Occasionally, we get a message from someone asking if maybe we're being a bit extreme by saying "blog or die" as often as we do. After all, aren't there other Internet marketing strategies that work just as well as blogging?
Well, it's a fair question. There are a lot of ideas out there for effective Internet marketing, so why do we say "blog or die?" Well, let's look at some numbers real quick, courtesy of Hubspot's 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report:
Blogs are cited by respondents as being the cheapest way of recruiting new leads.
92% of companies who average more than one blog a day reported getting a customer through it.
Company blogs were more likely to be cited as at least "useful" to Inbound marketing strategies than any other online marketing approach.
Facebook and LinkedIn, however, are individually a bit better than blogs at generating new leads, but only in specific fields. Blogs reach everyone about equally.
Additionally, investment in social media is currently growing faster than blogging, with 62% reporting that social media had become more important to them in the last year.
So, there is still an argument to be made for social media, and it's clearly gaining traction among businesses. I would argue - and this is my own interpretation, not something in the Hubspot report - that much of the growth is simply due to social media finally hitting the mainstream marketer's radar. That is, it's become more important mostly because it was entirely unimportant just a couple years ago.
Now, if you asked us to flatly choose one medium as being the most important, we'd still continue to say "blog or die" based on current trends. If nothing else, it's far harder to make a sale directly through social media rather than capturing a sale from someone already perusing your site.
However, here at 98toGo we really don't feel like this should be an either-or question. Since both blogs and social media are relatively cheap to invest in and manage, we feel the best approach is to work with them side-by-side.
Update Your Blogging Strategies By Embracing New Technologies
With Internet marketing, it's a lot easier and more practical to intertwine marketing strategies in different mediums as compared to traditional offline advertising. The Internet is one big, inter-linked mass and should be treated as such.
The best approach we find for utilizing your blog alongside other Internet sides is to look at your blog as being the hub of your online marketing activity. It's right there on your site, so it's easier to capture people's attention and guide them to Calls to Action or to your shopping cart. Most people who buy from you are going to be making their purchases ultimately thanks to your website.
When working with social media, we recommend you view your presence there as being like satellite offices, or perhaps as embassies. Each form of social media you approach is basically foreign turf. They have their own user demographics and their own ways of speaking and doing business. The users are on "home turf," and you have to speak to them in their preferred ways to convince them to meet you on your terms, at your website.
So, the best approach to social media is to play to the strengths and interests of the "local" user base, convincing them to come visit your hub where actual business will be done.
Then, once they're at your site, they see your blogs, your whitepapers, and your calls to action. If they were on the fence about doing business with you before, the content on it will help convert them in ways you couldn't accomplish through social media alone.
And that, in the end, is why we think "blog or die" is still the name of the game.
What do you think? Are blogs still the best all-around investment?