Within Belle Beth Cooper’s Fast Company article, “10 Surprising Social Media Statistics that will Make You Rethink Your Social Strategy,” is this nugget at #9: “Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of U.S. marketing companies employ a full-time blogger.”
Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use it to market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. With only 9% of marketing companies hiring bloggers full-time, however, the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently will be a lot higher.
This pressure is one of many coalescing reasons why bloggers — and the teams around them — are poised to become even more valuable to corporations of all sizes in the future.
First is the realization that platform ownership is everything. A corporate blog eliminates the risk associated with building an inventory of content assets — to say nothing of building a loyal audience — on a third party platform. Facebook is a great example but by no means the only one. A business may spend plenty of financial resources to participate on this platform, and, over time, build a loyal audience there. However, at the end of the day a third party can restrict access to your audience at any time, as Facebook has famously done by charging businesses to “boost” their update visibility for a price. There is value in a platform that reaches globally, but owning direct access to your audience is priceless. A blog allows that, and blogs need bloggers!
Secondly, content itself is becoming more valuable. Not necessarily at the granular level but at the macro level. The increasing value of content has largely been underappreciated because discussion has focused on the reduced price to entry. The cost of content creation is dropping thanks to technological innovations in video, audio, animation, and more. As a result, more people are producing content.
So why is content becoming more valuable? Where content was once written, filmed, or recorded for either narrow (internal) or broad (external) distribution, now content can be distributed with laser-like accuracy to small bands of people while simultaneously being broadcast worldwide without the constraints of time or geography.
Corporate bloggers can mine existing content, remix, and find new distribution for classic (pre-Web) content. This furthers the reach of the brand and breathes new value into content long paid for but forgotten. Over time, the library of content built by bloggers itself becomes valuable in terms of search visibility.
Third, a massive influx of content — no matter the medium or who is producing it — needs context. In a content-saturated world we need people to parse the data, see the larger picture, and report back. Enter bloggers as journalists and cultural observers. Bringing context to content is crucial in business regardless of whether we are discussing a Fortune 500 business or a Main Street shop.
Cooper’s article goes on to note that companies who do not employ full-time bloggers should anticipate investing a lot of time and resources into the practice of content marketing. From knowing how to write a decent headline and optimizing the post for search, bloggers are at the center of myriad of client and customer concerns. This 9% is sure to grow.
Image: Francesco Pozzi
Katie McCaskey is SixEstate's content director. She tests real-world application of content marketing techniques using the cafe she co-owns as a laboratory. She was Tech Editor of Chief Content Officer, 2010-2011, and contributes to the Content Marketing Institute. Connect with her on Google+ or @KatieMcCaskey.