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Blogging and vlogging. Say one really fast and it could easily sound like the other. These are two powerhouses in digital marketing and share a lot of overlap in terms of purpose, benefits, and even execution.
But which one is better for business? In many circles, the jury appears to be split. Blogging tends to be more popular, given its long-standing history and the massive number of blogs online. In fact, it’s estimated that there are over 600 million active blogs in existence! Vlogging is newer and there are comparatively fewer of them. However, that might also make it a boon for businesses because the practice isn’t as saturated as blogging.
The reality is that both blogging and vlogging serve a purpose in digital marketing, and it doesn’t need to be an and/or decision for businesses. Both can help you grow your reputation, website traffic, and revenue, not to mention your brand awareness and reputation.
How can you use blogging and vlogging to grow your business? Here’s a deeper dive into how blogs and vlogs work, how to start one, and how they make money.
Blogging vs Vlogging: A Quick Comparison
By definition, a blog is a series of written articles. Businesses that have a blog typically write on topics that are relevant to their industry. Articles can vary in length, usually ranging from 400 words (which are considered short blogs) up to 4,000+ words (also referred to as long-form content or pillar pages). They can be as detailed or as light as the business prefers, but each article usually focuses on one idea or topic.
Vlogs are similar to blogs, except they take a video-first approach rather than a written format. Like blogs, vlogs cover a variety of topics that are specific to the business and aim to provide the user with valuable information. Instead of reading an article, viewers hear the information being presented.
Here’s a fun fact: you can blog and vlog about the same topics! Many businesses that have a blogging and vlogging strategy repurpose their content for both formats. For example, if you are sharing a list of best practices about budgeting in your blog, then you can narrate those same best practices in your vlog.
That’s about where the overlap ends. There are a few key differences worth noting here:
Both blogs and vlogs take a steadfast time commitment, both to launch and to maintain. But vlogging tends to take the lion’s share when it comes to your time investment. Blog articles are mostly text and can usually be written in just a couple of hours, give or take.
Vlogging is a different animal. It’s heavy on visuals, so there’s time spent getting your lighting and camera set up just right, not to mention audio testing. You might not get the perfect take on the first try, so you might have to re-record some parts. The editing process can also take a couple of hours, depending on how well you know your software and how long of a vlog you need. And depending on your vlogging strategy, you might need to include links in your video or add a transcript or description for SEO purposes.
In total, a 1-5 minute YouTube video takes an average of 7 hours to make. You can see how this could easily become a full-time job if vlogging plays a role in your marketing strategy.
The good news: you can usually reduce your time spent on vlogging and blogging with practice. The more you do it, the easier and more streamlined both processes become.
Some people prefer blogs because they can skim the content and take something away quickly. Others want the visual element that a vlog delivers.
No matter which camp you live in, know that your audience might have different preferences, too. Blogs and vlogs tend to cater to different types of users. Leveraging both can help you appeal to a wider variety of people and generate more interest in your business.
Content Creation Processes
Creating blogs and vlogs takes different approaches. Since blogs are written articles, you don’t need a lot of specialized equipment to produce them. Your website, a keyword research tool, and some stock photos are all you really need to write an article.
You can expand your blogging efforts with tools that find trending topics (like Buzzsumo), paid photo subscriptions, image editing tools (like Canva or Adobe), and embedded quizzes and lead forms. These tools are not necessary for blogging, but they can help you get more mileage from your posts.
Vlogging is highly visual and requires a completely different setup than blogging. Naturally, you’ll need a camera and tripod, sound equipment, lighting, and video editing software. You may also benefit from researching trending topics in your niche and finding relevant keywords to build your content around.
You can level up your vlog with a professionally made intro screen, a call-to-action screen at the end, embedded links within the content, a transcript and captions, professional voice-overs, and other “extras” to make your video more compelling.
Blogs and vlogs can share some of the same outlets, but not always. For instance, you can post your vlogs on a YouTube channel, but you won’t find any written blogs here. But you can share both types of content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
No matter where you share your blogs and vlogs, it’s a good idea to host your own content on your website. This allows you to get the most value from the content you create since people will be visiting your website to view it. More traffic can help with SEO and increase your rankings in search, which is one of the biggest benefits of content marketing in the first place!
Business Benefits of Blogging
Can a business blog make you money? You bet it can! Blogs are often seen as being informational tools, but they can also be used as part of your sales strategy.
For example, if you’re an e-commerce store and have brought in new products, you might write in-depth blog posts on each one to bring attention to them. Talk about their features and benefits, how they work, and other interesting information to help you drive sales.
You can also use your blog to create tutorials or guides on your products or services. This can help put your business into context for others. When you can show them how something works or how it will make their lives easier, they’ll be more likely to purchase.
Some of the other benefits of blogging for businesses include:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Turning traffic into leads
- Building trust with your audience
- Earning backlinks from other websites that find your content helpful
- Promoting your business’s authority and expertise
- Increasing SEO
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but it should help you start thinking about the potential of blogging and how to start using it in your marketing strategy.
Benefits of Vlogging in Marketing
A lot of the benefits of blogging for businesses apply to vlogging, too. Vlogs can bring traffic to your website, generate leads, earn backlinks, build trust, and help you appear more authoritative in your industry.
But the visual aspect of vlogging helps set this format apart from other forms of content marketing.
Typically, a person is the face and voice of a vlog. Many vlogs take a casual approach, which gives a brand a more “humanized” look and feel. It adds a personal touch, one that is easily lost in a written article.
Plus, you have the benefit of bringing your topic to life in a whole new way with a vlog. For example, if your vlog is about a new product, you can highlight that product in ways that simply aren’t possible in a blog. You can show the product, rotate it in different angles, and even demonstrate it live.
Seeing is believing in marketing, and adding context to your content can help to drive sales and bring authenticity into every conversation.
Developing Your Blogging and Vlogging Strategy
Setting up a blog or vlog starts with logistics: where will you host your content? Where will you share it? How will users access it?
From there, it becomes a matter of choosing topics and creating content around them.
Whether you are blogging, vlogging, or both, your goal should be to provide value to your audience. Having a blog or vlog for the sake of content isn’t going to net you long-term benefits. But if you are solving problems for your audience, holding their interest, and giving them a reason to come back for more, you stand a better chance of reaping all the benefits that content marketing has to offer.
At Hive Art Media, we make it easy to outsource content development for your blogs and vlogs. Get in touch today to learn more!