how the evolution of blogs can impact your business – WAU
It’s funny how many people still haven’t accepted the idea that blogs can be corporate. And it even makes sense. Because for a long time they were a tool for communicating people, not brands, as a kind of diary. However, it is important to understand the changes that occurred in this channel and in […]
It’s funny how many people still haven’t accepted the idea that blogs can be corporate.
And it even makes sense. Because for a long time they were a tool for communicating people, not brands, as a kind of diary.
However, it is important to understand the changes that have occurred in this channel and its platforms, because they say a lot about the future of Digital Marketing and Content Marketing.
So we are going to work here with a time machine and with two different perspectives: one with a look at the past and how we got here, and one with perspectives for the future, so that you start thinking outside the box and understand if:
- Will blogs die?
- Should I have a blog?
- Should I have a blog already?
- What the hell is that for?
- What to expect from blogs in 2030?
The first blogs
|Coincidence or not, the first internet blog was created by a London.
In 1994, MIT Media Lab scientist, Claudio Pinhanez, created a website called “Open Diary”- and that explains a lot about our current perception of this channel – in order to tell you a little about your life.
With that, the blog’s content was his travels, movies … in short, things he considered relevant, making that page a place to express his opinion and document his life.
In the same year Links.net appeared, created by an American student named Justin Hall, who basically had the same role: talking about things that interest him, on the most diverse topics. From HTML tips to music and relationship advice.
From then on, other people started doing the same thing: create blogs that really functioned as personal diaries, with the most diverse themes and footprints.
Blogs: diaries of several teenagers
After that, in the early 2000s, with the popularization of the internet, especially by the younger audience, blogs started to become a real fever.
As social networks were not yet so popular channels – My Space was only created in 2003, Orkut in 2004 and Twitter in 2006 – people used blogs to tell others a little about their lives.
Especially in London, a phenomenon has taken over the internet: fotologs or flogões.
They were blogs that functioned as personal pages, highly customizable, especially for the time. And the goal was to function as an online diary where people would post photos, texts, music … in short, whatever they wanted.
The world against blogs
Soon people started using blogs for other, much more professional purposes: write about specific topics, the routine of your area of expertise and news, for example.
And due to the ease and accessibility of this channel, more and more people use blogs as their source of information consumption in general.
In this context, in 2007, the newspaper Estado de São Paulo even launched a campaign against the consumption of content on blogs.
At the time, the newspaper stated that people did not know who was really behind the blogs, so they should be careful and not consume any type of content online.
In practice, you can understand what really happened: online newspapers were losing their space to other channels that also spread useful news and information to people.
However, they were often not communication companies, but professionals or even normal people sharing knowledge.
Shortly afterwards, the newspaper itself began to create stories talking about the blogs’ attempt to “consolidate their credibility”, bringing the discussion to everyone: how to believe in a blog.
And of course, many people were left behind on this type of content, but that did not stop more and more people from creating and reading blog content.
Blogs, bloggers and brands
Blogs also started to have another association: the world of bloggers.
After all, there was an explosion of women, in general, who started using the channel as a personal branding portal, where they discussed various subjects such as makeup, health, beauty and other subjects generally linked to a lifestyle.
In fact, many of them didn’t even need to have a blog: a YouTube channel or an Instagram page for them to fall into the category.
The curious thing about this story is that the brands realized the power and influences that these bloggers had with their target audience, and they became the new darlings of advertising.
It is not uncommon to accompany a blogger who receives a lot of “treats” or who has become a company’s poster girl.
Corporate blogs as a brand strategy
Perhaps this was the first step for many companies to start considering having their own blogs. But don’t think it started at that moment.
Content Marketing is a strategy well before that – it started in 1895, when John Deere launched a magazine for its customers, and in 1900 with Guia Michelim.
However, online, some companies were still more attached to outbound strategies.
Except that while everyone was trying to simply sell their products on the internet, with an endless flood of ads and pop ups, users were on the internet not only to buy, but to consume quality content.
And, therefore, the number of Adblockers – ad blockers – was increasing, reaching the 500 million downloads mark in 2016.
But corporate blogs, in fact, came along with the first blogs.
The pioneer was Microsoft that created Channel 9 in 2004, and soon other major brands realized the power that this tool had.
For example, P&G, which launched in 2008 “BeingGirl.com”, a blog aimed at its adolescent persona, and which was considered 4x more effective than traditional media due to research by Foster.
Today, according to Content Trends, the largest Content Marketing survey in the country, 73% of companies already adopt Content Marketing.
And, although some companies still cannot understand the need to have a corporate blog, it is impossible to deny the results that they have generated for brands, including for us.
We need to talk about the blog post that gave us almost 2 million reais in revenue
Basically, with a blog post published in December 2014, 31 months later, it had generated us 2 million reais.
I’m not going to go into the account much, because you can read the full case here.
But basically, by creating evergreen content and with a strategic keyword for our market – Digital Marketing -, we multiply the profit generated by all the customers that we have today and who knew us from that content, and we reached this incredible number !
In other words: we cannot deny the return that a corporate blog can have for a business.
The future: what awaits us
However, many people believe that in a few years, blogs will give way to something else – that no one yet knows exactly what it is.
But looking back and understanding the changes that have taken place in the way we consume and produce content today, it is possible to make some estimates that make total sense.
And it is very important that you understand what the future of your blog will be like.
Consumers also produce content
The first thing we need to understand is that blogs and most Internet channels have a two-way street that most companies still don’t know how to take advantage of.
If on one side of the screen you’re producing content, on the other your potential customers are reading, reacting and responding with their own content – your brand needs to be aware of that.
And not only for respond as quickly as possible and thank for interactions, but to add this type of content to your blogs.
Today the Websites Are Us Community, for example, already has a space for the freelancers themselves – who are our audience – to produce and have their content published on the blog.
In addition, there are already brands that have blogs created by their own fans, talking about brand news and experiences with products.
The tendency is that more and more people and brands use their communication channels in an integrated way, so as not to separate what the brand says and what consumers respond.
Blog and website: the two can be one
The relationship between blogs and websites will change.
Today most blogs are part of the site or even a separate channel that takes people to the site. However, many companies are making everything one.
Redbull for example has been doing this for a long time.
If you go to redbull.com, you will not find, instead of the brand’s website, a portal of content related to the brand’s lifestyle.
We are not saying to give up one or the other, but to think of ways to integrate the two, so that your website is also a source of useful content, and your blog is not completely apart from that.
And over time, the trend is that the two platforms will end up becoming a more practical extension of each other.
Another important point is not to limit your blog to your blog. It doesn’t exist anymore.
While people read content, they access Instagram, chat on Whatsapp, and interact with other diverse platforms and apps.
That’s why you shouldn’t limit your blog to his domain, but think of ways to take it to other channels.
The idea is not just to share the content on other channels, but to provide different experiences of the same content on the different channels that people access.
It makes no sense, if the resources are different, treat your social networks as you treat your blog and do the same thing with your email.
Even the platform impacts the way we consume content – or do you use your computer and smartphone in the same way?
If they are different channels and where content consumption is totally different, the tendency is that more and more the content created has its own version for each consumer platform.
In addition, we we need to stop seeing online content production as a digital way to make the same content that would be produced offline.
Think about how many multimedia resources the internet has provided us for so many years, and how much our content still looks like magazine pages, but with a better design.
Just think of a digital book: it is basically a scan of a normal book, but it needs a battery.
Thinking about artificial intelligence, chatbots and personal assistants, the idea is that the contents also follow this intersection and become even more immersive and interactive, using all available resources – audio, video, big data, etc.
Automation without losing humanization
But we can never forget, however cliché it may seem, that on the other side of the screen we have people.
That is why it is important to always think about the personalization, segmentation and personality of our content, focusing on the experience that the reader will have.
So, automation does not come to replace the “analog” of the creation of your content, but rather as a facilitator to make your relationship even more personal with each of its users.
What is the problem with this future?
The problem is that many companies don’t even have a blog yet, or are discussing the importance of “Mobile Friendly”. But all this is no longer an agenda, but a very, but very basic prerequisite.
So, if you still have doubts, read on, look for successful cases – which exist in droves – and get out of stagnation.
Being cliché once again, but the new generations were born in the digital age and are unaware of a different way of consuming content, other than going online. And they are your potential customers for tomorrow.
And if you already have a blog, it’s time to get out of the ordinary and think outside the box. But it’s really out of the box!
Challenge yourself, test, do new things, make mistakes and correct them fast enough to learn, take the good stuff and test again.
It is a daily challenge, even for us, to lose the habit of doing more of the same, even because it has worked so well!
However, there is a phrase that is almost a mantra of our team: “What brought you here is not what will get you where you want to go”. And the blogpost that gave us 2 million is possibly not going to be the one that will generate even more revenue in even less time.
If you understand this and want to get out of the commonplace, I advise you to start by talking to one of our consultants.