Content bloggers need to adjust their work to compensate for the shift caused by digital transformation.
This is definitely an exciting time for all content bloggers out there. The advancement of digital technology has allowed them to expand their creativity with different types of content to work with.
When it comes to content, regardless of the format, bloggers should always put the audience first. This means not only making sure that the content provides value, but also that it’s in a format that the audience will appreciate. Three of the most popular blog formats are text, video, and audio.
So, which one should you use for your business?
A short-formed content in text format that contains information is called blog. Blogging was created around the same time where internet was introduced to the world. Though most marketers consider it as a traditional strategy, but it’s still an effective method that is implemented by many businesses today.
Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to increase online visibility. In a way, business blog is another marketing channel just like social media, direct mail, or email marketing, to support business growth.
There are many reasons why marketers like to employ this strategy. For one, blogs are easy to set up. A lot of blogging platforms such as WordPress or Tumblr can be activated for free. Second, blogging does not require any equipment, apart from a laptop or desktop and a working internet connection, so it can be set-up pretty fast and on a low-cost budget. On the flip side, having a good knowledge of SEO is vital for marketers to ensure that their blogs or blog posts show up among the higher searches on search engines.
Buffer is one of the brands that has proven the effectiveness of blogging marketing. They employed guest blogging practice, published several times a day and published content on various sites. The brand focuses on high quality and shareable content that resonate with their consumers. Buffer now has four blogs where they consistently published business-related content and they also use email marketing strategies to share their best content regularly.
The demand for video is increasing as more users are accessing the internet through mobile devices. With more than 69% of the audience prefer to watch videos, it’s definitely a major part of branded content in today’s digital society.
A video blog, also known as vlog, is basically a blog in a video format. Vlogging gained massive popularity after the introduction of YouTube in 2015. It has been dominating the virtual world thanks to the rise of smartphones and spectacular video capabilities. Today, vlogging has surpassed personal purposes and has been tapped by business.
65% of the audience are visual learners, so the best way to engage them is through visual content. Vlogging provides this type of conversational, visual experience which is often more engaging and interactive compared to the conventional blogging. Then there’s the fact that the average attention span of the audience is shortening from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds. This is why a lot of users prefer to watch videos over reading a lengthy written materials. Moreover, the level of communication with vlogging is deeper as the audience can see who’s talking and hence the message conveyed is also somewhat more trustworthy.
On the downside, marketers should know that vlogging needs a lot of equipment. To produce a high-quality vlog, an advanced video camera that records in high-definition and professional editing software, which can be expensive, are just among the basic essentials that brands must have. Another setback is that vlog is more time-consuming than text-based blog. From recording, editing and publishing the content, marketers are looking for two to four hours at the very least. For businesses who hire freelancers on hourly basis, this could cost them additional expenses.
Still, vlogging remains as one of the most effective marketing techniques today. Lonely Planet, for example, utilizes vlogging marketing to improve the brand’s awareness online. The brand uses YouTube videos to capture the highlights of a specific place in the world. The company also focuses solely on visual by capturing the ethereal beauty of nature while still providing in-depth insight. They take their audience on a journey to learn how the London Underground works, discover famous Spanish recipes, and find out the top destinations to visit in the coming year with their relevant and beautifully produced videos.
Just like video, audio content is also a popular format preferred by modern consumer. Audio content’s upward trend is partly triggered by the society’s “on-the-go” lifestyle. From engaging the audience while they are driving to work, working out at the gym or grocery shopping, audio content brings new experience that text-format could never give and eliminates various distractions that video provides. In a way, it represents a new platform for storytelling.
In the blogging world, audio-format blog is called podcast. Brands have become interested in the value that podcasting can bring to business. Podcasting allows brands to communicate to their audience and tell their brand story practically anywhere at any time, which helps to establish and solidify their market position in the industry and create brand advocates by leveraging social sharing functionality. Moreover, podcasts easily allow brands to connect with their customers on a more personal level as sound allows the listener to hear the emotion behind the words and stories.
At the same time, podcasts require excellent bandwidth, which can be quite costly for brands with limited resources. With podcasts, marketers must also create compelling content on a regular basis or they will lose their audience quickly. Podcasters must also be passionate and believe in the message to deliver a convincing podcasting to the audiences. Fake enthusiasm simply won’t work.
eBay is one of the brands that have successfully integrated podcasting into their brand messaging. Many podcasts tell stories of business success, but not many focus on the process of building business from scratch. eBay’s “Open for Business” is told in a journalistic-interview style, and focuses on entrepreneurs who grew their business from an idea into a full-fledged company. The podcast readdresses eBay’s branding message, while also hints at the origins of eBay as a startup business.
For most of us, blogging is simply a way to put our content out for the world to see. But in reality, the true path to success in content blogging is to make sure the content delivers value proposition to the target audience.
As great as each of the content platforms are as individuals, they work best when combined. Text content will always be the key for higher page ranking but it will be a huge mistake not to include video as people are always attracted to visual. Once the content is published online, brands can take it to the next level by releasing a podcast episode to give the audience another channel to reach and engage them.
No matter what type of blog brands are creating, at the end of the day, it is about understanding the audience, reaching them, catering to their needs, and ultimately delivering a unique experience to them.
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