Blogs began life as a way for individuals to report news, put forth opinions and generally engage in self-promotion. Before long, marketers began to see the value in using a blog, sometimes as a form of two-way communication and sometimes as an extension of the static website. Blogging has become so widespread that eMarketer reports up to 34% of U.S. businesses are now using blogs for marketing purposes.
According to Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of a new report on this topic, blogs offer advantages over social media. Granted, social media formats currently have higher rates of traffic. But a corporate blog increases a marketer’s strength in the following ways:
- More control over branding/advertising
- Better integration with corporate web properties
- No limits on post lengths
- Searchable repository of information
- Better usefulness as a lead generator
Blogs were not always so well received by the corporate world. It has taken them 10 years to be recognized as a reputable information source. But their acceptance continues to grow. According to eMarketer statistics, about 43% of businesses will have a blog by 2012.
At the same time, other research firms say that marketers are not using their blogs to their best advantage. Responding to a HiveFire survey, b2b marketers point out that publishing new blog content is a challenge. HiveFire survey results show that only 10% of marketers publish new content on their blogs every day.
As the purpose and function of blogs continue to evolve, look for more marketers to use this tool in unique ways to engage with current and potential clients and to find ways to enhance their content on a regular basis.[Source: Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream. eMarketer.com. 20 Oct. 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. HiveFire Study find creating new content is a challenge. B2BOnline.com. 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010]