2012: The Year of the Blog

Do you remember when blogs were sexy? Think about the time before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It was only five or six years ago that blogs were new and shiny, and it seemed that everyone was either enthusiastically writing one or reading lots of them.

As more social media services burst on to the scene, blogs were shuffled to the sidelines. Compared with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, blogs became stuffy, staid and matronly. Blogs also required time, effort, creativity and hard work, while just about anyone could climb on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagons.

But a funny thing seems to be happening.

Blogs are coming back into vogue – sort of like the skinny ties your father used to wear that became hip and cool again.

As brands embraced social media, many have started to realize an essential part of being successful with social media is having content as the engine to drive it. This explains why content marketing is all the rage.

Not surprisingly, blogs are playing a key role within content marketing because they are vehicles that brands can use to provide value-added information and insight.

And unlike other social media services, brands own their blogs and reap the benefits such as improved SEO, increased Web site traffic and thought leadership.

Surprise, surprise: blogs are sexy again.

Brian Solis does a nice job in describing why blogs have so much appeal. “Blogs are underrated and largely underestimated. Not only are they platforms for self-expression, shared experiences and observations, they are becoming a live index of history in the making as told by people for the people.”

Now if Brian Solis, one of the leading social media practitioners and influencers, thinks blogs are the cat’s meow, you have to think brands should pay attention.

For Sysomos, this blog has played a key role in our marketing efforts over the past three years. It takes a lot of work to produce five posts a week but it hopefully offers existing and potential customers with a lot of food for thought, ideas and insight. And once in a while, we even talk about our social media monitoring and analytics services, MAP and Heartbeat.

You will likely be seeing more attention being paid to blogs as Technorati has released its 2011 State of the Blogosphere. In the introduction, Technorati said that:

“The Blogosphere is constantly changing and evolving. In 2011, we are seeing bloggers updating their blogs more frequently and spending more time blogging. The type of information influencing blogging has shifted from conversations with friends, which was the primary influence in 2010, to other blogs, which for 68% of bloggers are having more of an influence in 2011.”

Translation: Blogs seem to be back, baby!

What do you think? Are blogs becoming the belle of the ball again? If so, how do blogs play with what brands are doing with other social media services?