're following and learning from.
You guys, this point cannot be over cited: your industry is NOT your audience.
Say it with me:
Your industry is NOT your audience!
Calligrapher friends? The average bride is not tuning into your Facebook live about the best paper, ink, and nibs. Other calligraphers might tune into that... And if educating aspiring calligraphers is a revenue strategy for you? Awesome! Go for it!
But when it comes time to fill your client calendar with real brides seeking wedding invitations? That's where your good old-fashioned blog (and the search engine optimization and FAQ content it generates) will still be your number one source of leads.
Renting vs. Owning?
There's a metaphor that gets bounced around the creative industry to describe social media as rented space, whereas your blog and email list is owned space that you have more control over.
Now to an extent, this metaphor rings true. You do have more control over your audience information and experience through your website, or through email—and that’s yet another reason to not leave blogging behind.
That said, let's not forget that at the end of the day Squarespace, or WordPress, or MailChimp, or ConvertKit still have quite a bit of control over your connection to your audience on their platform—which is why you should have regular backups of your content and your email database. But that's a whole other can of worms, y’all!
What’s More Important: Platform Switching
What's more significant to me here, though, is the issue of platform switching.
Eek. Nerdy marketing speak! Let me explain:
In all but a handful of cases, your audience probably can't make a purchase from you directly from Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or their favorite podcast app. That means in order to make a purchase, that viewer has to move off of whatever platform they’re using to enjoy your content and onto your website or shop page.
Now, that difference might sound trivial—but how many times have you made heart-eyes at a cute t-shirt or coffee mug on Instagram, read the words “link in profile,” and kept right on scrolling? After all, you could just as easily price shop something similar on Etsy, or get a copycat in under two days via Amazon Prime!
It’s a sad reality, but it’s true, my friends! I promise, this has nothing to do with your talent or with the value of your product or service. It’s just a thing that happens when you’re dealing with platform switching. So, don’t give your audience the opportunity to face the temptation of cheap convenience!
To turn more leads into sales, we want to move your audience off of social media and onto your website to do their content consuming, then lead them down that path to purchase once they’re already on the right platform.
And the best way to do that? You guessed it! On your blog.
Bring Back Blogging by Changing Your Approach
If blogging is not still generating leads for your business? If it's not a primary point of decision and conversion to sales? You're probably doing it wrong. Lack of ROI from blogging efforts for business is almost always due to a lack of consistency or strategy—not because blogging is somehow “over.”
Friends, you've got to figure out your keywords, find your voice, and use a systematic, repeatable process to deliver content that entertains and adds value for your audience.
I know, I know! That last part sounds totally overwhelming. But don't worry, friends, I've got your back! Click the link below to nab my step-by-step formula and outlining worksheet for every blog post you will ever write. I mean it!
Those hours you spend staring at that blinking cursor on a blank page? DONE.
This is business blogging fill-in-the-blank style. Now, not only will blogging still matter for your business—it may just be the very best thing you can do to build your brand.