Barely two decades ago, the average American had never seen a blog, let alone appreciate its relevance. According to Pew Research, only 32% of Americans were blog readers back in 2005. Almost 62% of American adults at the time didn’t even know what a blog was .
Today, 77% of internet users are ardent blog readers. To put this in perspective, 61% of Americans spend 3x more time reading blog articles than emails .
What does this mean for B2B software companies? Should you be worried or gear up for the opportunities that lie ahead? Let’s find out.
B2B brands are prioritizing blogging.
A report from a recent survey shows that 71% of content marketers are taking blogging more seriously, especially those working with B2B companies . So far, more than 76% of these content marketers are closing high-quality leads directly from blogs .
Of course, B2B blogging is no fun. At least, not for a lot of people. However, businesses have prioritized it in their bid to adapt to changing market landscapes.
As buyers consume more blogs, they’ve come to trust their content. Statistics from MarketingChart reveal that over 65% of B2B buyers recognize blogs on vendor websites as the most influential source of information .
Notwithstanding buyers’ growing reliance on company blogs, their doubts linger. Nearly half (44%) of blog readers go ahead to read 3-5 articles before actively reaching out to a vendor . And when reading, they look beyond the written words.
Readers are demanding more from content marketers.
Blogs generate better-than-decent conversion rates. However, only a few companies are making the most of B2B blogging. According to a study by Adobe, readers complain persistently about blogs being too wordy, poorly written, or visually unappealing .
As a result of readers’ growing expectations, the majority of content marketers agree that the quality of content supersedes all other blog performance factors . Interestingly, it takes a lot more work to produce an outstanding blog post.
Some marketers are putting in the work, nonetheless. Some 42% of brands are publishing original research that is planned and conducted by them, solely or in partnership with other stakeholders . If only that’s enough.
The average blog reader is literate. Grammatical errors and inconsistencies are deplorable qualities for a B2B blog. While most content marketers are aware of this, only 37% are working with professional editors to polish their articles before publishing.
With the current state of blogging, the effort required to craft a blog post is significantly higher. Today, it takes an average of 4 hours and 10 minutes to write a blog post.
That’s a 73.6% increase from 2014, when writers used an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes to write a blog of the same length . While this is a tough reality for many B2B brands, it’s the beginning of an adventure for some.
Enormous opportunities lie ahead.
Even though blogging is more widespread than it was in 2005, it’s an area of marketing that’s mostly untapped. Only 31.6% of all the websites in the world have a blog . Arguably, more than half of these blogs are inactive or inconsistent. Why?
Conceiving the idea for a blog is relatively easy. It’s a lot more difficult to perform the actual writing. Based on a report by Referral Rock, a whopping 87% of content marketers come up with blog ideas from time to time, but only 52% go on to complete the writing .
As a solution, clever marketing executives and creative directors are commissioning content marketing and B2B blogging companies to create high-quality blog posts on their behalf.
Naturally, new industry growths are spurred by existing technologies. With recent understandings, the estimated growth in the content marketing industry depends mostly on search engines.
SEO is more valuable than ever before
Search engines are some of the most visited platforms. 68% of all online experiences begin with a quick search, mostly on Google .
So, businesses are keeping search engine optimization at the center of their B2B blogging strategy. More than 71% of content marketers approve that SEO is the most important source of website traffic . The reason is not far-fetched.
Buyers trust search results from search engines, especially Google. The trust and credibility were earned over time with strategic improvements in the search algorithm as well as user experience. However, the improvement in algorithms poses a fair dose of challenges to content marketers.
Performance factors are changing.
Typically, it takes 2+ years for a blog to appear on the first page of Google . However, a blog that ranks on the first page of Google for a specific keyword will also rank on the first page of over 1,000 related keywords .
Little wonder why content marketers are obsessed with SEO, even though only 5.7% of all blogs ever make it to the first page. The other 94.3% of blogs are underperforming because of the changing factors that influence the SEO performance of web pages.
One factor that baffles content marketers is the ideal length of a blog post. Although this is dependent on the topic and industry, the optimal length of a blog post is up to the buyers to decide.
Referencing a long-standing report by Contently, the average buyer prefers reading blogs with fewer than 1,000 words .
This finding is supported by data from the Medium Data Lab which, upon analysis, revealed that a blog post’s engagement drops significantly when it’s over a 7-minute reading time .
However, search engines have their preference. Less than 2,000-word blog posts attract more organic traffic, but publishing longer posts is unlikely to generate higher organic traffic .
Given that content marketers and blog writers have to meet buyers’ needs while favoring search engines, this difference in preferred article lengths is a tricky puzzle. Astute content marketers have found a middle ground.
The average B2B blog post is 1,460 words long . Long enough to attract decent website traffic and short enough to avoid discouraging the buyer.
Site-wide performance is a different game.
Content marketers are looking beyond post length. Studies have shown that website-wide performance is influenced by other key factors, including publishing frequency, relevance, and graphics.
Hubspot recommends blogging 1-4 times per week for small businesses . However, B2B companies that publish 1-6 blogs per week are 50% more likely to report positive results. Our clients realize outstanding results with us blogging four times per week on their behalf.
An attribute of a high-performance blog is relevance. Search engine algorithms are programmed to track the relevance of blog posts to recent industry trends.
73% of content marketers actively update old blog posts to increase their relevance and SEO ranking . However, simply updating and republishing old posts won’t do the magic.
Search engines are strong advocates of user experience, which is a tricky parameter to measure. Imageries enhance user experience.
However, too many heavy images can have counterproductive effects on your website by slowing it down. How many images are recommended?
While most blog posts contain between 1-3 images, studies show that posts with more than seven images are 2.3x more effective .
You need an effective strategy to win.
Most marketing executives perceive B2B blogging as a straightforward practice. As a result, almost 60% of B2B content marketers don’t have a practical content strategy to work with . This leaves a huge opportunity in the market for B2B software scale-ups to seize.
Working closely with the right B2B blogging company to develop a content strategy for your brand can quickly set you apart from the competition.
Considering that nearly 69% of companies are not blogging, taking deliberate steps to seize a top position on search engine result pages can significantly increase your chances of success.
According to a study by Hubspot, B2B companies that blog 4+ times per week are 13x more likely to succeed .
At Ojehs, Inc., we work with B2B software companies to develop unique content strategies and consistently deliver high-quality, SEO-optimized blog posts to help them gain more organic traffic and close paying customers.
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