In the beginning, there was a brand.
And they did say “Let’s do this content thingy”
So they did hire The Content Marketer and said to him. “Do the content thingy”
And he did reply unto them “Do you have a blog?”
And the brand did say “No.”
And The Content Marketer said unto them “Oh. Good.”
Since we’ve gone all inbound, the blog has sat as the foundation of a content marketing strategy. As content marketers, we feel safe with a blog, we know where we are with a blog. It’s what we know and what we do.
In fact, everyone seems to understand this idea – that a blog is essential – at least somewhat. Even in senior management, staff will understand that you should have a blog. Much like having a spleen, they’re certain that it’s important, even if they don’t know why.
As digital marketers constantly looking to improve, a big phrase that we at addmustard often find ourselves coming back to is: ‘Question the process’. Are we doing the thing that we’re doing because it’s the best and most efficient way to complete a task or achieve a goal? Or are we doing it because it’s what we’ve always done?
But if we don’t blog – the bastion of content marketing, what do we do instead? Well, a lot of blogs are based around the presentation of information. So why not use a platform which is designed precisely for presentations?
There’s a reason that this social media platform (which is tied into LinkedIn) is known as the ‘Quiet Giant of Content Marketing’. The website allows you to upload a presentation and share it with the world. It’s a new way to get your content across to your audience. Think of it as YouTube meets Powerpoint.
You are probably aware of SlideShare already, but have you considered it as a platform to create content on?
We aren’t saying that blogs are dead, we’re saying that there might be another option out there that’s right for your brand.
So, first we’ll examine the benefits of both blogging and SlideShare, before deciding which is better for your content strategy.
BENEFITS OF A BLOG
There’s a reason that every content marketer believes all brands should have a blog. It’s so easy that there’s almost no reason not to. Nowadays, a blog is extremely simple to set up.
Platforms like WordPress offer a range of easy to incorporate themes which give you a way to create an attractive launching pad for your content.
Every day millions of blog posts are published. There’s a reason that everyone does it, and it’s because it’s easy to do. Which leads on to our next point.
It’s cost effective
So, you have your website. You’ve done as much optimisation as you can to get traffic… And you can’t do much more. So now what?
You spend money on paid advertising so you can get more eyes on your product? Maybe. Or you start to blog. Each new blog post is a new page that Google indexes for your website, and a new way for your website to gain traffic. Many a strategy for visibility has been built on blogs capturing a series of long-tail keywords. A blog might take two hours of your time to create and post, but it can drive traffic and leads to your website well into the future.
It drives your business goals
Looking at a blog as a way to drive visibility is fine. But it can be so much more. It’s a platform to use the brand voice you spent so long crafting to interact with your audience, and ultimately build your relationship with them. For example, The Home Depot blog isn’t just a great example of a blog, it’s a great example of how a blog connects a brand with its audience. Every few days they post content which is targeted to their audience (DIY enthusiasts), placing value on projects both big and small. So, if you stumbled across the page to find information about how to build a shed, you might also see they have a quick guide on building a side table.
The idea of ‘providing value’ might feel overly fluffy, but it directly ties into the metrics your boss really cares about. Things like the ‘Lifetime Value of a Customer’ can be directly influenced by a great blog.
REASONS TO SLIDESHARE
As great as blogs are, there are a lot of them. If you’re in an already saturated market, the chances of a blog standing out are fairly low. This contrasts heavily with SlideShare. This presentation channel is becoming more popular, but there’s a good chance you could be the first in your niche to really tap into the well.
It has inbuilt audience
So you make a great blog. What happens with it? Well, on SlideShare you aren’t just publishing to your usual blog readership, you’re publishing to the entire platform’s audience. If your piece performs well, it’ll appear as one of the day’s most popular or ‘featured’ decks. This is an incredible, yet simple idea – if your content does well, more people will see it – without you having to push it on alternative channels.
This is something that has been realised by the conference speaker circuit, where once upon a time you would attempt to turn a speech into a presentation, now speakers are just uploading their decks to SlideShare. And it works. Kirsty Hulse’s recent piece on ‘Getting Personal in SEO’ has generated over 200,000 views in a month. This sort of engagement for one piece of content is more than some brands will see in a year.
You can be creative
There’s only so many ways to skin a cat.
Beautiful metaphors aside, SlideShare opens up a world of creativity for those who’ve blogged for too long. One of the most interesting features of SlideShare is the ability to incorporate CTAs (calls to action) throughout the content.
A/B testing has shown us that a prompt to click button will outperform a hyperlink, and if you’re smart about it, you can craft a SlideShare which incorporates CTAs naturally. So not only is your content more visually engaging, it can also encourage further engagement with your brand.
Now, that’s not to say that both platforms are all about benefits.
To use SlideShare well, you need to be good at it. You probably aren’t.
And blogging will always struggle to have the punchiness of SlideShare, something that is increasingly important in our world of immediacy.
But negatives aside, which is the better platform for your content?
Well, the answer is: ‘it depends’.
Your audience might not be on SlideShare – and posting content where your audience isn’t, is rarely a good idea. On the other hand, you might be publishing in an oversaturated blogging market, where you’ll struggle to get any traction.
So how do you find out?
As well as publishing this blog here, we’re publishing a SlideShare here.