Instagram vs. Blogging vs. Email Lists 2022

When it comes to online content marketing, there are a lot of different strategies that businesses can use to reach their target audience. Social media has become one of the most popular platforms for promoting businesses and products. Blogging and email lists are still effective marketing tools. Which online marketing strategies are the best for businesses in 2022? Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of each for online content marketing!

Pros and Cons of Marketing your Small Business on Instagram

When it comes to social media, Instagram is one of the most popular platforms, with over 1 billion active monthly users. Businesses can use Instagram to share photos and videos of their products, as well as run ads. Instagram is especially effective for companies that sell visual and aesthetic products, such as clothes, jewelry, or home decor. 

In addition to being a great place to connect with friends and shop, Instagram is a highly effective content marketing strategy. 

The continued popularity of Instagram and other social media (like TikTok) means that your online content marketing will continue to reach many people without making them visit your website or subscribe to your email list. As Hubspot says, it “can help you grow your brand awareness and introduce new products.” Have you watched a suggested Reel and clicked the “follow” button for the account? Or seen a recommended post on your Discover page and binged that account’s content? That’s effective content marketing via Instagram. 

Social Media is Free Content Marketing for Your Small Business

Another wise reason to use Instagram for online content marketing is that it is FREE to use and post on the platform. No fees are required (like website hosting fees or email marketing subscriptions). If you can create good, quality content for your audience and use the right keywords for Instagram SEO, it is well worth the time and effort because you’re only investing sweat equity. 

Putting All of Your Efforts into Social Media is a Risky Move

The biggest con to using Instagram (or another social media platform) for your primary content marketing strategy is that the guidelines of that specific platform control what you can and can’t post. Instagram owns your content and your account and can shut it down at any time if they believe you have gone against their rules or policies. 

If you are in any small business marketing Facebook group, I’m sure you’ve seen the HELP posts for when someone has lost their Instagram account and is unsure what they did wrong. 

Take it as a warning: If all you’re doing to market your business is cultivating an Instagram following, and you unexpectedly lose your account…it’s going to be challenging to get the momentum of your business back to where it once was.

In one of their articles, Klint Marketing also made a good point when they discussed how time-consuming Instagram is for business owners. Business owners typically post or create content a few times each week. While the platform is free to use, some business owners may not want to put in the required time to make a real impact with potential customers. Instagram can change its algorithm anytime, forcing businesses to rethink their content marketing strategy.

Pros and Cons of Blogging for your Content Marketing in Your Small Business

Blogging is another excellent online marketing strategy businesses can use to reach their target audience. A blog allows companies to share informative articles about their industry, product, or service. 

Businesses can build trust and credibility with potential customers by providing valuable content. In addition, when readers find your blog helpful or interesting, they are more likely to share it with others, which can help increase your website’s traffic. That’s a big win!

According to Neal Schaffer, blogs’ “skimmable content” makes them appealing to a wide range of people. People can find one of your blog posts, read through it quickly, and then click on another two or three posts in no time. These posts engage your audience in your content and your business. Your blog will be effective as a content marketing strategy if you have a good cache of posts that link to one another and an SEO strategy (for SEO tips, read my post on how to improve your website’s SEO).

Blogging is Time-Consuming but Rewarding

The biggest drawback of using a blog for online content marketing is that creating the posts takes significant time. Nothing is more frustrating than stumbling upon a blog post with just a long list of keywords related to your Google search! Some creators prefer to cut corners because it takes a lot of time if you create authentic, relevant posts that answer a question of your potential clients.

Blogging itself does not create revenue, which is a con, but it does provide you with an opportunity to sell your offers or products to potential customers in a way that you can’t on Instagram. Instagram and other social media platforms are focused on short-form content, but blogs can be any length you like. Plus, blog posts live on forever. You can generate traffic to your site from posts published years ago!

Ready to start creating content for your blog? Check out my 5 Tips for Batching Blog Content Your Audience Will Love!

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for your Small Business

Email lists are also a great content marketing tool for businesses. An email list allows you to stay in touch with your audience. By cultivating a list of subscribers, online entrepreneurs can send targeted emails with information about new products, services, or promotions. An email list can feel more personal than an Instagram post or blog entry. If done effectively, a regular email newsletter can feel like a note from a friend. 

Email Marketing Provides Great Data about Your Audience

The biggest pro to using an email list is tracking what your subscribers are doing with your content. Want to know how many people open your email? How many subscribers click a link? Email marketing services can provide you with that information. Based on those analytics, you can see the type of content/information your audience craves. In that way, email lists are great to use for online content marketing strategy because they provide you with so much more data than a blog or social media post.

If you aren’t getting the results you want from your email list, you have the data to create a new content marketing strategy that will potentially reach new customers or clients. As LinkedIn said in this article, email lists “can help you gauge that person’s response to marketing.”

The biggest con to using an email list is that subscribers may never open your email. MailChimp (a popular email subscription service) reports that the “average email open rate for all industries” is 21%. So even though you might have a solid list of subscribers to your email list, many subscribers will never read any of your emails. It can sometimes feel like a lot of work for very little return on investment. 

So, which content marketing platform should you use for your small business?

All three are essential for your small business! You need multiple ways to get in touch with your audience, especially when social media can crash or your account gets shut down. Blogging is fantastic for getting people to your website, and email lists provide direct access to your ideal customer’s inbox.

An excellent online content marketing strategy doesn’t just utilize one of these services – it creates content for all three so that potential (and returning!) clients and customers can consume your content in many different ways. 

If you’re looking for more tips on copywriting and content marketing for your small business, sign up for the Writer’s Block Newsletter. And you know you can always hang out with me on Instagram @ByMikaylaTaylor!

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