Blogs, once at the vanguard of business-to-business marketing, are nowadays ubiquitous and often failing to inspire!
With so much written content out there, has the humble blog had its day? Up until recently, blogs – opinion leadership to listicles – written and shared to drive traffic to a website and into a sales funnel was the cutting edge of inbound marketing. Regularly published content would deliver email sign-ups in turn delivering leads to your sales team.
Can You Have Too Much Content?
Driven by the inbound marketing platforms and content marketing success stories, many organisations joined in; the trouble is there’s so much noise it’s now almost impossible to stand out.
For SMEs, with their smaller marketing budgets and lower existing brand awareness, getting cut-through is extremely difficult. Nowadays the content that gets engagement tends to be from organisations with a market-leading brand & existing reputation for thought leadership. Producing high-quality blogs is time-consuming, labour intensive and, for SMEs, prone to getting ‘stuck’ awaiting approval from owners, CEOs, and leadership teams. Because it’s such hard work, and because the reach and engagement upon publishing is often absent. Many SMEs find they simply can’t stay the course on a blog-dependent content marketing programme.
In almost all spheres, what was once a green field where you could take a stance and say something genuinely insightful and meaningful is now a well-trodden path. It’s simply hard to stand out!
And people want different things. In the consumer space, the likes of TikTok and Instagram have taken things to new levels. Even in the B2B space, people on LinkedIn want shorter, more engaging, easier to digest content.
The other factor that diminishes the value of blogs is that readers are less likely to click through to your website to read content. They want to consume it on the social platform. We know this from thousands of posts on LinkedIn over the last 5 years. The most effective LinkedIn posts are text only, video or images without links. Re-shared news content, or links to blogs – the reach is curtailed and they don’t get anywhere near as much engagement.
What Does This Mean For My Business?
For an SME in business to business – a marketing agency, or consultancy or a tech company – that means you need a change in mindset. The baseline for your thinking should be that most people will not leave the social platform to read your content.
That doesn’t mean they won’t ever come to your website. But it does mean that you need to become memorable on the social platform. If you do that well then when the time is right, prospects should seek you out and engage further. Attention spans are short so your aim should be to tell your story over time in bite-sized chunks. Content for social should be viewed as largely disposable. You need to be getting it out regularly so that you maintain visibility and above all else. You must engage with the platform’s algorithms to ensure you maximise reach.
Why Bother Blogging?
In short SEO. Regular content on your website driven by good keyword research and dovetailing with your key messages is essential for you to rank for what you want to rank for. Plus, high-value pieces will cater to niche audiences.
Blogs should most definitely be a part of, but not the be-all and end-all, of your content plan. Some of those pieces could be turned into videos, mini-slide decks, flashcards, or graphics – great visual ways to tell a story.
The blogs you do produce – consider repurposing them into a visual format for social posting. Your sales pipeline needs leads and maximising the visibility of your posts is key to generating regular leads.
If you’re putting out blog after blog without giving much thought to variation, or worse still, publishing blogs sporadically and expecting that will give you visibility, you need to rethink what you’re doing as it won’t work. It’s straightforward and relatively quick to put in place a content marketing framework and process. If you want to know more, get in touch with us.