When it comes to content creation, there are plenty of digital mediums you can look into to improve your brand’s marketing. Whether it involves creating graphic designs for social media or producing a podcast, knowing what kind of content to use can greatly affect the outcome of your content strategy.
Two of the most popular forms of content these days are blogs and video blogs (or vlogs).
There are currently more than 600 million blogs on the internet and around 409 million blog readers every month, proving blogs are well used for online content and preferred by users. Even marketers agree, with up to 92% of them incorporating blogging into their brand’s content marketing strategy.
Vlogs are effective in getting messages across to customers. Viewers retain 52% of the information after watching a video, making vlogs a good platform to consider when releasing content.
Videos have also received positive responses from marketers themselves. In fact, 86% of them use videos as a marketing tool and 93% agree that it’s an important part of their content strategy.
Additionally, blog writing and video creation can help raise brand awareness. Because both blogs and vlogs pack a lot of information in easily digestible formats, they enable more people to learn quickly and conveniently about your products and services.
Blogs and vlogs require consistency when it comes to releasing content, building trust with a business’ target audience and expanding their reach. Having a regular weekly or monthly posting schedule set for the same day and time, allows both these platforms to gain online followings of people who are interested in knowing more about that brand. As a business, you can capitalise on this by having a call-to-action that asks people to subscribe for updates on new uploads.
With all of these in mind, it’s understandable why marketers and business owners would consider these mediums for content creation.
But which is better for your business?
Why write a blog?
The word “blog” originally came from “website log,” and it was initially designed to be an online diary for a person’s experiences, thoughts, or opinions.
This platform, however, evolved and became a written medium for any topic of interest–whether it be about lifestyle and entertainment or world news and politics.
As a marketing tool, blog writing can be used to supply information about the brand or its products and services.
Having a blog for your small business can benefit you in the long run. Here are a few advantages you can expect when you integrate blogs into your content marketing strategy.
1. It’s an inexpensive way to promote your business
Unlike vlogs–which often need high definition cameras, quality sound equipment, and good editing programs–a blog only requires two things: A website and a writer.
Some websites offer a domain name for free, but usually these platforms would charge $30 AUD or less for the first year of the blog. If you’re tight on budget, you can use free blogging sites to release your content.
Businesses can use an in-house writer to save on costs. However, hiring a seasoned writer to create blogs can prove worthwhile in the end, as these people have expertise on creating a blog that can generate customer leads. It helps to find a content writer that is familiar with your field of expertise, well-versed with SEO techniques, and an excellent storyteller to draw people into your blog and keep them coming back for more.
A blog also helps you establish trust with your customers and positions you as a person of authority in your industry. It shows customers that you’re knowledgeable about your products and services. Should they need more details about your brand or anything related to it, they can always turn to your blogs for solid and reliable information and go from there to contacting you directly.
2. It creates more value for customers
Blogs provide free answers to questions that a customer might have, helping them solve something or adding value to their life, creating trust and authority for you and your brand. Customers learn something new after reading your blog, which is why it’s important to keep them engaged with regular blog releases and well-written content.
Businesses that publish scheduled content consistently also receive eight times more traffic than other websites that have sporadic or irregular schedules for blogging. This can give you a leg up from competitors who have yet to create a blog for their brand, or fail to follow through with engaging content.
Blog writing uses storytelling elements to better engage with its readers. By using stories in your blog, you’re able to emotionally connect with your audience and leave them a message that sticks in their mind days after reading. Doing this will make your blog far more memorable than just simply stating facts and hard data, as people tend to remember how stories make them feel more than numbers and figures.
3. It can provide long-term readership
A blog can continue to generate page views long after they’re published, thanks to increased search engine optimisation (SEO) results.
SEO helps your business by increasing its visibility and ranking on search engine results. By utilising the right keywords and tags in your blogs, you’re able to get your blog and website to the top searches and draw customers in to check out your website.
If your topic is evergreen, you can even repurpose your blog on your social media pages to attract new customers to your website and potentially gain more readers.
But remember, customers will only continue reading your blogs if there’s worthwhile content to be read. To keep them engaged, you should be releasing regular, quality blogs that will leave them more informed. This means creating a content plan that will outline topics for your blog and publishing them in a timely manner.
What are the benefits of vlogs?
A vlog is similar to blogs in the sense that it can be about anything of interest. The glaring difference is that vlogs make use of an audio-visual component (as opposed to the written word) to grab the viewer’s attention, inform them about the brand and its products and services, and entice them to watch until the end.
Vlogs typically require a quality camera, a video editing program, and someone to create and edit the video blog.
Here’s how this particular kind of video content is able to help small businesses in their marketing efforts.
1. It humanises the brand
People identify with other people more than they do with data. Being able to relate to the host’s shared experiences enables customers to see beyond the brand and create an emotional connection to the personality featured in the vlog.
This humanises the brand and shows customers that the company stands for more than just what it’s selling.
Entrepreneur Magazine reports that videos make websites more personal for prospective customers. By putting a face to the name you get to know the people behind the company and create the feeling of a face-to-face personal connection. It makes a company more human and therefore relatable. This is because videos make the viewer feel like they’re the ones being spoken to–and that interaction makes it more enticing to potential customers.
2. It’s more attention-grabbing to customers
Videos have also been effective in generating positive responses from customers. According to Hubspot, 87% of video marketers reported that using videos gave them a good return on investment (ROI).
This happens because the majority of people these days enjoy watching videos online. Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2021 report states that 69% of respondents prefer watching short videos to learn more about a brand’s product or service. Their findings also concluded that these individuals watch an average of 18 hours of online videos a week.
Given the popularity of videos with online users, it’s important to ensure quality videos for your brand to properly get your message across. By having the right equipment, a well-planned video strategy, and an understanding of what mood and tone work best for your target audience, you’ll be able to utilise vlogs properly and potentially gain a following of people who are interested in seeing more videos.
Three factors to consider when choosing your content medium
After seeing the benefits both content mediums have to offer, you’ll need to consider these factors in choosing between creating a blog or filming a vlog (or even doing both).
Here are three things you’ll need to think about:
If you have a more limited budget, it may be better to start off with creating blogs since that medium typically costs less than creating a video.
Filming and editing can cost money, especially if you hire a professional service to do that. It might be best to first assess how much you can shell out for your content marketing efforts and then choose which medium fits within your funds.
2. Target market
Some people might prefer videos over articles and vice versa. With this in mind, it’s important that you have a good understanding of what your target market will be more receptive to.
Millennial and Gen Z audiences, for example, are attracted to visual content and prefer to watch videos to learn more about a product or service. They also use YouTube as their go-to platform for watching videos.
Knowing what kind of content your customers are into can help you decide on whether to use a vlog or a blog for your content marketing.
3. Content strategy
Finally, it will depend on the content strategy you come up with.
Content can only grow a brand and be a lead-generating tool if you know the best medium that will engage with your customers. That’s why it’s crucial that you do thorough research on your target market and come up with a content strategy that meets your goals in raising brand awareness.
You will need to commit to whatever medium/s you choose to deliver what viewers expect. Part of that will also depend on what information you are sharing. For example, instructional content might be much easier to follow if you show your audience how it’s done through a video rather than a blog.
Understandably, finding the right avenue for your content–whether it be a blog or a vlog–can be a lot to think about. Although both mediums can be effective in your brand’s content marketing scheme, one may be better than the other for your brand and its demographics.
Make sure to plan your content strategy carefully, look at what you have to offer and the most effective ways to offer it. By consistently and regularly posting new content on your official platforms, you can build brand awareness and customer trust, allowing you to position yourself and your business as an authority in your industry.