Do You Need a Blog or a Learning Center?

SMBSome businesses lend themselves naturally to launching blogs. Others don’t…but they still need a convenient place to add articles and freshen up content.

After all, almost every business will have things which they will want to communicate to customers. You just might not have 12, 24, or 52 things to communicate (monthly, biweekly or weekly blog posts).

You also might only have time to add content on a catch-as-catch can basis, which means a blog isn’t a great idea for you. Most people expect to see blog posts updated at least once a month or so. Your blog can start to look stale if you can’t commit to that.

You might also be utterly uninterested in portraying the “human element” of your business or company. You want to, say, give a few safety tips and technical tips. You don’t want to show off any photos of the quirky job you had last week, talk about trade shows you’ve been to or show off photos of your team doing zany things. If so, again, a learning center might be a great fit.

Learning centers are nice because you can add content “whenever.” When an issue comes up, it’s easy to pop an article in and get it done. You get a little keyword boost, you get a little freshness boost. You might opt for longer articles, too, since you’re handling one specific issue.

People don’t comment on learning centers either–which means you might want to go with a learning center if it doesn’t make sense for your business to really try to build any sort of a community.

Let’s look at two separate businesses.

One is a security company. The other is an event planning business.

The security company might want a learning center. They want to talk about how to avoid false alarms, what people need to know about alarm permits, and maybe a few other things like how to survive during a home invasion. They don’t expect that people are going to race up to read the security blog on a regular basis, but they know adding content is still important, both for SEO purposes and as a simple matter of customer service.

The event planning company, though, might well have a hungry audience of people who love to entertain. They could talk about recipes, simple party planning tips, decoration tips, tips about booking different services, whatever else. They might get a regular following, even if the readers are only going to hire them for 1 or 2 really large events. This is okay, because dedicated readers will also evangelize…referring business to this event planner when their cousin or aunt or whomever else says they need to start planning that wedding, bar mitzvah, awards dinner or whatever else. There’s a potential for great photos, great comments, and a human element that is simply missing when it comes to that home security company.

We’re mostly talking B2C here. In B2B you might opt to have an “Articles” section or a “White Paper” section instead. Or you might really blow your content marketing strategy out of the water by launching a monthly online magazine which talks about some of the issues that are facing your industry.

It really just depends on your overall content marketing strategy.

You see, I used to say every business needs a blog, but I just don’t believe that’s true anymore. There are a lot of ways to tackle SEO rankings, and there are a lot of different ways to tackle content marketing strategies. You have to know your audience and think about what might actually help your website generate some leads.

I think all businesses need various forms of content and that much of this content should land on your website at some point…but having seen and read a lot of stilted, forced blogs full of content that nobody’s really reading I have revised my stance. Focus on the content that matters, then find a place for that content to be. Don’t launch a blog just because “everyone else is doing it.”

Comments are closed.