From blogging to content marketing — evolving in practice

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In part because of travel, for the past few days I haven’t maintained this blog’s daily cycle. This isn’t the first time I’ve broken my one-entry-a-day guideline. While away on extensive overseas vacations last winter and summer, I also failed to maintain the blog’s schedule.

However, these breaks are reasonably recent. Previously, with rare exceptions, I fought to maintain the daily cycle, at times by preparing a week or more of entries ahead of time, set to autopost on the appropriate daily cycle.

Why the change?

The answer in part relates to the industry’s response to the Best Construction Blog competition, which has been a feature here for more than a decade. When I first came up with the idea, there was great interest and the competition was intense. I sense interest has declined to the point there won’t be a 2019 competition. (This isn’t final yet — although it isn’t exciting to go out in a whimper, I may set a final competition and let it run on its regular schedule early next year.)

The declining interest I think relates to the declining relevance of blogging as a marketing model for the AEC and other industries. We are now in the era of content marketing, of which the blog could be seen as an increasingly ineffective component.

The difference between content marketing and blogging primarily relates to its personalization — the best blogs, in my opinion, while embracing diverse viewpoints, are written from the blogger’s personality and character. There is still a place for that personal marketing approach, especially when you are branding yourself as an expert or thought leader.

But it can become a bit forced to generate a blog every day, because I doubt any of us has enough need to broadcast our personal expressions that frequently.

Rather, if we have an expert view on a relevant topic or issue, the best format to express this knowledge may be an occasional article, white paper, video, speech, or presentation — or maybe even something regular, but on a less frequent cycle.

As well, this first-person communications framework isn’t the only way to communicate with effective content marketing.

Social media responses, how-to videos or articles, client stories, and sometimes new product announcements all can provide the required content, and they don’t necessarily need to be written in the blog format.

In other words, while the blog still has many advantages — including setting self-discipline to write posts on a regular cycle — it isn’t quite the powerful and absolutely essential marketing resource it was a decade ago.

So, yes, the blog here will become less perfect, less “daily” and perhaps even less effective. Times change.

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