The fact that buyers reach your content through varied entry points including search engines, via social networks, and as links from other sites is often overlooked. Many people are dismissive of the value of writing a thoughtful blog, creating a video channel, or producing infographics because they underestimate the many ways that content is consumed.
When people are asked questions such as "Do you read blogs?" or "Do you use social media?" or "Do you go to video sharing sites?" the resulting data show rather small use compared to those who, say, use search engines or email.
The problem is people don’t realize how often they use different types of content and underestimate when asked, skewing data.
I frequently hear CEOs, CFOs, and VPs of marketing say things like: "Social media is not important, so we won't do it here. It is a waste of time." Other people say: "I don't read blogs, so how important are they?"
This can be misleading and dangerous because content-resistant executives justify sticking exclusively to the methods that worked decades ago like advertising, direct mail, and cold calling.
These reactions miss two tremendously important points for marketing and PR people to understand:
1) When asked "do you read blogs?" or "do you use social media?" many people answer "no". However, everyone uses Google or another search engine regularly and the search results frequently include blog posts or YouTube videos or social media content high in the search results. So even though people may report "no" when asked if they use these forms of content, everyone has landed on a blog, video, or social network through search.
The Huffington Post is a blog yet most people don’t know that. Many people who reach blogs don't even know they are on a blog!
2) When people ask their network for advice, they often do it via email or a social network like LinkedIn. Frequently the answer that comes back includes URLs to companies and products. And those links from friends, colleagues of family members often include blog posts. Frequently people ask their friends questions like: "What’s the best baby stroller to buy?" The answer may include a link to a blog post or a site with an embedded video. Again, the person asking for advice probably didn't even know they were on a blog or used a video-sharing site.
Don't let your bosses diminish the hidden value of social media as search engine fodder and as a valuable type of information that people share with their network.