Why Are Fewer Corporations Blogging?

Kevin McNulty (@netweave), an esteemed friend and colleague in the industry (I can see his eyes rolling — he’s so humble), asked me for my thoughts on this week’s Marketing Profs Report showing that Social Media usage among Inc. 500 companies was up, while blogging was down. Although I am far from a bandwagon jumper, Kevin knows I am a proponent of well-planned, well-executed blogs for business. When launched and maintained correctly, blogs can become a hugely powerful part of a company’s content marketing arsenal. But, certainly not a magic bullet. Blogging has to be part of a larger content strategy — including the smart use of social media channels.

Usage is Down. Effectiveness is Not.

First, let’s look at some effectiveness numbers. According to Hubspot, businesses that blog have a clear advantage:

  • 68-77% more leads
  • 55% more website visitors
  • 97% more inbound links to their website
  • 434% more indexed pages on Google
More recently, in a report from the Content Marketing InstituteBlogging had the highest “leap” in 2011 in terms of effectiveness when compared with other content marketing tactics.

Perhaps this means that those companies who are sticking with blogging (and doing it right) are indeed landing more leads, visitors and Google-juice as Hubspot suggests.

So Why the Downward Trend in Usage?

My first reaction when I saw the dip reported by MarketingProfs was a simple nod of the head. I’m not altogether surprised. Although data from multiple sources continues to tout the fact that blogging is effective, there are many realities that I see factoring into the dip in usage.

Corporate Blogging is Hard

Yes. It’s true. Blogging (effective blogging that is), along with other content-intensive media, requires a high level of effort, skill, planning, resources and strategy. But, don’t take my word for it. Research shows that the biggest challenge for marketers today is “producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers.” The second biggest challenge was simply producing enough content. (Source: 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends).

Although many companies have the very best intentions when launching into a blog, many quickly find they may not have the right resources, planning or corporate culture in place to do it right. I’ll refrain from tooting the Well Planned Web horn too much here…but this is where having a content marketing partner can help.

The SEO Sugar Rush is Over

Blogging has reached the end of its “something shiny” phase. In other words, those companies that were leaping on the blogging bandwagon rather than blogging for the right reasons are likely outta the picture. There was a time where many companies blogged strictly for Search Engine Optimization benefits — rather than to add real value during a prospect’s research or buying stage. Blogging is not a magic-wand tool. Companies that use blogging for delivering true value to audiences will gain real, long-term benefits (a.k.a. leads).

Blogging is Not Right For Everyone.

Part of why our team sees blogging as such a powerful medium, is because the majority of our clients have a “complex sale.” In other words, our clients’ products and services typically require continued discussion with prospects to aid in product research, education and decision-making. Becoming a part of the prospects’ research process through helpful, informative content creates a relationship of trust. Blogging, when part of the right content marketing mix, is amazingly effective.

Let’s face it… the same cannot always be said for the “less complex” sale. Buying pizza, an airline ticket or a baseball bat just doesn’t demand the same depth of content to build the relationship. In fact, those relationships are far better off being nurtured and built through social media outlets like Facebook (which also requires a dedicated expertise, by the way).

Status Quo Content = DOB (Death of Blog)

If blogging doesn’t become a “high-yield” tactic, it’s often one of the first items cut in the corporate marketing budget. The #1 reason for blog death: Status Quo Content. Ditching the “words on a page” mentality and embracing highly-relevant, highly meaningful content takes dedicated, planning, time, (and dollars). But developing a real Content Marketing strategy can dramatically turn around the effectiveness of a corporate blog, as well as your other online marketing efforts.

Your Turn

Does your company have a corporate blog? Is it well planned and maintained? What has your experience been?



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Deana Goldasich

Deana Goldasich, CEO and founder of Well Planned Web, plans and implements Content Marketing to help clients nurture leads, market their expertise and create an impactful presence online.

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  1. NetWeave Social Net on February 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Great post and thoughtful response to report.  I agree and I think that reduced blogging is actually going to mean that QUALITY blogs are going to get even more attention since the signal to noise ratio will be much higher.

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  3. Anonymous on February 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Great post Deana!  Definitely got me thinking as well.

    The MarketingProfs report states that when Inc. 500 were asked to define the single most effective social networking platform they use, 25% said Facebook, and 24% said LinkedIn.  With the evolution of tools for business like Facebook pages, and LinkedIn company profiles this makes sense.  Better social media tools are allowing brands to get more return from their social media efforts, and because they are getting a better return (which 26% described as more fans, followers, subscribers, etc; and 25% describe as website traffic), they are moving more resources to social media. 

    It is also possible that social media may be better suited to goals like getting more fans, followers, subscribers, etc.  So if that is the focus, a corporate blog may be less important.  However, for companies with a goal of developing and nurturing a leads, corporate blogging might be a better fit, especially for a company with a complex buying cycle.

    Also, even though Twitter and Facebook are up; blogging, forums, online video, and podcasting are still successful channels (92%, 96%, 90%, and 80% respectively) – even though their use might be down. (Twitter and Facebook are 86% and 82% successful).

    To Deana’s point, if content takes a higher level of effort, some companies may be shifting away from it.  And, per Kevin’s comment, the companies that decide to continue producing content via these channels are going to get even more attention since there will be less competition and noise.

  4. collier1960 on February 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Deana, have you had the opportunity to work with any Architecture firms? I deal a lot with Architectural bloggers, but most of the “Twibe” are students or in small firms. I’m curious what you’re hearing from the corporate end of the design profession. Thanks, Collier

  5. Deana Goldasich on February 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Hi Collier! We don’t work directly with architecture firms, but we have a client that does…so we’re familiar with certain aspects of the industry, trends, etc. To your point, I think that for those in the business of design that results in a high-consideration product or service (in this case, architecture), it’s more important than ever for firms to distinguish themselves through thought leadership in addition to showing their portfolio of work. I would imagine that customers of architecture firms have very specific concerns, fears and needs for information for this type of complex sale. I’d see blogging as a terrific way to break those barriers and establish an expertise — something the networks can’t do alone.

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