Data says yes! 3 reasons why blogging should be your #1 social media priority

By and large, Australian businesses are still failing to capitalise on the benefits of an active blog strategy.  Even the top end of town remain oblivious to how a blog can benefit their business with only 18% of businesses maintaining a blog.

This is almost the polar opposite to the northern hemisphere where businesses are now in the minority if they do not blog. The percentage of businesses blogging is now at 65%.

For those that still need convincing here is 3 key reasons why blogs should be leading the way with a brands social media strategy

1)   Companies that blog get more website traffic

The more you blog, the more pages search engines have to index and the more inbound links you have. The more inbound links you have, the higher you rank on search engines. The higher you rank on search engines, the more traffic you get to your website.

When Hubspot looked at over 1,500 of their mostly SME business customers 52% of them blogged, and 48% didn’t. The data from the analysis was conclusive. The average company that blogs has:

  • 55% more visitors
  • 97% more inbound links
  • 434% more indexed pages

If driving more traffic to your website is a priority, invest in a blog.

2)   Blogs are more effective at earning trust

From a consumer perspective blogs stack up to traditional sources of trust. The credibility of traditional media is eroding with some 46% of consumers trusting it less than they did 5 years ago. At the same time the perception of blog credibility is on the rise. Blogs outpace Facebook, Twitter & other traditional media in terms of generating consumer recommendations.

Consumers trust the crowd more than we trust a brand. Globally online product reviews rank 15% higher as a source of trust than product websites.  We trust people we don’t know over a salesperson or an official product communication. Locally in Australia the stats are also too big to ignore with 74% of online Australians tapping into the opinions of others.

Take advantage of the bloggers your audience already trusts, and ensure a blogger outreach program is part of your marketing mix.

3)   Blogging trumps in driving sales

It doesn’t matter which view you take, both consumer and client research indicate that blogs are more effective than your other social media efforts in converting sales.

Consumers are nearly twice as likely to purchase from a blog than from a brand on Facebook. Interestingly blogs are only slightly lagging (4%) behind the influence of a friend on Facebook when it comes to purchase intent.

The 2011 HubSpot ROI study of their predominantly SME customer base found that 69% of businesses attributed their lead generation success to blogging, and 53% believe their blog led to increases in sales, a generous 22% ahead of social media.

Similar success applies to Australia with Nuffnang reporting that 89% of readers are swayed by blogger reviews to buy products, and a whopping 78% reporting to have made a purchase as a result of reading a blog.

Still need convincing?

According to the Nielsen Community Engine 2011 Social Media Business Benchmarking Study (Australia) 37% of businesses saw a strong or reasonable ROI from their overall social media activities (some 27% still don’t/can’t measure). Of those who can quantify their ROI, 41% are able to directly attribute sales or revenue from their social media activities.

HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing survey reports that

  • 85% of businesses rate their blog as a critical, important or useful channel
  • 55% of companies who blog indicated leads from this channel were below average cost.
  • 57% of companies using blogs reported that they acquired customers from leads generated directly from their blog

So ….are there any doubters still out there?

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Comments

7 Comments

  1. Karen Naide

    Hi Jacki, great post! You are absolutely right… the more frequently you post, the more traffic you get. And people who are checking out my business always say, “Yeah, I was reading your blog posts” which has given me credibility. (P.S. I love Data too!)

  2. helene

    great read, when I look at the statistics … now I see the value of blogging.

  3. Jacki James

    Thanks Karen & Helene. Great to see you’ve both already got an active blogs.

  4. Social commerce in action – Blog case study - Zuni

    […] commerce in action – Blog case study I’ve previously posted on why blogging should be your brands number 1 social media strategy, and provided data to back up that claim. Today, I am putting a human touch alongside the […]

  5. Dorothy

    Great post! One thing I’m interested in is how does a blog by a brand or a small business influence their sales? After all, they would be a bit biased about their own products?

    • jacki.james

      Great question Dorothy. I think relevance and trust are key, and a brand can use them in the same way that I referred to in my Social commerce in action post. The trick is always thinking about things from your audiences perspective, and finding ways to help them. For example, if you were a company sold and installed residential swimming pools you need to think of all the choices a new pool owner is going to be making. You might blog about fibreglass versus cement, the different options for finishing off the edge of your pool, what is involved in the construction/installation process, feature pools at both the cheaper and more expensive end of the budget, what questions to ask when selecting a pool supplier. Your content is still very much in your niche, but rather than just flogging product you are providing value for your audience and building trust with them.

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