Why You Need a Blog: Blogs Are The Websites of The Social Media World

Written by J-P De Clerck, who is an experienced content, conversion and social media consultant. Like Mindjumpers, he is associated with Social Marketing Forum. You can connect with him on Twitter @Conversionation

Many businesses don’t have a blog yet. Too bad since blogs are really social media hubs and more. But there is hope, since blogs are almost a must for all businesses that want to do “something” with social media. A little more than a decade ago, many companies had no websites. And if they had one, it was often no more than some online brochure.

Now, for most businesses, their website is a critical part of their daily basis and a hub where various online and offline activities start and come together. In little over ten years, the corporate site has become a crucial component of the marketing and communication strategy. Today, companies face a new challenge: social media.

Actually, the challenge is not that new, but the success of social media and the fact that people continuously want more control over the communication process and tap into their social networks force companies to use social media as well. Social media, including blogs, are so frequently used by people – and thus also by prospects, clients, suppliers, potential employees, competitors, journalists etc. – that you HAVE to follow what is happening in the social sphere and participate in it.

Blogs play a crucial part in this. A blog, as I have been saying for a long time, is a social media hub. In some cases social networks can also be social media hubs and even the corporate website offers various – underused – possibilities regarding social media marketing. But blogs are definitely the main social media hubs. They are the source of social interactions and facilitate dialogues.

Blogs are the online properties to which companies can link their social media presences and where dialogues with clients and prospects also effectively take place. Furthermore, blogs play a crucial role in search engine marketing and a brand’s reputation, among many others.

The crucial role of content and information

Businesses can blog in various ways. They can setup a separate blog which is more or less separate from the company (website) itself, they can leave the initiative for blogging to persons within the company who have something to say and create their own blog, etc.

But it is also absolutely advisable to have a blog that is setup within the website or connected to it and where different persons within the company can blog.

The benefits are tremendous: a simple integration with web analytics, a more ‘open’ and transparent image, search engine optimization and a rapid real-time interaction with people whereby relevant content is crucial.

Company blogs also open up new doors to strengthen other channels and client aimed actions, even in more outbound activities such as e-mail marketing. And of course they are essential in inbound marketing: people are in need of relevant information they can interact with; using blogs you can provide this much faster and in a conversational way than on a website.

Just as today the website has become a marketing hub, blogs will for a long time be the hubs of social media marketing. Content plays a crucial role in this.

If you don’t have a blog yet, it’s really time to get started.

Video is The New King of Content Marketing

PrintVideo content is taking over. New stats from Cisco have revealed that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.

The path to video supremacy is well underway with Nielsen revealing that 64% of marketers expect video to be a key part of their content strategies. It’s not just the blue chips and consumer giants that need to get behind this trend; SMEs need to embrace the possi-bilities of video content marketing as well.

As with anything, if the majority of brands and your competitors are doing the same thing, then it becomes noticeable and potentially damaging to any businesses that don’t keep up. This is particularly true of social media content, which has become the latest and most brutal marketing battleground. Get something right and your fans will love you. Get it wrong and you’ll either fade away or become a viral sensation – for all the wrong reasons.

Your timeline is there to be noticed and video content could be just what you need to elevate your brand and engage your customers and fans.

If you’re unsure about introducing video and other types of motion content into your marketing mix then a quick scan through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram will quickly show you how widespread video content marketing has become.

 

It’s a proven medium that is only going to increase in popularity as consumer technology continues to improve. Superfast fibre broadband at home and 4G on the go means loading video is no longer a buffering nightmare. With HD screens on the latest smartphones and tablets, there’s never been a better time to access and watch videos.

Because of these improvements in how your customers access the internet, over a tenth of all videos are played on mobile phones and tablets – and this percentage is set to continue rising sharply.

YouTube racks up over one billion unique visitors a month. No other channel can match this except for the ubiquitous Facebook. Understanding that your audience wants content that speaks to them is the key to achieving viewing figures.

You want your content to be:

  • Watchable
  • Commentable
  • Shareable

All content has to resonate with its intended audience. Whether you want to go emotional, funny or practical, it needs to capture interest to stimulate engagement.

 

This doesn’t just happen randomly! It’s essential to have the following to make it work:

  • Clear campaign goal
  • Content strategy
  • Creative content

If you put time and effort into planning and producing videos then visitors will stay longer on your site and be more inclined to evangelise your brand. 7/10 people view brands more positively after watching engaging video content from them.

Finally, remember this fact: recent research has revealed that one-minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Don’t think this makes it easier though!

 

At Mindjumpers we’ve got a dedicated video production team, ready and waiting to help kick-start your video production and content marketing output. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you.