Many years ago (we won’t say how many) I took a geology class in college. What a film major needed with geology — other than a science credit — is still a mystery, but I remember my geology teacher ranting about how people think mountains are somehow PUSHED up from underground fully formed. And she attributed this misinformation to an old Disney cartoon.
(I tried really hard to locate it for a .gif, but to no avail.)
I think I know how she feels, because there’s a common misconception in content marketing that’s been driving me batty lately — but I don’t think I can attribute it to Disney.
(Watch out, friends. This is warming up to be another Lacy rant…)
Blogging ≠ Content Marketing
Blogging is not content marketing.
There. I said it.
Blogging is one component of content marketing, and one I am particularly fond of, but just writing and posting blogs — even the best blogs ever — does not constitute a content marketing strategy for a couple of reasons:
1. Blogging does not sell.
Blogging alone does not sell your product. Even if you put a big red BUY NOW button on every single one of your blog posts, you’re not likely to see many sales if your products cost more than a couple of bucks. It just doesn’t work that way.
If you’re blogging as your business model, you’re selling advertising, and so yes, just putting up a blog post is worth $$ to you. But if you’re blogging to support your business model (meaning you sell something other than advertising on your blog) just posting a blog article isn’t going to make you any money 99.9% of the time.
2. Blogging is not promotion.
Maybe, once upon a time in the ancient days of the early 2000s, you could publish a blog post and expect that act alone to draw traffic to your website.
Not any more, cupcake.
There are millions of blog posts published every day. We have surpassed peak content; a human being could never hope to consume all the content being produced in a single hour, let alone a single day. So just publishing an article isn’t going to get your business a whole lot of traction.
Frankly, neither is sharing it to Facebook or Twitter, most of the time.
3. Blogging is the first step, not the last.
I can’t tell you how often I see people pouring their hearts into blog posts, hitting publish, and then moving on to the next thing. But that’s not how this works.
If you think of content marketing like stepping stones in a river — on one side is your potential customer, and on the other side is a sale — blogging is only the first stone. And, honey, the river is wide and your customer cannot get o’er without a few more stepping stones in the process.
Blogging is only the first step
So if you’re focusing all your energy and efforts on writing amazing blog posts, good for you! You’ve taken the first step in creating a content marketing strategy.
But it’s only the first step.
All the parts of a content marketing strategy have to be there and be working together for content marketing to make an impact in your business.
What do those other stones look like? Well, they’re different for every business, but they might include:
- social media posts
- interviews and guest posts
- landing pages
- content upgrades
- lead magnets
- FB lives
And the one thing every strategy includes is EMAIL. Lots and lots of email.
So if you think you’re content marketing because you publish a blog post once a week and share it on social, I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re really just leaving your customers stranded in the middle of the river, with no clear path to the other side.