Few content marketing professionals doubt that a corporate blog has a positive effect on many variables such as SEO, web traffic, audience engagement, and so forth. We all know that it does and we have the stats to prove it. At the same time we are very much aware of the fact that in the end, increasing web traffic and building an online community is not a goal, but just a means to an end. If we aim to build a proper business case for a corporate blog, we need to be able to demonstrate the impact on tangible business goals such as brand awareness and conversion.
This topic isn’t new. Eight years ago we conducted research on the business value of blogging. The results revealed that less than 5% of companies worldwide had a corporate blog at that time. Respondents reported an impact of corporate blogs on many business objectives, but noted that ‘they excel in none when their impact is measured against costs’.
Another notable finding was that ‘a blog can of course do something that other tools can’t – interact on a one-to-many basis with multiple parties and [because of that] engage in the conversation.’
A lot has changed since 2007. Thanks to the rise of social media there are now many ways to interact on a one-to-many basis with your target audience. So, how has social media changed the way businesses blog? What is the current penetration of corporate blogging? We decided to repeat the blogging research in 2015 to find out:
- How blogging has evolved since 2007
- How marketing managers value the impact of blogging in 2015
- The percentage increase of companies blogging in 2015 vs. 2007
Here’s a summary of the results.
Corporate blogging has increased almost eight fold in eight years
Out of the 245 companies that had been researched in 2007, 38% now have an active corporate blog (compared with 5% in 2007).
Six out of ten blogging businesses do so at least once a week
We also interviewed 372 senior marketers worldwide in 2015 and asked them how often they publish new blog posts. 59% said they do so ‘at least once a week’.
There is no KPI that stands out
When asked how they measure the success of corporate blogging marketers chose, on average, two to three different KPIs. Engagement metrics were cited as the most popular measures, with the more lead generation focused metrics (i.e. number of leads, RSS subscribers, email subscribers) among the least popular:
Blogging impacts prospects, clients, (future) employees and influencers alike
We asked respondents to rate the impact of blogging on seven different business goals, related to prospects, clients, (future) employees and influencers. Without exception, all business goals scored highly.
The evolution of blogging through the eyes of eyewitnesses
A historic document is not complete without testimonies of eyewitnesses. That is why we approached influential long-time corporate bloggers, including Gini Dietrich, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Mark Schaefer, David Meerman Scott, Tom Foremski and Deirdre Breakenridge, to answer the following question: If you had to name the biggest change in corporate blogging since 2007, what would that be?