Vlog, blog or podcast? Which one is right for you?
A successful digital marketing strategy doesn’t mean doing “a little bit of everything.” Instead, you find something that works and make a commitment to consistency. Let’s take a look at these three popular venues and which one might fit your strategy:
Blogging was once short for Web blog. These days, it refers to just about any text content that doesn’t include multimedia. Think of your blog as the "side door" to your website. Ideally, someone who is looking for a solution, an answer to a question, or even inspiration, stumbles across your blog post and is now engaged with your brand. Blogs are great for getting first-time visitors to your site and offer the potential to raise your search engine visibility.
Blogging: Biggest Advantages
Blogging has several major advantages. First of all, it offers the easiest approach to digital marketing for the most consistent payoff. A well-written, well-designed blog can soar to #1 on relevant search results. Blogs can be written, edited, and published fast. Photos and illustrations for them are readily available.
Blogging: Biggest Challenges
The biggest disadvantage of blogging isn’t technical, it’s human. Plain text content isn’t as memorable or compelling as multimedia. Many people don’t want to read an article. Even those who do tend to skim and skip around, so you can’t be 100% sure they read and understood every word you wrote.
Another challenge of blogging is having the expertise to make sure that you are writing content that can be "found" by the people that matter most to your brand. If there isn't an understanding of how SEO works, even the most thought-provoking articles may go unread.
Pro Tip: Brush up on SEO best practices to make sure you maximize your content by reaching the right audience!
Vlogging means delivering your “blog” in the form of a video. Hence, video blogging. A vlog is ideal when the topic you are writing about would benefit from showing the reader something rather than just using words to describe it. For example, if you are a manufacturing company, showcasing HOW something works can be much more effective than telling the reader. Most vlogs are hosted on a branded YouTube channel, providing benefits to branding and SEO.
Pro Tip: As you create a content calendar, identify the topics best suited for video, and maximize your budget by planning to videotape them all at once. Then, you can edit and publish over time but the content you need is already captured.
Vlogging: Biggest Advantages
You can “recycle” content into a podcast easily. Once you finish a video, all you need to do is make the audio available on a podcast platform. In general, vlogs outperform other content in search engines. They increase traffic and are effective at introducing viewers into your social media ecosystem.
Vlogging: Biggest Challenges
Video blogging is one area of video production that is a bit more "forgiving" regarding production quality, as other productions require a lot of video know-how. However, there still is a level of professionalism and branding standards that need to be upheld.
Pro Tip: Consider creating an opening and closing graphic for your video blogs to give them a consistent, polished look and feel.
Because the medium came into its own on the original Apple iPod, a podcast is any audio-only content. Most podcasts are personality-driven and take a form similar to a radio talk show. Podcast hosts usually have guests, and there may be an assortment of 2-3 co-hosts who all speak up during the show on a topic area they specialize in.
Podcast: Biggest Advantages
A podcast is a natural fit if you are an aspiring thought leader who easily discusses topics related to your brand. Podcasts are good for deepening brand loyalty and engagement with a smaller, devoted segment of your audience. Some niches, like self-improvement, have a strong, built-in podcast audience.
Pro Tip: Your podcast can elevate your SEO strategy by transcribing your podcast and publishing it on your blog.
Podcast: Biggest Challenges
Podcasts require substantial first-time setup in the form of audio equipment, good recording environment, and often a script. If you can’t find the right person to anchor your podcast, or that person moves on, you might end up scrambling to fill the hole in your content marketing strategy.
What’s the verdict?
To start, every business should have a blog. It’s the cornerstone of search engine visibility. From there, the choice of vlog or podcast depends on your goals, audience, and capabilities.
There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to bringing your brand story to the world. When searching for the perfect agency to work with your business, you need an organization that truly grasps what makes your company special and will commit itself to achieving your goals. It's also essential that their company's values align with yours in order to ensure a harmonious partnership.