There's been a lot of talk about whether blogging is on the downswing. A popular article has been circulating lately about how blogging for businesses has declined to roughly 2008 levels among Fortune 500 companies. This has led to a number of observers beginning to predict the doom of blogging.
However, I have a different take on this. For one thing, the needs of small and medium businesses are significantly different from those of Fortune 500 enterprises. Just because they find blog writing difficult to manage doesn't mean it's bad for everyone.
Further, there are a number of studies showing that blogging is doing just fine, thank you very much. A recent UMass Dartmouth study reported that 92% of those blogging for businesses found blogging strategies successful. This is compared to 82% for Facebook, 86% for Twitter, and 87% for YouTube.
Also, according to an internal Hubspot survey of their users, who are nearly all small-to-midsized businesses, expenditures for both blogging and social media are on the rise, up to an average of 21% of their users' marketing budgets. In short, we feel that blogging for businesses is not going away just because a few early adopters are jumping ship to newer technologies. Instead, blogging is maturing into being one of the mainstays of online marketing.
The Maturation of Online Marketing
What we're seeing now in the online marketing world is quite similar to the expansion of printed advertising during the 20th century media boom.
Look at writing in advertisements. Virtually all printed ads were text-based at the turn of the 20th century, and extremely copy-heavy. As radio and then TV came along, these ads added more graphics and splashes, but use of copy still persisted, although still in a somewhat paired-back form. This remained true throughout the heydays of TV advertising. Even today, with magazines and newspapers in decline, there's still a market for consumer-friendly writing amongst many products.
In short, good writing is a true mainstay of advertising. For over a century, it's been the backbone of many product lines, and still is. New advertising ideas have chipped away at it, but it's still there. The same could now be said of business blogging.
Blogging for Businesses As A Mainstay
The online marketing realm has expanded to be nearly as diverse, mature, and thriving as the offline marketing world was during its height of the 50s-90s. Different avenues of marketing are simply becoming focused on more specific markets. There is still huge room in there for business blog writing to stay relevant.
Mainstays will always have their place, backed with a proven track record. Blogs have this history, and it's continuing to expand. Consider:
Blogs go more in-depth. They're written for customers who want more information and details.
They encourage a slightly more refined level of discussion than is often seen in social media.
They generate new interest from customers.
They provide quality resources for information-seekers online, with solutions, how-to articles, and other useful content.
According to that same Hubspot survey above, 92% of companies who blog more than once a day have acquired a customer from their blog.
Even among those who do not blog so frequently, 57% still report gaining at least one customers.
In fact, companies who blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those who don't.
Internet marketing may be relatively young, but it is now showing itself to be a robust medium with the ability to support numerous kinds of marketing strategies. The move of some enterprises between one form or another no longer signifies a paradigm shift, but simply a broadening of the market.
Blogging has a proven track record, and it remains a vital strategy for small-to-medium sized enterprises looking for an inexpensive and cost-effective marketing strategy. Blogging for businesses has become a true mainstay, and will remain relevant for a long time to come.
What do you think of your company's blogging strategy? Is it time for a change?