In my own business-writing and editing world, requests for blog contracts have picked up. More than the usual numbers of companies are willing to consider spending money to have me write a year’s worth of monthly blogs. There are two important aspects of this: 1) the increased interest in blogs in general; and 2) the willingness to pay for quality writing. In my opinion, this proves the blog is not dead, and in fact, I think it’s only going to get more important to marketing. Here’s why.
When the internet became a constant in the world of marketing, the game was all about numbers. How many people could you force through a funnel to your website? The resulting numbers were used by marketers, writers and designers to justify our time and effort.
As the internet—as well as marketers and customers—matured in the online world, we realized numbers were not enough. The game changed to a game of conversion. How many people could you get to your website and then on client rolls?
Although visitors and conversions are still important metrics, many companies have realized a new game changer: influence. It’s more important than ever to build content that “resonates” with potential customers, current customers and those who influence them. In a way, this speaks to relationships.
The people who buy from us can choose whoever they want to do business with, and there are lots of companies like ours out there. If customers have a REAL relationship with us (not just Google-induced frequent contact), they will more likely think of us and make a conscious effort to choose us over other alternatives when they need our product. They are more likely to tell others, too.
A Bloglovin’ blog I read recently on the changing “blog game” reinforces this idea. Blogs do something social media can’t: give us control over what we say and how. It’s our most important outlet for all things “us”. It’s where we can expound on our product/service in the way we want to say it. Often, once our customers know where to find us, they keep going to our blogs to learn more and find out the latest.
For those reasons, I believe quality has become key when it comes to blog writing. My clients seem to have suddenly realized the blog is often the first (and sometimes only) deep contact with prospects and customers. If the quality of a blog sucks, customers tend to project that to the product and it can affect sales at the moment of decision. In some industries, even one typo can whittle away at a positive company image and make prospects question whether they want to do business with a company that sloppy.
Quality Blog Writing Can Be a Powerful Customer Relationship Tool
I’m happy blogs are becoming more prevalent, because it’s the kind of writing I do best. I believe a lot of writers would say the same. Blog writing is essentially essay writing—it’s what we learned in composition or non-fiction writing classes in high school and college.
We are comfortable with this type of writing, and it’s where we can fully develop effective ideas for our employers or clients, as opposed to wrestling with truncated 140-character messages that are often difficult to make stick. Social media has its place as an enhancement to a company’s marketing message, and as the article explains it works hand-in-hand with blogs to produce a well-rounded messaging strategy, but social media messaging on its own lacks depth.
I’m even happier marketing professionals (my clients) are recognizing the writing in blogs must be of a higher quality to get and retain clients. This is the kind of writing I enjoy. It’s the kind of writer I wanted to be when I decided to become a writer. Best of all, quality writing is the kind of writing I know can help my clients most by helping them reach people’s hearts and minds and inspire them to buy.