How does an organisation broaden its horizons and reach to their customers? How should you communicate content? With around 45% of the world population having an internet connection today (in 1995, it was less than 1%) (Internet Live Stats, 2016), blogging and social media are great ways in reaching out to the customer, but which one should take centre stage?
This topic has popped up from my company background on April Six who do not run a blog, and are far behind their competitors in terms of following on social media. A blogging and social media campaign could be ideal to improve an agency like April Six’s credibility in the marketing world. But which one should marketing agencies focus on. To understand this, we need to know the difference between blogs and social media:
Blogging creates content that lives on your website. Social media engages with people about content (Gussif, 2014).
Benefits of blogging over social media
In-depth blog posts can help potential clients solve their problems, which cannot be achieved through social media posts that tend to be shorter and less descriptive (Scheidies, 2013). As a client see’s that you know how to solve the problem, showing expertise, they may turn to you, as they trust and respect you as an expert in the field. If they are looking for that problem to be solved further than just reading a blog post, then blogging turns these into leads, increasing the potential revenue coming in. Over time, a large network will be established as people will be viewing the blog as ‘more than an ordinary blog’.
The best blogs answer common questions that their customers have. If these questions are constantly answered through blogs, it’ll increase the credibility of the organisation. This is a very handy for marketing agencies offering a service.
SEO is so important with marketing agency’s websites, especially as there are more than 25,000 agencies in the UK alone (Marketing Quotes, 2016). Search engines, like Google, want to deliver the most helpful results to the searcher. When you write in-depth blogs, Google takes note as each high-quality blog provides an opportunity to generate traffic from searches. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter do not have these in-depth analysis posts, resulting in them not improving your SEO as much as blogs.
Blogging helps generate inbound links, with social media not being as effective. This is effective in SEO and without a blog, it can be difficult to attract authoritative links to your business website. Blogging generates inbound links, as others may cite the blog in their own (DeMers, 2015). For SEO, this is so beneficial as it generates referral traffic to the marketing agencies website.
For a further understanding, Jayson DeMers shows the major benefits of blogging.
Benefits of social media over blogging
Social network popularity is only growing. The likes of Facebook and Twitter are free to start a company page, with Facebook being the most popular social media platform. Social Media allows messages to be targeted to specific groups, which is not as achievable with blogging. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow geo-targeting and have tools that allow communications to your audience with the correct content. For example, with Hootsuite (a social media management system for brand management) you can target by location, language, age, gender, relationship status, interested in, and education on Facebook, and Country on Twitter. This niche targeting allows messages to be tailored to a specific audience.
The speed of reach and feedback with social networks like Facebook and Twitter is staggering. If you want to spread the word of a story, idea or question, it is must faster than blogging. While you may get similar feedback from a blog, the likes of Twitter is much faster, sometimes making decision making faster, which is vital in a fast paced agency.
Blogging can be very time consuming, and being in a marketing agency, the speed and churn of work is rapid, making it hard to fit in the time to blog. This is a huge benefit of social media sites that allow fast and quick statuses to be sent, resulting in no planning or editorial control needed. This makes communicating with customers and increasing the brands awareness easier.
For a further understanding of the benefits of social media, Jayson DeMers looks at ‘The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing’
Which steals the limelight?
Both social media networks and blogging have their advantages and disadvantages. The main question is, which one should a marketing agency use to increase their credibility? The answer is both.
They both serve unique purposes with blogging being incredibly useful when marketing content, and social media being excellent in gaining an audience, but is difficult to publish informative well-written posts. An effective way to increase the credibility of a marketing agency is to use both. An effective strategy would use your blog to communicate well-written pieces showing that you have knowledge in the marketing world, and then use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to gain a following, directing them via links and advertisements to the blog. Blogs should contain more in-depth content, whereas social media posts should touch on it. Rational choice theory is based on how actions are rational in character, and people calculate the risks and benefits before making decisions (Eriksson, 2011). This theory shows that by creating a following, and providing relevant and informative content through blogging and social media, the credibility of the agency will increase as they will be perceived to have knowledge in their area of work.
The blog should be hosted on the company’s website as this will increase the traffic to the site, helping improve the SEO. They complement each other. It’s difficult to maintain an active social media presence without access to high-quality content, which is provided from blogs. Sharing others content on social media is good, but you want to be directing the reader to your own website. As you share your blog on social media, you increase traffic to your website.
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Eriksson, L. (2011) Rational Choice Theory: Potential and Limits. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillian. Paperback.
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