To Blog or Not To Blog, That’s the Wrong Question

Content marketing isn’t solely about blogging or about words — It’s about connecting

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

If you had asked me ten, even five, years ago if your company should have a blog, I would have answered with an emphatic: Yes! But it’s 2018 and times have changed. Blogging and social media marketing has morphed and coalesced into content marketing and content marketing is more than just blogging. So the question isn’t to blog or not to blog, but rather —

What kind of content should I create that my customers will enjoy?

If I don’t have to blog for content marketing, what else works?

I’m going to take that question apart first. Blogging didn’t work for everyone. You say, “Heresy!”, I say. “Truth.” Blogging worked (and works) tremendously well for thousands of businesses. Blogs have brought have unknown companies and apps to the attention of new customers and investors. There are innumerable success stories out there, but there are also companies who gave it a good go and blogging just didn’t pan out. This is fine. We intuitively know you can’t apply every marketing tactic to every business. Blogging and social media are no different. On the other hand, building a strong content marketing strategy will? work for almost all businesses (still with the almost). To get there you need to expand what you think of when you think “content marketing”. Content marketing isn’t just words. It’s videos, it’s infographics, it’s webinars, it’s whitepapers, it’s ebooks, it’s even uploading slide decks. All of those are potential types of content you can try.

Blogging didn’t work for everyone. You say, “Heresy!”, I say. “Truth.”

The real question is: Are you ready and able to create content your customers/audience are interested in? Read that again. Not content you want to make. Not content that everyone says is cool. Content your customers/audience want to read (and will benefit your business).

A few types of content you might not have thought of yet

Looking for ideas (or validation) that what you’d like to do is still “content” for content marketing? Here are some ideas that I believe are content for content marketing (including blogs):

  • Words
  • Blog posts
  • Press releases (yes, press releases are an important part of any content marketing strategy)
  • Whitepapers
  • Ebooks
  • Posts on LinkedIn or Medium
  • Posts on forums and groups
  • Email marketing
  • Sales material (one pagers, fact sheets)
  • Videos
  • How to/screencast
  • Informational
  • Video blogs (vlogs)
  • Recordings of talks and presentations
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Shared slide decks
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Online classes
  • Downloadable templates (could be words or pictures or whatever)

That’s a lot. There are far more content types than just blogs. I left most of social media out, because I group social media under promotion and acceleration tools, not as much content. You can make a great case to include all forms of social media here. Or you could say all of these are social media. I’m taking a middle approach. Looking at this list, how do you pick? Where do you start?

How about asking your customers?

Ask your customers what they’d like to consume

And test a few things out. Will a lot of people default to blogs? Sure and that is a good place to start your content journey, but keep asking, keep listening, keep experimenting with content types, until you find the mix that works. It will not happen overnight.? Finding your niche takes time and patience and a few outright failures. You’ll get there.

Content marketing takes time, even for content marketers. When I’m building something for a new company (or even myself), I don’t get a boost just because I’ve done it before. It’s easier to get started, sure, but I still have to start from scratch. Every audience is different, so every content marketing mix is different. And remember…

You don’t have to have a blog to do content marketing or be successful.

Originally published at www.trishussey.com on July 6, 2018.

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Content Marketer, Wordsmith, Editor

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