By Heidi Cohen published February 28, 2011

12 Reasons to Put Blogs at the Center of Your Content Marketing

Blogs are the optimal choice for your content marketing hub because they’re content chameleons combining the strength of social media with old-fashioned print-publishing functionality. The reality is that in today’s content-driven world, while you may view yourself as a marketer, you’re really a publisher.  You must provide relevant content for your prospects, customers and the public who – according to Ipsos’ research – spend over 10 hours a day consuming media.

From a marketing perspective, you need content at every step of the purchase process that educates and entertains without overtly promoting your offering.

According to research from Blog2Print’s Corporate Blog Survey (see the chart), one out of two companies view blogs as a cost of doing business, which is a weak rationale for a marketing initiative. These respondents are overlooking a blog’s capability to act as control center for their content marketing.

Are you looking to justify blogging in your company? Here are twelve points to consider. (Need help deciding what to put on your corporate blog, see these nine must-have company blog elements.)

1. Blogs are an easy-to-use CMS (aka content management system).
Blogs require limited training and/or technical skill to use while providing flexibility to update or modify content quickly. As an added bonus, blogs are inexpensive.

2. Blogs are part of a company’s owned media.
Blog content is owned by your organization and can be integrated into your website. Unlike other third-party and social media outposts, you don’t need to worry about whether they’ll disappear or go out of business. A blog can serve in lieu of a website.

3. Blogs provide branded context for your content.
As part of your firm’s owned media, blogs offer a branded context for your communications through the use of blog design elements that can be exported with the content. You can extend your brand without paying for third party media.

4. Blogs integrate your brand into your content marketing.
Beyond the blog’s branded context, blogs create a blog personality with a unique voice. They offer communications transparency and the opportunity to write in a conversational tone that makes your brand feel “human”. Just be sure to avoid content that is clearly self-promotional, and ensure your blog personality is integrated with your brand personality across other social media platforms.

5. Blogs enhance search optimization.
Though their keyword-rich content, architecture and cross-linking to other content on the Web, blogs support search optimization efforts. (Note: This assumes you’re using your own domain not a free third party blogging platform.)

6. Blogs are a 24/7 communication platform.
With increased need for real-time communications, blogs are a great place to quickly publish favorable content about your brand or respond to evolving issues. Plug-in software can automate your editorial calendar.

7. Blogs support an array of media formats.
For distributing branded content, blogs simplify the uploading and management of text, photographs, graphics, videos, audio, presentations and PDFs. When creating offline content and events, consider what kind of online content can go on your blog.

8. Blogs facilitate content distribution through multiple channels.
Blogs can expand your message delivery through email and RSS feeds at no additional cost. Blog posts can also be automatically collected into email digests.

9. Blogs supply content for social media interactions.
Blog content is currency for social media engagement on social sharing sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to include icons and tailored calls-to-action. (Remember, these shares translate to earned media impressions (aka free.))

10. Blogs provide a targeted location to direct prospects and customers.
With a URL or QR code you can direct prospects, customers and the public to your blog from other forms of content marketing. This gives you a way to connect the various components across platforms.

11. Blogs are flexible enough to support diverse initiatives.
Blogs can help companies achieve a variety of corporate goals, such as providing product-related content, answering customer questions, attracting new prospects and hosting an executive platform.

12. Blogs provide metrics that you can use to track content marketing to business goals.
As with any business strategy, it’s critical to monitor your progress. There are a variety of metrics to assess your blog’s effectiveness.

Putting a blog at the center of your content marketing strategy is a sound idea. It provides a branded environment that’s optimal for your content and aligned with your corporate goals. Even better is the flexibility that blogs provide and their ability to be integrated into your social media strategy.

How do you feel about using a blog as the center of your content marketing strategy? Are there any other points that you’d add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below along with your rationale.

Author: Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is an actionable marketing expert. As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi works with online media companies and e-tailers to increase profitability with innovative marketing programs based on solid analytics. During the course of 20 years, Heidi has obtained deep experience in direct and digital marketing across a broad array of products including soft goods, financial services, entertainment, media entities and crafts-oriented goods. Heidi shares her actionable marketing insights on her blog. Find Heidi Cohen online at Twitter @heidicohen, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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