With the invasion of real-time social media, has the popularity of blogging as a stand-alone network come and gone?
“YES” says Joe Akkawi, Managing Partner, Paz Marketing
Blogs report, analyse and produce content that has always been on the map for marketers. Yet we now want consumers to live with our brands in the moment and interact with us as events unfold
Some call it a necessity, while others refer to it as the need for speed. Has communication evolved to become irrelevant if it doesn’t take place in the moment? Some might argue that this isn’t evolution but merely a limitation on the way we do marketing.
Time and time again, we’ve seen the impact of real-time marketing. It’s undeniable that there is an emerging trend, and it’s moving fast amongst brands to leverage existing events and react quickly to create relevance. We all remember Oreo’s classic Super Bowl tweet. Would we expect the same impact from such a strategy if we were to read about it a day later?
That’s where blogs come in. Blogs report, analyse and produce content that has always been on the map for marketers. Yet we now want consumers to live with our brands in the moment and interact with us as events unfold. It gives us access to real-time data that can be analysed to understand behaviours, predict trends and in some cases, through extensive research, measure sentiment. While blogs do have the ability to provide such data in terms of website traffic and interactions with stories, we seldom see numbers that can match real-time interaction that can happen on platforms like Twitter.
On another note, with the rise of the “influencer” category, we are now seeing existing successful bloggers turn their attention towards using social platforms to communicate quick updates that generate better results. Every social platform provides a way to migrate a blog post into an easier format that can be consumed quickly and on the move without interrupting the user experience. It is getting more challenging to break a user’s focus from his social stream to a website, especially if you can’t get the full impact about the story from the opening paragraph. This is another reason why we’ve seen an unprecedented rise to “bullet-point” format stories on Buzzfeed and Click-Bait headlines.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Blogs will continue to strive on focused topics that users will consider reading to formulate opinions regarding a purchase. Bloggers should focus on utilising the undeniable power of social and mix-n-match their content to suit the platform that generates the highest form of interaction. We will continue to see a rise in social networks overtaking traditional blogging formats and the blogging scene will have to adapt or risk losing to other content that is being served more creatively.
“NO” says Hiba Mirza, English Copywriter, Serviceplan Middle East and Co-Founder of Booni Blog
The beauty of a blog is that there are no character limits or mandated templates chosen by a third party. In fact, there are no limits… where everything is put in place just the way we like it
With the introduction of new mediums of communication, it is impossible to expect that consumers will not divide their attention. Give a group of people only one option and they will all consume it. Give them two options and you will get those that reject the new, those that abandon the old for the new, and those who find a way to consume both.
Step back into time and I could ask you “With the invasion of the television, has the popularity of radio come and gone?” How about the introduction of the Internet? Did the other mediums vanish from existence? It’s 2014 and consumers still use all of the above, and businesses spend billions of dollars every year across radio, television, even those ancient things we call newspapers and magazines. Why? Because each medium has its value.
Ask me if social media will one day kill blogging and I would answer with a firm: no. Because quite simply – they are incomparable. One is qualitative and the other quantitative in nature. The beauty of a blog is that there are no character limits or mandated templates chosen by a third party. In fact, there are no limits. The blog is our home. Where everything is put in place just the way we like it. We have guests who visit us, join us for conversations (where we learn from and share with each other), and with time know exactly where the spoons and plates are. Here is where a long-term meaningful relationship is built.
Of course we go out, visiting the quick and useful conversational realm of social media. We share links to our posts, retweet from things we enjoyed reading, short snippets of things happening to us at the moment, and even have the occasional conversation. But once the moment is gone, it’s gone forever. And they go where every Twitter conversation goes: Into the black hole of “not trending”. I find these relationships to be weaker, much like that friendly jogging neighbour who waves hello and dares not drag a conversation beyond weather conditions. But blog followers– they are loyal. They go out of their way to visit your dot com, to take your advice and learnings, and share their stories and teachings. They become fans, friends and sometimes like family. And this only proves one thing: blogs are valuable to both businesses and consumers – and they’re here to stay.