Is Blogging the Online Dinosaur?
A friend and fellow marketer said something to me recently that caused my eyeballs to nearly pop out of my head. Her comment was short and to the point: Blogging is dead.
When I asked what made her make such a profound blanket statement, she responded that with the increasing popularity of social marketing, as well as the inundation of free ezines (or free e-magazines), blogs have become the online dinosaur.
I beg to differ.
You see, each platform has its own communication style; thereby, attracting different types of readers:
- Blogging is a more raw experience for the reader. Informal undertones which are unedited and uncut. Giving the inside scoop.
- E-newsletters or similar still contain valuable information, but the content is more polished and editorial in nature.
- Social marketing is typically a combination of short, pithy posts that are fun, friendly, or business-related. Sound bites that grab attention and allow followers see the writer as both guru and virtual friend.
When it comes to marketing, I never like to put all my eggs into one basket. I don't totally use social marketing as my platform of choice. Nor do I totally rely on email marketing or blogging as a prime driver for sales or leads.
What I like to do is diversify my online marketing mix—similar to when you diversify your retirement portfolio—and deploy several means of organic and paid Web marketing strategies based on target audience, budget and business objective.
In addition, I like to use tactics that complement one another.
Know The Flow: Understanding "Push" vs. "Pull" Marketing
Blogging, social marketing posts, and free ezines/e-magazines (email marketing) are all conduits; that is, ways to communicate with readers albeit subscribers, friends, followers, or fans.
The initial goals of each are virtually the same: To provide information in exchange for a readers' interest (bonding) and interaction. The information can be editorial, marketing or random thoughts. And the interaction can be in the form of a free subscription (email address), website visit, retweet, 'Like' or sale (cross-selling, affiliate or third-party ads).
With blogging and social marketing, you're deploying "pull" marketing—you're pulling people to your "home-base hub" whether it's your blog, profile page or wall with "content nuggets."
Once live, that content has become part of the Web and is now subject to search engine spiders and similar tactics that will help your nuggets get increased exposure in organic search results pages; thereby, pulling like-minded visitors from your "nugget" to your "hub" with more of that great useful, valuable, and actionable information such as SEO, SEM, article marketing, or what I call SONAR marketing.
Now, since these readers are seeking you out and visiting your "hub," you don't have a direct line of contact with them. In other words, you don't have their direct email address and have permission to correspond with the user personally.
… Which leads to 'push' marketing.
E-newsletters and e-magazines are correspondence being "pushed" out to your audience. Since the direct message itself is going through an email service provider and then to a specific individual, it is not widely available on the Web for all to see (including search engine spiders) and will not show up on organic search engines results pages.
You already have the recipients' email address, so the main purpose of your effort is typically bonding or cross-selling (via newsletter ads and solo emails in your sales funnel).
So you see, as long as there's different ways to reach people and different ways people prefer to be reached, blogging isn't dead. For some marketers, it may be on pause; but for smart marketers, it's still part of the big plan.
I think, nowadays, marketers need to test all online platforms to see which one is right for their business, audience, and objectives.
Don't rule anything out. Learn how to be strategically creative to satisfy YOUR specific goals and communication flow.
Often referred to as the "marketing maven" by industry peers, Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, and publishing with expertise in multichannel, direct response, and Web marketing. Wendy has generated more than $150 million in total revenues for Fortune 500 companies, top publishers, consulting clients, and her own firm, Precision Marketing and Media, LLC. She is the creator of the groundbreaking SONAR Content Distribution Model and author of the best-selling book Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback].