I’m thinking about starting a blog for my business to expand our online presence. Are business blogs still relevant or should I just stick to social media?
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Over the past couple of years, social media has been usurping blogging for personal and business users alike. The steady flow of new capabilities on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn may make blogs seem less exciting. It's getting harder to define a blog, since they’re entrenched in the mainstream media. So why bother when one-sentence status updates are consuming readers’ time? While the creation of new blogs might be slowing, there's no evidence that popular blogs are going away. If you’re a small business looking into blogging, consider how it can be a strategic communications tool. Blogs are excellent vehicles for crisis response or letters from executives. They can be wonderful formats for educating readers on your industry, market and other important issues. A blog allows you to apply your own corporate branding and unique look and feel, unlike social networks. For lead generation, however, blogs are losing favor to social media sites like Facebook. Today, the blog may not be the front-facing online marketing page for your business, but it can be an effective branch of the marketing tree along with your website, SEO strategy and social media program. Paul Verna, senior analyst with e-marketer, contributed ideas to this response.