Are you a blogger or a content marketer?
The truth is, you can be both. Blogging may be one component of content marketing, but content marketing is more than blogging.
Let’s start by defining blogging. The word “blog” comes from “weblog,” which describes an ongoing log of information on the web. Usually, people look at the most recent posts first, to see the most current information.
Blogging is a way to share interests, business information, or opinions meant to provoke thought in a certain niche. It is also a great way to interact with audiences.
Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like: creating and sharing content to market your product, business, service, or something else. When people talk about content marketing today, they are typically referring to online content.
The best way to think about the relationship between content marketing and blogging is that blogging can be part of a content marketing strategy, but content marketing is a much broader category that includes creating and distributing different types of content to a target audience.
Blogging is one form of content creation, but there is a larger world of content marketing you could explore.
Types of Content to Use in Marketing
If you haven’t delved into content marketing yet, you might want to learn more about it. There are four main forms of content: written, audio, video, and image. Most likely, you’ll be using a combination of these forms in your content marketing. Here are a few examples:
· White papers – these are reports or guides on issues related to a topic to help educate readers. Often they include problems in that area and discuss possible solutions. White papers are commonly used in B2B content marketing.
· Case studies – these are accounts of customer experiences, showing the problem a customer had and how your product or service helped them.
· Videos – videos are used in creative ways for content marketing, not just as advertisements but as customer-created content, to tell a story about your business or service, to share information, to showcase products or people using your products, and more.
· Podcasts – podcasts have grown in popularity, as people listen to them on their commute or when they’re working out. Through the use of interesting stories, discussions, and special guests, podcasts can be great tools for spreading the word about your business.
· Books – Publishing a book that shares valuable information from your field or your unique perspective as a thought leader can be a great form of content marketing. If you make it an eBook or audiobook, you can further expand its reach.
· Newsletters – sharing updates such as new products or services, new business partners or success stories can let people know you are still active and your business is still thriving.
· Infographics – these usually include statistics, graphs, charts, and images or symbols. They are attention-grabbing and easy to understand.
So, Are You Blogging, Content Marketing, or Both?
To answer that question, look at your strategy. Are you solely focusing on creating articles on your blog? Or are you creating content beyond that and using multiple channels to both distribute it on and create content for?
When you start to do content marketing, your strategy will be linked to goals such as driving traffic to your website or making sales. You will produce content that is more intentionally tailored to the audience/ customers you are trying to attract.
Often content marketing strategies use more than one channel. That means, in addition to a blogging website, you will be sharing your content in other forms on multiple platforms. You will also most likely want to create different kinds of content.
Whether you are blogging for fun or as part of a broader content marketing strategy, you might want to check out some of our tips for growing your blog audience.
If you are already blogging, how can you use it for content marketing?
One way is to change your approach to blogging and producing content. Instead of writing about whatever comes to mind, you will want to think about your target audience. What interests them? What topics will catch their attention? How can you offer valuable information to them?
Once you focus your blogging efforts on creating content to draw in your audience, you can connect your blog to other types of content marketing you’re doing. You can promote your blogs on social media by sharing excerpts, summaries, and teasers about upcoming or recent blog posts.
You can also test out other types of content through some of the channels we mentioned in the last section. Think about who your audience is and the channels they might find you through, and then provide the content they’re craving.
You can use the other types of content previously mentioned, such as books, videos, and newsletters, to get people interested in your brand and voice. Then, you can direct them to your blog where you promote your business and products or services. If your blog is on your website, even better!
If you want to keep track of how effective your efforts are at driving traffic to your blog, you may want to check out our post on blogging feedback.
If you’ve decided that you don’t need to do content marketing or don’t have the time for it, blogging can still be a valuable strategy for getting your voice out there and driving more traffic to your website.
Yet, content marketing, especially when applied to and used in conjunction with blogging, can expand the possibilities and reach for your business. You’ll reach more people, through a variety of channels.
You have all the tools you need to reach your audience and grow your blog. Why not try doing some content marketing today?