Only time will tell if that rings true or not, but it's safe to say that simply adopting the latest fad because everyone else is doing it is not exactly a rock-solid strategy. But adding a new tool to your marketing efforts can be a fantastic brand builder - that is, if you give it legs and support it over the long haul.
For the sake of argument, let's talk about the blog.
Once upon a time, the blog was considered to be THE cutting-edge arena for companies to dish out tips, trends, product launches, opinions, commentary, and more in a personal, approachable way. It was new and exciting and people wanted to be a part of the hype. Sound familiar?
While the blog has taken a backseat to some of the newer kids on the Web block, there are still a lot of companies creating a daily dose of fresh content and posting it to their blogs. Where they fall short is in their support of their own efforts. They're still investing internal resources to post information, but they're not consistent in promoting the blogs to their email subscribers. Do this for too long, and people will forget your blog exists. Out of sight, out of mind.
For starters, Patagonia produces a seasonal feature called The Tin Shed and a blog called The Cleanest Line. Sometimes they support both in their top nav as they do here, but then other times their top nav looks like this. We all know that consistency is key if you want people to know where to find things.
Take Sephora, for instance. As you can see in this email (you'll need to scroll), they bundle their Beauty and the Blog promo along with their Facebook and Twitter links in the footer of every single email. Just wish they also included some of their blog posts as feature stories within their weekly emails. They also don't promote their blog on their homepage, so it's hard to find.
Urban Outfitters relaunched their blog with a full-blown dedicated email and then followed it up with the UO Blog Newsletter. Sadly, they didn't keep the momentum going by adding a link in the top nav or the footer of their weekly emails. But, they do get bonus points for at least including a link to their blog on the UO homepage.
Rather than work a link to their blog into the footer or top nav of their emails, Lululemon puts their posts front and center. Check it out here, here and here. They could probably stand to switch up their templates a bit as they all look the same, but the fact that they're bringing in fresh content for their subscribers is refreshing.
Giggle pulls out all the stops by supporting not one, but THREE blogs: giggle GURUS, from the STREET, and giggle INSIDERS. Given how much real estate they gave the blogs in this email, it's surprising that they didn't find a permanent home for them in their weekly emails. They could lose the "be a part of our community" in the footer of this email and add their blogs instead.
Tobi puts a different spin on the traditional blog by labeling theirs as Editorial. Not only do they support their efforts with dedicated emails, but they also give it a permanent home in the top nav of their Web site. Packed with posts, videos, interviews, and more, their Editorial blog is the real deal and not a fashion wannabe.
Penned by Gwyneth Paltrow, GOOP is proving to be more than a passing blimp on the blogosphere radar. Each week the emails focus on one of six themes: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See. While the super-long scrolling is a bit taxing, the content is compelling (she's even started adding cooking videos), and the design is definitely easy on the eyes. Production glitches and lack of SWYN aside, this is one blog to keep watching.
But, enough about the other blogs out there. What about YOUR blog? Have you seen it lately? Have your subscribers? If you're still posting, then why hide it? Show it some love by giving it a permanent spot in your email template, even if it's just a link in the footer. If you're short on space, then maybe it's time to reevaluate your priorities. Directing subscribers to an experience on Facebook or Twitter that's not polished or engaging is a big mistake. You'll lose their interest. Know your strengths and build from there.