Is blogging still a useful, relevant marketing tool?


Yep, it’s still worth writing, even in this age of chat bots and TicToc.

When I wrote my first post on the Brand Insight Blog back in 2008, I prefaced it with this: “To blog, or not to blog.” Fourteen years later, it seems like a lot of people are still asking that question. The value of blogging is still up for debate.

Back then, I justified my blogging quite convincingly:

I love to learn, and there’s no better way to learn about a subject than to write about it.
I believe in sharing what I’ve learned. Share, share, share! Share some more. THEN ask.
I figured it’d be good for my brand, my reputation, and my business.
All those things still ring true. If you’re passionate about a subject, and you have a lot to share, then by all means…

Write a blog about it.

Start a podcast on the subject.

Launch your own YouTube Channel.

Put stuff up on Pinterest, Tic Toc or Reddit.

Educate people in a honest, valuable manner.

Those are all good marketing tactics for professionals who are genuinely well-versed in a field of some kind. Unfortunately, they’re also popular with people who are not, and with companies that don’t care.

Every year there are hoards of new posts on every single subject under the sun. So the bar is quite low when it comes to the type of content that’s being promoted. Here are some tips that will help you rise above the noisy fray…

Don’t pawn yourself off as a “thought leader” when all you’re doing is cutting and pasting other people’s crappy blog posts or paying a content farm to churn out “dozens of posts a week for one low price.”

Thanks to AI, you can now “purchase original content” — short, mindless blog posts, emails or social media content that is packed with keywords, cliches and common phrases that every other competitor and computer in your business is using.

If you don’t have your own, original perspective on a subject, stay away from it. People really will perceive the difference between valuable insight and regurgitated nonsense. You’ll get no repeat readers and you will not improve your credibility.

Don’t do blog posts if all you’re going to communicate is the company’s boilerplate PR messages. Blogs, podcast interviews and emails like this are expected to deliver more than just the company line.

There are plenty of corporate content marketing managers who are under pressure to keep churning out whatever they’re told to churn out. Avoid that at all costs. It might appease a micro-manager, but it’s not going to help your brand in the long run.

Don’t do blog posts for SEO purposes only. Stuffing Google keywords into blog posts using AI writing tools is not going to help you build a brand. Yes, click bait might produce a teeny, tiny short term blip in traffic, but it won’t serve you well in the long run. It does nothing more than increase the bounce rate on your site.

Don’t just push push push stuff out there. There needs to be a spark of inspiration. A real reason for speaking out, beyond just “look at me.” Publish stuff that people are actually going to like, share, and comment on. Think engagement, not just impressions.

It always comes back around to the three keys of brand building: Relevance, Credibility and Differentiation.

Cheap, unimaginative content might be relevant at first glance, but it’s not credible. And it certainly won’t differentiate your brand from everyone else. In fact, the wrong kind of content can differentiate you in a very negative way.

I’ve seen companies with exceptional offerings that are truly superior to their competitors, but their marketing content is so poorly done no one believes it.

They produce content that’s not aligned with their product or their brand. It actually sets them apart in a negative way, and drags them down into a yelling match with inferior competitors.

There are many widely-cited studies that prove poor writing — and therefore, poor content — destroys productivity and costs companies millions of dollars every year. It’s not just marketing hype from people who write for a living. It’s a fact.

A lack of clarity is an enormous waste of time for everyone.

A poor choice of words can sabotage the credibility of an otherwise great leader.

The wrong tone or too many facts can kill response rates of any ad campaign.

So before you post that next blog article, and before you shell out a lot of money to buy links to other blogs, take time to consider the quality of your content. Pause long enough to assess what you’re really saying and showing.

Is it on brand?

Is it worthy of your product? Worthy of a customer’s time?

Is it truly differentiated in a good way, or is it just a lot of fluff?


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