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?