In case you needed more proof that your competitors are blogging—though the fact that 60 percent of companies already have a blog is often pretty riveting—here’s one more for you. Not only are most of your competitors blogging, but more and more of them are joining the cyber space conversation every day.
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently released its 2012 study on the usage of social media in the fastest-growing corporations and found that blogging amongst the Inc. 500 companies in particular has jumped significantly. Specifically, in 2007, 19 percent of the most promising private companies were blogging. Fast forward to 2012 and that number has jumped to 44 percent (in 2011 the number was at 37 percent).
As it turns out, Fortune 500 companies are right alongside these private companies when it come to blog adoption. While just eight percent of them were blogging in 2007, that number surged to 23 percent by 2012
With so many companies hopping aboard the blogging train, the question is no longer whether you should blog; it’s how you will come up with a competitive enough strategy to keep up with others in your space. The fact is that not only should you be identifying a strategy, but you should also be investing an immeasurable amount of time into this campaign, particularly when the benefits of blogging for your business are so great. Let’s take a look at some of the most compelling statistics:
- Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links
- 92 percent of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog
- B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67 percent more leads than those that do not
- 61 percent of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog
- 81 percent of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs
So with the facts indisputable, you may be wondering where to start. After all, putting pen to paper can be a challenge and deciding how to tell the story of your company can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Have a plan: Company’s who dive head first into the deep end—and do not know how to swim—will instantaneously drown in a sea of blog jargon, widgets, and HTML coding. Before you even dip your toe in, have a plan for navigating the cyber waters. Figure out which blogging platform works best for you (we at Content Boost love WordPress.com) and then determine how to start. Will you stockpile five to 10 blogs before ever going live so that you have a nice base of content to introduce to your audience? Are you going to identify bloggers from your company to have a variety of voices from day one? When you decide to move forward with blogging make sure you consider all angles for optimal success.
- Get started: The best way to start is to develop an editorial calendar—one that will outline your content objectives and account for your marketing goals. Once you develop a fully-baked calendar, assign writers on your marketing team to cover each topic to ensure that your blog is colorful and fresh. Get in the habit of devoting a few hours at the beginning of every month to outline upcoming story ideas and assess the success of past posts to determine where to head in the next month.
- Look at metrics: Having a blog is great but knowing how to learn from your blog is key. Figure out what makes your readers tick. Perhaps it’s the post featuring an interview with your CEO. Or maybe it’s an educational piece about why three certain ingredients make all food better. Make sure to evaluate the number of visitors to each post, the amount of click throughs (meaning how many readers clicked on the hyperlinks) and the bounce rate (how long they spent on your post). The more you can learn about your prospective client’s behaviors, the better prepared you are to make a sale.
Want to learn more about how to get your blog up and running, then contact our Content Boost team.