Anyone coming off a marketing course or just reading the general marketing media might be forgiven for believing that in terms of effectiveness, social media has completely overtaken longer-form content such as blogs. And that’s almost certainly true for an Indian restaurant or a hairdressing salon with their attention-grabbing Instagram videos. But for blue widget suppliers? Not so much.
I’m not saying that a social media isn’t a good investment for The Blue Widget Company. It’s undoubtedly useful for brand building, customer interaction, and in several other specific areas. It can also drag in visitors to more substantial content on a business website. There’s the clue though as to where we should be starting. Whether they find it through social media or any other route, what industrial and scientific customers are looking for is long-form, substantial content.
Much of this can be covered by White Papers, case studies, technical guides and company news stories, which fit neatly under some menu on a company’s website. However, sometimes there’s a need for opinion pieces, interviews and other miscellaneous items, and if there’s no ‘blog’ section on the site, there’s also no obvious home for these. The result, as I’ve seen many times, is that they just don’t get written. And not writing them because there’s nowhere obvious to put them is just ridiculous.
The best thing of all about a blog is that it’s easy to set up a subscription service to receive new additions by email. Some companies think that this would only be worthwhile if they could get hundreds or even thousands of people to subscribe, and they can’t see that happening. I would very much disagree; if only half a dozen customers end up on the list, to me that justifies the effort of setting it up.