Getting the right mix of content in your digital marketing strategy can sometimes feel like a mad science experiment. As a marketer, you're naturally wary of fad tactics that promise to catapult your metrics into the stratosphere. There's always an expert or marketing guru quoting the "Content is King" mantra. But what format should you deliver your content in to get a real return on investment (ROI)?
We know that blogs are an essential part of your lead nurturing strategy. They make a significant contribution to your website's search engine optimisation (SEO). But videos can be a fast and engaging way to capture attention.
So where should you invest your marketing budget?
To help you answer this question, we're going to look at both mediums and explore the benefits you can get from each.
Blogs have become an invaluable source of information, not only serving commercial purposes but also helping us to share news, entertainment, and personal experiences. With 77% of internet users reading blogs, they're an integral part of our online experience.
From a business perspective, producing high-quality articles is a time-intensive process, however. You may have an in-house content writer who creates regular optimised material, or you may outsource freelancers. Either way, it can be a costly chunk of your marketing budget. When you consider that the average website visitor is only likely to spend 37 seconds reading your blog, you may be asking the question: "Is the juice worth the squeeze?"
According to HubSpot, marketers who prioritise blogging in their inbound marketing strategy are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. So, although 43% of readers are probably only skimming your blogs, there is clearly a benefit to having content in this format.
How do blogs help your metrics?
Bringing traffic to your website is essential – that's why 23% of social media posts link to blogs. This tactic allows businesses to attract leads with catchy headlines and draw them away from social media platforms (rented space) and onto their websites (their own real estate). If your social media caption appeals to the individual, they will want to visit your blog page and get the full story.
Once the visitor is on your website, you can indoctrinate them more effectively with specific calls-to-action (CTAs) and lead capture forms.
Blogs and the building of authority
Blogs also help you to build authority. If you're answering the right questions for your customers, you're far more likely to get bumped up on the search engine results page (SERP) organically.
With blogs, you can retain website visitors for longer by linking to other relevant web pages, prompting chatbot interactions, and encouraging them to learn more about your products and services.
Blogs and the advantage of shareability
Shareability is another fantastic feature of blogs. In a B2B scenario where there are several approval ranks for a new product or service to go through, your educational material has to be accessible. Blogs that succinctly demonstrate your product's benefits can be shared with different stakeholders to read and analyse the information in their own time. Where there would initially be potential bottlenecks or gatekeepers to the next stage of the sales process, you now have a qualified lead that can make a quick purchasing decision.
While cat videos are always going to be an essential part of how many of us spend our online viewing time, the medium has other nifty uses too.
YouTube has over 2 billion users, with over 300 hours worth of video content being pushed onto the platform every minute. Facebook is generating 4 billion daily video streams – could any of those views be attributed to your business?
80% of page visitors are more inclined to watch a video rather than read text. Videos help to generate engagement and influence purchasing decisions. They provide a multi-sensory experience for the customer, helping you to make stronger connections.
If you're interested in organic traffic from SERPs, you may be impressed to learn that video drives a 157% increase in this metric. In 2021, video will represent 82% of all IP traffic.
So, if you haven't put any effort into releasing video content yet, you may want to start now.
How do videos help your metrics?
Reports state that videos result in 66% more qualified leads and higher rates of brand awareness, reinforcing the value of having video content.
Improved conversion rates are a notable benefit of video content. The trick is to ensure that the material is engaging enough to hold the viewer's attention and prompt them to interact with your CTA.
Through videos, you can make a more personal connection with your buyer; you can incorporate persuasive sales tactics and be more impactful with your information delivery. This is reflected in the 90% of consumers who say that video helps them with their purchasing decision.
Explainer videos, product demonstrations, and live interactive video seminars help businesses to communicate directly with their buyers. 97% of marketers noticed that customers understand their products better thanks to video. This shortens the sales cycle and minimises the overall cost of acquisition.
By listening to your customers' requests and presenting content through the medium of their choice, you will see greater support of your brand and higher engagement rates. 54% of customers want to consume content in video format – are you delivering?
So, should you blog, or should you vlog?
The core message from the information we have collected is that video and text-based content are tactics, both of which fit within a broader inbound marketing strategy. Whichever format you choose to share your content in, it should always be geared towards the requirements of your buyer personas to be successful. Certain industries will focus more on video, while others will rely more on educational blogs.
It’s a fine balance
There are cases where video is going to be the obvious choice, but blogging is a key component in your buyer's journey. The two formats should complement each other to capitalise on the interest you are generating for your product or service through advertising campaigns.An example of this is Zoom. The provider of online meeting solutions offers both a blog with relevant topics and a vlog in the form of video tutorials.
For example, your entertaining video may have brought brand awareness to your social media leads, but your blog filled the information gaps and prompted the lead to share their contact details.
Quality as a key criterion for success
Quality is a huge factor in the success or failure of both your video and blog content strategies. Publishing blogs that don't offer real value to customers may do more damage to your brand than good.
Likewise, low-resolution videos with bad audio quality won't get the attention you require. It's essential to apply an inbound methodology that focuses on answering your buyer's questions and presenting that information in a palatable and engaging manner.
Consistently deliver on brand promises
You don't have to spend tonnes of money on expensive video equipment. You don't have to push out blogs that don't add to the conversation on a specific topic simply to get the SEO points.
You do, however, have to make sure that what you publish always aligns with your brand's core values, that it offers something to the consumer, and that it's audible, readable, and engaging.
Finally, we recommend that you do continuous A/B testing to see what creates more impressions and engagement. By doing this, you can tweak and optimise your videos and blogs or use them in complementary ways that prolong the life and impact of your campaigns.
A blog or vlog is only as good as the plan behind the content. So that you never lose the overview, we recommend our content plan.