So you’ve just launched your new business website.
And now everyone’s telling you to publish regular, fresh and unique content to help boost your search engine rankings.
Some say this should be news content. But others say this is old-school content marketing. And that a blog is a far more effective strategy.
In an ideal world it would be great if you could have them both. But what if you could choose only one? Would you really know which option is right for you?
If you’re still not quite sure then this simple 3-point checklist will help you decide.
1. Do You Want to Promote Your Products and Services?
A company news feed is, without doubt, an ideal way to spread the word about your products and services and build up awareness of your brand.
It really comes into its own on eCommerce websites, where you can use it to tell visitors about seasonal products, special offers and new arrivals to your range.
But it’s also a great place to announce news within your business, such as events, milestones and company achievements.
Moreover, news articles offer a lot of potential for internal links to the core pages of your website — which is great for developing a strong connection to your offering and also for your SEO.
With a blog, this is all perfectly possible too.
With a blog post, it’s just that little bit trickier to include direct references and links to your products and services.
People come to your blog for a different reason. They’re looking for informational content. And anything that comes across as salesy can alienate your readers and put them off for good.
So Which Should I Use?
If you’re a large company with lots of interesting products, services and stories related to your business then it makes sense to go for a news feed first.
But if you’re in the business of selling content yourself, such as a writer, PR practitioner or social media consultant, then a blog will most likely be your better choice.
2. Do You Want to Build an Online Community?
Blog posts are capable of getting far more comments than any company news article.
Why is this so?
Blogs are conversational in nature, offering insight and commentary on industry trends and developments, self-improvement or professional experiences. They lend themselves to a more approachable and personal tone, which helps people warm to your content and get more involved.
So they naturally foster a community of like-minded people. And, at the same time, position you as an online authority.
By contrast, news articles tend to be a bit stuffy and official, as they broadly present the corporate side to your business and take on a much more journalistic writing style.
So Which Should I Use?
Blogs are traditionally first choice for building an online community. But that doesn’t always mean you can’t engage your readers through your company news.
News writing doesn’t have to be plain and boring straight reporting. If you offer new insight, opinion and interesting angles on developments within your industry then readers will be more inclined to contribute their own views. And they’ll come on coming back for more.
In other words, if your wider needs are more important then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start a company news section first.
3. Do You Want Followers Fast or Lasting Results?
The world is changing all the time. Masses of potential readers are hungry for their fill on the latest news and events. And you could be just in the right position to fulfil their needs.
This makes news-based content ideal for getting new followers fast – especially so if you keep a close eye on what’s trending online and can get in there quick before everyone else.
The problem with news content is that it dates incredibly quickly. Once you’ve written your article, it’s pretty well past its shelf life within a matter of days.
On the other hand, blog content can continue giving value years after you first published it.
If your post offers practical and helpful reference material, such as a How to …, Guide to … or Checklist of …, then it will become evergreen content that will attract traffic and links as long as it remains relevant and useful.
And the added advantage of this type of content is that you can periodically update it, rework it, repurpose it and recycle it over and over again.
So Which Should I Use?
News content not only gets in visitors more quickly but is also, by and large, the easier to write.
Nevertheless, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest stories and offer eye-catching, different and interesting news angles to make sure your articles stand out from the crowd.
But if you’re looking for longer lasting results rather than quick and easy wins then blogging is definitely the right content strategy for you.
Have Your Say
Do you have a company news feed, corporate blog or both? Tell us which ones you use on your website and why. Leave your comment below.
In our next post: Are you making this same silly copywriting mistake on your website?
About the Author
Kevin Carlton is an IT copywriter and blogger based in Stafford in the UK. He is owner of freelance copywriting service Write Online, which helps technology companies get the most out of their online presence.