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40 facts on blogs every business needs to know to grow 4

Posted on August 24, 2013 by Rob Petersen

companies with blogs

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More businesses are blogging for marketing purposes. And more people are reading them. Blogs are the lowest cost marketing channel; yet, as the fact below show, they can produce high returns.

Why? Blogs drive traffic to a website; raise page rank on search engines; create high quality leads and generate revenue and ROI.

They reveal a truth about human nature and relationships: People like to do business with people they know. After a product or service, relevant content is a a business’ next best asset.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. The benefits of blogs don’t accrue without regular publishing, listening to the needs of your audience and engaging.

Is it worth it? Here are 40 facts on blogs every business needs to know to grow.

VISITORS TO A WEBSITE

  • 55% of businesses with blogs see more visitors to their websites (HubSpot)
  • 3X more minutes is spent on blogs by US internet users than on email or social networks (HubSpot)
  • 5X more website traffic comes to businesses that blog 20 times per month (4-5 week) than those that blog fewer than 4X times per month (HubSpot)

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

  • 434% increase in “indexed” search pages for businesses with a blog; said another way, businesses with a blog are found on 4X the number of search pages (HubSpot)
  • 97% more inbound links are found on website that have a blog. This means the search engine are much more likely to credit a business with a blog as being an “authority” in their industry and raise their search rank  (HubSpot)
  • 95% of businesses with a blog report higher search rank (HubSpot)
  • 85% of blogs use tags (Technorati)
  • 75% of us read a blog a day (Technorati)
  • 4X more search pages for businesses with blogs than those without blogs (HubSpot)

LEAD GENERATION

  • 77% lift in median monthly leads occurs to businesses with over 51 blog articles (HubSpot)
  • 4X more leads occur for businesses that blog 20X per month than those that don’t (HubSpot)
  • Average % cost per lead of various marketing strategies: Tradeshows=47%, Direct Mail=27%, Telemarketing=21%, SEO=13%, Blogging=9% (HubSpot)
  • Average % lead acquistiion by companies through internet marketing channels are: 57% Blog, 57% Linkedin, 48% Faceboook, 42% Twitter (HubSpot)

PURCHASE INFLUENCE

  • 70% of us say blogs influence what we buy (Marketing Sherpa)
  • 67% of marketers say their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business (HubSpot)
  • 45% of companies with a blog track additional revenue from their blog (HubSpot)
  • 15% say they are paid to give speeches on the topics they blog about (Technorati)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): CASE STUDIES:

  • GENERAL MOTORS’ FAST LANE BLOG: GM’s blog, written by senior execs, saves the company $200,000+ a year (Forrester)
  • IBM: Let company employees set up their own internal blog to crowd-source innovation and new product idea across its global network. Crowd-sourcing identified 10 best incubator businesses, which IBM funded for $100 million. They generated $100 billion in total revenue for a 100-to-1 ROI with a 44.1% gross profit margin (Social Media Examiner)
  • ZAGG: an online retailer, knows its blog results in sales, as it earns 172% ROI and 10% of the company’s site traffic (Marketing Sherpa)

BRAND IMAGE

  • 71% of all respondents who maintain blogs for a business report that they have increased their visibility within their industries through their blogs (Technorati)
  • 59% report blogging more frequently this year than they did last year (Technorati)
  • 58% say that they are better-known in their industry because of their blog (Technorati)
  • 56% say that their blog has helped their company establish a positioning as a thought leader within the industry (Technorati)

REACHING INFLUENCERS

  • 64% of bloggers say brand representatives treat them less professionally than they’d like
  • 42% of bloggers say they blog about brands they love (or hate)
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 51% they said they rarely review brands, services or products among companies
  • Among respondents who say they do blog about brands, 48% say they post reviews weekly

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • 87% of all bloggers use Facebook (Social Media Today)
  • 81% use Facebook to promote their blog (Social Media Today)
  • 64% use Facebook to interact with readers (Social Media Today)
  • 45% say Facebook drives more traffic to their blog than it did a year ago (Social Media Today)
  • 73% of hobbyists and 88% of professional bloggers still use Twitter (Social Media Today)
  • 50%+ of all bloggers link Twitter to their blog (Social Media Today)
  • 34% of bloggers say Twitter is a more effective traffic source than it was a year ago (Social Media Today)
TRUST
  • 64% trust the information in a blog post by someone they know (eMarketer)
  • 46% trust traditional media less than they did 5 years ago (eMarketer)
  • 36% trust the information in a company blog (eMarketer)
  • 35% believe blogs are taken more seriously (HubSpot)
  • 19% believe blogs are written better than traditional media sources (eMarketer)
  • Blogs are the #1 most trusted social media source (eMarketer)

A great infographic on the “Blog Economy,” developed by Ignite Spot  and shared by Linda Bernstein in a recent session of #blogchat contains some of these facts and more. It is well worth reviewing.

Almost half of all companies now have a blog; roughly double the rate from five year ago. But that mean half of companies still haven’t started blogging, yet.

Where does your business fall? Do these facts convince you to start? Do you need help getting started?

The Blog Economy

 

36 reasons why I blog 3

Posted on January 27, 2013 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

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The reason I began to blog was inspiration I got from others’ blogs.

It wasn’t a plan but what I lacked in planning was made up in heroes. People in my field who blogged were knowledgeable, smart and generous in spirit with information and ideas I found of great value. They stood out, seemed genuine and real. They still stand out. (A  few of the posts that served as inspiration years ago are listed at the bottom).

It motivated me to start, learn and stay with it. After that, I learned there were many benefits to blogging. What are they? Here are 36 reasons why I blog.

  1. It’s how to have 1-to-1 relationship with 1-to-many
  2. Nothing works like writing about what you know
  3. We want to share what we know with others; it’s in our DNA
  4. Studies show no other form of digital expression is better at securing trust (source: eMarketer)
  5. People return to a place where they know they will learn something new
  6. It’s never stopped being gratifying to teach someone something new
  7. It’s synonomous with the term, personal brand
  8. It’s how you find and attract people who share the same values
  9. Your audience is global from the moment you begin
  10. It’s friendships and bonds you couldn’t have developed any other way
  11. It’s how to put you personal values into your profession
  12. Blogs get through to people in ways that an email or phone call never could
  13. Blogs provide the means to move between personal and professional with credibility
  14. Blogs help people get to know you; people like to do business with people they know
  15. It is the best way to drive traffic to a website
  16. The search engines recognize and reward those who continually put out fresh content
  17. Each and every one of your blog posts are individual web pages, indexed by search engines to build your brand presence
  18. A keyword strategy is easier and more effective to execute through a blog than any other digital medium
  19. Blogs help with long tail search term rankings and keyword phrases you never would have found otherwise
  20. Other bloggers link to you; the search engine recognize your authority in a particular niche or market.
  21. Relevance and authority are the two attributes that drive search rank; blogs are designed to accelerate both
  22. The algorithm of search engines, especially Google, recognize original content and “social authority” from blogs more and search tactics like “metadata” and “metatags” less
  23. The content and keywords that drive people to your blog is very measurable
  24. The content from your blog can be re-purposed to  many other aspect of your content or communications plan (e.g. email marketing, social media marketing, PR)
  25. This re-purposing of content doesn’t re-duplicate anything; it sends your message to new audiences
  26. Although there are lot of tips for blogging, the only way to really go wrong is not express yourself genuinely
  27. We all have a story to tell
  28. Blogs make it easy for others to share what you have to say
  29. It’s a direct and authentic way to ask readers what they want to hear and grow your audience with their collaboration
  30. It’s how you can do market research without research and travel costs
  31. Ir brings peace of mind
  32. It forces you to think better and smarter
  33. It brings out your innate ability to create and share ideas
  34. Like everything, you’ll get better at it the more you practice
  35. You’ll lead a more intentional life
  36. You may just inspire someone, like the posts below did for me, and there no greater legacy to leave than to inspire others.

These are reasons why I blog. Are they the same as yours? Are there any I missed?

If you blog, do they help to keep you going? If you don’t, do they motivate you to start?

Here are a some posts that inspired me:

David Berkowitz: 100 Ways to Measure Social Media

Chris Brogan: Grow Bigger Ears

Mack Collier: How Much Does Social Media Cost Companies

Peter Kim: Social Business ROI

 

38 big facts on Big Data every business leader should know 13

Posted on December 09, 2012 by Rob Petersen

 

 

“Big Data” is shorthand for the collection of large amounts of data from places like web-browsing data trails, social network communications, sensor and surveillance data that is then searched for patterns, new revelations and insights.

It’s a catchy term that’s easy to say and implies major transformation. In less than a decade, Big Data is a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Dilbert Big Data cartoon

But more data isn’t better data unless you know what to do with it. Many believe Big Data with help make better decisions; ones that are more informed; more profitable more predictive and preferred by more customers. Should you be paying attention? Here are 38 big facts on Big Data every business leaders should know.

  1. 91% of marketing leaders believe successful brands use customer data to drive business decisions (source: BRITE/NYAMA)
  2. 90% of the world’s total data has been created just within the past two years (source: IBM)
  3. 87% agree capturing and sharing the right data is important to effectively measuring ROI in their own company (BRITE/NYAMA)
  4. 86% of people are willing to pay more for a great customer experience with a brand (souce: Lunch Pail)
  5. 75% of companies say they will increase investments in Big Data within the next year (source: Avanade)
  6. 70% of data is created by individuals – but enterprises are responsible for storing and managing 80% of it (source: CSC)
  7. 70% of enterprises say their marketing efforts are under greater scrutiny (BRITE/NYAMA)
  8. 65% of companies deploy Big Data technology to boost the speed and quality of business decisions (source: CIO)
  9. 59% of organizations lack the tools required to manage data from their IT systems (source: Saffron Technologies)
  10. 57% of companies are considering Big Data analytics tools (source: EMC2)
  11. 49% of organizations are somewhat or very concerned about managing big data (source: CIO)
  12. 40%-60% annual growth increase is occurring in the volume of data available every year; in media intensive sectors and financial services, the increase is 120% (source: Fathom)
  13. 38% of organizations don’t understand what Big Data is (source: CIO)
  14. 34% of organizations say they have no formal strategy to deal with Big Data (source: Information Week)
  15. 33% of business leaders don’t trust the “old data” information they are using to make business decisions (BRITE/NYAMA)
  16. 33% of all data will be stored, or will have passed through the cloud by 2015 (source: CSC)
  17. Only 33% of business leaders differentiate Big Data from Traditional Data (source: Information Week)
  18. 28% of data in 2010 required some level of security (source: Wiki Group 7)
  19. 27% of organizations have a partial understanding of what Big Data is (source: CIO)
  20. 25% of organizations now have a data scientist on staff (source: EMC2)
  21. 24% of companies are using Big Data analytic tools (source: EMC2)
  22. 18% of companies say they have a formal strategy to deal with Big data (source: Information Week)
  23. 16% of companies believe Big Data will remain experimental (source: CIO)
  24. By increasing the usability of data by just 10%, the average Fortune 100 company could expect an increase of $2 billion dollars (source: Fathom)
  25. 5% of companies believe Big Data will “fizzle out after the hype dies down” (source: CIO)
  26. $300 billion could be saved if big data was used effectively the US healthcare sector; thereby reducing expenditure by 8% (source: McKinsey)
  27. 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month (source: McKinsey)
  28. $3.2 billion was spent by companies on big data in 2010; it is predicted companies will spend $16.9 billion on big data by 2015 (source: CIO)
  29. $500,000,000 in venture capital funds have gone into big data technologies, startups, and vendors in recent years (CIO)
  30. $200,000,000 has been invested in Big Data projects by the Obama administration (source: Wiki Group 7)
  31. 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytic skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts will be needed by 2018 to fill jobs in Big Data (source: McKinsey)
  32. In 15 of the US economy’s 17 sectors, companies with upward of 1,000 employees store, on average, more information than the Library of Congress (source: McKinsey)
  33. Amazon and PayPal use their Big-Bata capabilities for fraud detection in line with their reputations as secure e-commerce and payment platform (source: McKinsey)
  34. American Express, by contrast, for B2B clients—uses proprietary big data it holds to create new services to enhance customer acquisition and retention programs for marketers and merchants (source: McKinsey)
  35. IBM converts 350 billion annual meter readings through Big Data to better predict power consumption (source: IBM)
  36. IBM analyzes 500 million daily call detail records in real-time with Big Data to predict customer churn faster (source: IBM)
  37. Big data monitors 12 terabytes of Tweets each day to improve product sentiment analysis (source: IBM)
  38. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, uses Big Data as part of its “pay as you drive” program, offers drivers the chance to lower their insurance premiums based on real-time analysis of their driving habits (source: McKinsey)

We believe business leaders thinking about Big Data should start with this question: What business decisions do you want to make with Big Data you couldn’t before? If you can take this step, we can help keep get there with Big Data and keep your strategy on track. Are these 38 facts on Big Data a helpful start? Does the fact that Dilbert is talking about Big Data convince you it’s here to stay?

 

The 4 stages of social media marketing 7

Posted on October 06, 2012 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 



“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else,” said Laurence Peter, the educator and creator of the Peter Principle.

Laurence’s wisdom applies to companies that start down the road with social media,

To know where you’re going, ask these business questions.

  • What are the desired results?
  • Who do you want to attract?
  • How are they going to find you?
  • What are the measurements that matter?

With the answers in hand, start the 4 stages of social media marketing.

  • CRAWL: Look around and listen because people like to do business with people they know. Social media give them the opportunity. But, if they’re interested, they will get to know you on their terms. Probably, the first place they will go to is your website. Make sure it is a desirable place to visit and it has an analytic tool like Google Analytics, the GPS of a website. Help make it easy to find using keywords that describe their unmet need. Optimize those keywords in the url titles of pages and with headers for the subject lines on every page. Equip the home page with ways for them to stay in touch like email subscription, eBooks or offers. Begin to build a database. Make sure the action you want them to take is clear and establish the measurements, the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that matter most. This is going to be the actionable scorecard to keep the business strategy on track.
  • WALK: Connect and activate because, for every business, there is a wide disparity between best and worst customers. Define who to attract. Identity where they are on social networks and the communities and groups to join and participate. If you create a blog, and you should for all its value in content, keywords, SEO and 1-to-1 relationships, develop a blogger relationships effort. Start to connect and listen to where your are creating engagement and follow it. Increase what’s working and pull back on what’s not.
  • RUN: Engage and involve because social media and customer service are the same business. Determine the time required to put against social media each week because you are not in the social media business anymore, you’re in the customer service business.  Start to curate your content because you’re also in the content marketing business.  It’s a top priority to keep content interesting and to think about how many ways it can be re-purposed to feed your content marketing program with elements video, emails, newsletters and webinars.
  • THRIVE: Fans helps you do the lifting because your community is your best resource for innovation and ideas. Social media starts to pay dividends when your community turns to you to teach something new and they want to do the same for you. Does it happen? Don’t take my word for it. Here are 166 Case Studies that Prove Social Media Marketing ROI. Among them are companies like Fiskars, Harley Davidson, IBM and Starbucks who used their communities for research and new product ideas. It produced extraordinary results.

Do these 4 stages help you see how social media can help your business? Does it help to break it down?

Attend a FREE webinar, Secrets of Social Media ROI Revealed by 166 Case Studies, on 10/16 at 11 am EST; brought to you by Biznology and here’s where you register.

 

 

5 simple steps to starting a blogger relations program 9

Posted on September 22, 2012 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Percent of companies who blog

Over 60% of companies have a blog. According to survey research, here are the business benefits they see (sources: comScore, eMarketer, HubSpot):

  • 95% report higher search rank
  • 75% of us read at least one blog a day
  • 70% say blogs influence what we buy
  • 55% of companies with blogs drive more visitor to their website
  • 45% track additional revenue to their website
  • 43% of companies now use blogs for marketing purposes
  • 36% of companies say a blog improve perceptions

Blogs work because they are a dynamic source of content. They are the ideal vehicle for use of a brand’s primary keywords; they increase the number of pages on search engines where you are “indexed.” When you use links in text to other websites, they raise your “authority” and search rank.

They send a signal to the search engines that says: Hey, there’s something going on here! Most important, they are a relationship builder bar none to connect with people who share your interests, values and are willing to help you out.

But don’t think, if you build it, they will come because this rarely is the case. You need a little help. If you reach out and thank others who share your interests, they’ll likely respond in kind, refer others and your audience will build much faster.

A blogger relations program  is not hard to create. Here’s how to do it in 5 simple steps and why every blog should start one.

  1. IDENTIFY OTHERS BLOGGERS WHO SHARE YOUR VALUES: Go to a blog search engine like Technorati, Alltop or Topsy, for Tweets that feature blogs. Twitter is actually defined as a micro-blogging site.  In the search query box, type in keyword(s) for your area of interest. Technorati can be searched by either blog or post and offers something called a Technorati Authority Ranking. This is the number of other sites who have linked with a particular blog in the last six months. Here’s how it works, let’s say you own a bike store, type in “biking” and you’d be astounded by the number of biking blogs and relationships you could be building through blogger relationships.
  2. UNDERSTAND THEIR AUDIENCE: Go to Alexa. Type in the url of the blog you are interested. You’ll  get the rank (global and US), keywords, demographics and even see the sites (by name) that link to the the blog in question.
  3. LOOK AT THEIR BLOG OR WEBSITE TRAFFIC: Go to Compete (who we also endorse on the side bar as a marketing affiliate). Type in the url again. You’ll get a graph of website traffic for the last year and whether it is increasing or decreasing.
  4. EXAMINE THEIR SOCIAL OUTREACH AND FOLLOWINGS: After you compile a dozen to two dozen bloggers, spend some time with their blogs and get to know the bloggers. Also, get to know them through their social networks that they list on their blog (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Start to look at the quantitative numbers with the qualitative assessment of your values and goals.
  5. CONNECT, ENGAGE AND BE GENUINE: Write a comment to those who you are interested in building relationships. If it’s genuine, it most likely with get a response. You’ve also just established a link as well as a relationship.

One of our clients, Circle Foods in San Diego makes TortillaLand fresh, uncooked tortillas, TortillaLand is a business built on blogger relationships. In looking at the social media landscape, it was discovered that cooking bloggers were writing about the brand, featuring recipes and even taking pictures with their smartphones. Blogger relationships were pursued and the outreach generated awareness, advocacy and trial. Blogs became a primary platform for building the business.

A friend of mine, Susan Borst, was intrigued with the idea of blogger relationship efforts. When I described how to go about it, she said: “You should write a blogpost about it.” Susan is very good at leading you to an idea.

I never advise a business to get into blogging without first identifying their blogger relations. Do you think blogs should have blogger relations efforts?

 

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    BarnRaisers is a full service digital marketing consultancy and agency. We build brands with proven relationship principles and ROI for big results that scale.



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