It's no secret that blogging is a bit of an internet marketing craze today, but is it the type of content that will be the best use of your time and resources?

It’s no secret that blogging is a bit of an internet marketing craze today, but is it the type of content that will be the best use of your time and resources?

The kind of content you invest in should really depend on how you want to communicate with your stakeholders. To give a real life example, let’s consider Amazon.com.

Amazon is a primarily B2C company, sporting their homegrown products like the Kindle and a gargantuan variety of commodities from thousands of third-party merchants. Due to the fact that Amazon is such an ecommerce giant, it is reasonable to assume that almost all its web traffic is transactional – meaning that a visitor is searching for a specific item with the intent to purchase (now or in the near future.) With a visitor base exhibiting search-buy-exit behavior, would a blog succeed?

I believe yes, but the marketing blog would need to be very targeted. By targeted, I mean it needs to have a lot of personality and engage visitors in ways that only Amazon can. One example could be reviews of goods sold on the site by actual Amazon.com employees, a C-level executive’s take on the company’s future or a weekly new product “roundup.” In other words, a successful Amazon blog would need to be a hybrid between the traditional “corporate blog” and the conversational blogs popular today. (And, by the way, profiling your target audience to achieve maximum ROI is essential no matter what type of content you choose for marketing.)

Lisa G of Express engages with her customers daily, reinforcing positive brand image and potentially drumming up more sales.Some businesses look at social content as an alternative to blog marketing, but the two work best in tandem. For instance, the recent trend has been to offer social interaction with branded Twitter accounts, such as Lionel @ Dell and Express’s CMO Lisa G. Translating these social efforts into a supplemental blog format helps make the content search-friendly and may have greater impact than just using Twitter alone.

So, how about your business? If you’ve tried blogging (internally or externally) and it didn’t seem to pay off for you, another content marketing option is news. Consider the fact that over 75 percent of internet-connected Americans read news online; that’s a 220+ million person group that may not be as accessible by social media or blog marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about news content marketing, check out our information page.

To wrap things up, whether you decide to engage in some form of blogging or not, define a content strategy early and leave wiggle room for improvements and tweaks as visitors begin to engage you. A targeted blog will never hurt your business, but do your due diligence and see what content mix is best suited to both your resources and audience.

Evan is Head of Creative & Digital at Brafton. He is a visual designer and brand strategist, manages Brafton's external marketing efforts, SEO and PPC initiatives and plays an integral role in product development across the business.