The Math teacher from your school has one. The local political candidate has one. The seller on Amazon or Flipkart is at last thinking about having one too. It doesn’t matter what you do, or what you want to say, or what you hope to get; everyone can be seen creating a blog nowadays, and for some pretty good reasons too. And they all can be summed up in a neat little answer: “content revolution is here and now”.
Content Revolution: Why Is It Here Anyway
For almost the last ten to fifteen years, digital marketers have been screaming their lungs out to repeatedly talk about one thing only: that you need to be properly digitized in order to be more successful in whatever it is that you do. Some of us took notice of them and created our own digital properties. Some of us still ignored them and continued to think that having only an offline mode of operation is still sufficient. Then something happened, with a lot of implications for the kind of future that was in the wait-list far longer than it should have been. That something was the global pandemic now known as the COVID19 phenomenon.
Role of COVID19 in Fueling the Content Revolution
Suddenly we were forced to stay indoors, perform outrageous tasks using only online mode of communication and slowly accept the “new normal” as a way of life. But if you think this will all end when the curse of the virus is eventually lifted, think again.
Of course we’ll resume our normal offline lives one day, but that doesn’t mean that our digital lives will cease to make sense. It has now been slowly inculcated into our habits to check a business online, read the reviews posted by its customers and know as much as we can about it before deciding whether to buy anything (product or service) from it or not. Now business owners are a pretty smart species when it comes to understanding the future of the game and many have already built or at least have started to build a robust content framework to support their respective fields of operation. But all the rest of us need to acclimatize ourselves to this new environment also, the sooner the better.
Content Revolution: What Is It Anyway
In a nutshell, content revolution is an invisible set of radical changes that is always evolving to include every facets of our lives. We were living in the Information Age for quite some time but the shift to content marketing is a more recent phenomenon. Businesses are understanding more clearly about the shortcomings of traditional sales pitches and marketing campaigns, most noteworthy of which is them becoming dull and stale with each passing day. They are now providing their customers a steady flow of relevant information, ideas and even a slice of entertainment instead that eventually adds tremendous value. That means the old way of communication is now replaced with a vibrant, colorful and a more meaningful one.
This content revolution happened due to the change in customer preference itself. The average customer now sees himself being an active partner of the products or services he consumes. Content Marketing Institute claims that 70% of people now prefer to learn more about a business through an article rather than an ad. Because of this demand, big houses are now hiring top content writers to manage their own news-reels, research papers or even social networks. Branded content is more common to be seen almost anywhere, just for satisfying this demand. And as a direct result of this content revolution, all businesses are now in the information selling business rather than selling just their own products and services.
Content Revolution: Where Do You Stand
Now this content revolution isn’t just limited to how a business is conducted online. If you allow me to say so, almost everything can be improved with the help of a better marketing strategy. Focusing on building relevant content framework around what you do is not just any marketing strategy but the only stratagem that will consistently provide value to those you serve.
Whether you’re a Yoga instructor, an author or a painter, the need for being exposed online is not now necessary to be stressed anymore. You already know that, and may have even taken some steps to understand how to stand out from millions more who are doing just what you do on a regular basis. But this article began by stressing the importance of everyone having a blog. Now then let’s clarify a bit about that.
Blogs & Websites: Which is the Best Content Framework
You already know that a website is a type of digital property where a set of related web pages are published under a single domain. A blog is a type of website where the content is presented in a reverse chronological order i.e. the newest information is shown first. Websites and blogs are different from each other in the way their respective content is updated. Websites are typically static and their content does not need to be updated frequently. On the other hand, blogs are more dynamic in nature as they require updating their content on a much more frequent basis. So all websites can not be called blogs whereas all blogs are websites themselves or parts of a larger website.
Now the big question is what to prefer among them two? If you’re a professional offering services to your clients or an institute offering courses to your students, you could have been satisfied just by having a working website a few years ago. But not anymore. In order to stand out in your chosen field, you need to have a blog, either as a part of your existing website (recommended) or as a different web property.
Why do I say that? Because a few years ago people visited your site when you give them your link, scrolled through the limited number of pages that you had there, were able to find the relevant information quickly and contacted you physically to follow through. Websites were just a sort of an added flavor to your existing offline offerings back then (unless you were a solely online merchant of course).
People have changed so much since then. Now they want you to regularly provide them with something, even updates about your adorable pet can count to something (not recommended unless it’s relevant, say if you’re a vet or a pet shop or just blogging about something related to pets as a niche). Don’t wait for your competition to start something first. Blogs are essential in giving regular information which the traditional websites are not so much good at. So start one if you haven’t done so already.
How to Use Your Blog for Your Own Content Revolution
Suppose you’re an educational institute. You have your own website, listing the “Courses” you provide with the course structure and recommended reading list for each course provided there for everyone to see. You also have an “About” page, stating the vision and mission of your institute. You have a “Faculty” page where everyone can look at the academic qualifications and other things of interest for each and every faculty member. You have a simple “Contact Us” form, complete with the working phone number for your reception desk or something. But nothing more, right?
The problem with having this kind of rigid website structure is that when students and their parents visit your site, it looks exactly the same as all the other educational institute websites. Can you not be a bit different? Without harming the credibility or authority of your institute?
You can certainly do that by including a “Blog” section there too where you share the fun part of being in your institute. The faculty members or the board committee members could write about their unique experiences in that section from time to time. You can update the section to include all upcoming news and important announcements (maybe flying through a ticker or marquee) relevant to your students and their guardians. You can have pictures and videos of all the different celebrations or sports events or cultural programs uploaded with a few words describing them. You can have your students submit their original pieces of content too in the form of an online periodical or journal or magazine. The possibilities are endless, and there is almost no one doing such things. Why? Simply because of the rigidity in their thought process.
Why Does Everyone Need A Blog
So back to the original statement made by this post. You need a blog because:
- A blog captures the essence of your digital existence (portfolio sites, company or institutional websites, educational websites, nonprofit websites: you name them) by being alive, fun and humane.
- A blog gives you multiple ways to connect with your stakeholders, whether they are your customers, your employees or your benefactors. Not only that, but you can efficiently gauge each of their reactions to the actions you’re taking and act accordingly with less time and energy spent.
- When coupled with proper SEO tactics, your blog can get you quality organic traffic consistently which were otherwise impossible. For most of the businesses, quality traffic means more revenue.
- Blog posts are easier to share across other social media channels that you’re currently active with. This gives you the right kind of exposure and brings you an audience who you’ve never known before.
- Blogs are frequently updated, and that counts as a huge positive to stay ahead of your competition as you’re always maintaining an open communication channel with your audience.
- There are ways to monetize your blog too if you want. But I’ll recommend to go with caution with this approach as it might not be suitable for everyone and can hurt more in the long run if done without thinking about its relevance.
I can go on and on to stress about the benefits of having a blog in this always evolving digital world. But I think you already have got the idea.
Content revolution is a thing of the present. I was talking about how each of us can jump in this revolution by simply having a blog. But there are some more things to keep in mind when deciding to run a blog:
- Blogs need to be updated regularly. If you think you can handle that after doing everything else, it’ll bring great dividends. But if it sounds like too much work to do, then probably it’s better to not start one just for the sake of starting it. Blogging is a lot of work after all.
- Active blogging means getting out and staying out of your comfort zone for longer periods of time. You have to constantly study a lot of new things, make all the necessary adjustments based on your learning and motivate yourself by looking at the bigger picture. Or you can simply delegate the job to someone else, provided he is at least as inspired as you are about your vision and mission.
- The same pros can quickly become cons when something gets shifted out of focus. For example, being able to get quick feedbacks in the form of an open discussion is a great thing. But this can backfire when you announce a less favorable decision for the majority of your stakeholders. If you’re cool with receiving genuine feedback, be they positive or negative, you’ll do just fine. Otherwise it can cause a lot of stress and unwanted headaches.
One more thing to make clear before I sign off. Whenever I’m talking of blogs, they don’t necessarily mean websites with a lot of text in them only. A blog can be implemented just as efficiently with the other rich content formats too; pictures, videos, audios and so on. Traditionally a blog was concerned mostly with a text-based content platform but that definition is now slowly waning with time. Think about which media suits your personality (or your business’s personality for that matter) and use them predominantly in order to connect with your audience.
That’s it for today, then. I hope I was able to make my point which is actually the single most important thing to consider today. Making your digital presence is not that big of a deal, and ScribbleSquare is determined to help you in overcoming every obstacle you meet on your journey. Feel free to contact me if you have any queries on how to build your online presence.
Happy blogging, and have a purposeful week ahead.