A study from the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shows businesses saying, “it’s not you, it’s me” to blogging during its peak of effectiveness
There are no sweeter words right now in the publishing industry, than the report that 26% of all those non-publisher Inc. 500 companies trying to weasel their way into our content space have decided to abandon ship (writing blog posts) and take the easy road (writing tweets).
After all, what business did they have hiring editors and posting daily articles anyway? Isn’t the web crowded with enough content already? Leave it to the pros, bubs!
In all seriousness though, even though blogging is at its peak in terms of effectiveness, it still dropped in usage, according to MarketingCharts:
“Most of the platforms that declined in penetration among the Inc. 500 in 2011 were rated very highly by their users. For example, 92% of those using a blogging platform said it has been successful for their business, up from 86% in 2010. Message/bulletin boards were rated even more highly, with 96% of users finding them successful. By contrast, Facebook was rated successful by only 82% of its users, down from 85% the previous year, putting the social network behind Twitter (86%, up from 81% in 2010), and LinkedIn (90%).”
So why the big change of heart? Well, let’s compare 140 characters to 500 words. It takes a heck of a lot more resources to come up with a 500 word article every day than it does to tweet and post to a Facebook wall a few times during the day. After all, do we all need to be content creators? Yes, publishers, we do. Do they? Nah. Glad they saw the light. Leave the content-creating to us! Ahoy!
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The New York Times saw it coming as early as last year at this time, noting young digital native Michael McDonald, who said, “I don’t use my blog anymore, all the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”
So why the drop? Mark Schaefer writes on the Ragan blog that he’s not so sure that it’s truly dropped at all. He writes:
“More than 60 percent of the companies on the Inc. 500 list did not exist in 2005 [when the research group first started these studies]. It is possible that these startups are not moving away from blogging to Facebook as the authors surmised. I think a more likely scenario is that these young companies are starting with Facebook, because the entry barriers there are so low, compared with blogging. This would reconcile the curious fact that the companies with blogs see them as successful (why would they quit?) and that most companies that are not blogging have plans to do so.”
With that in mind, it’s possible that companies are blogging more than ever for audience development! Personally, I haven’t really seen that happening with my own eyes. Or rather, I believe that what’s really on the decline is the steady stream of content that there once was, from anyone with a website.
For example, a year or so ago, Fidelity.com‘s homepage looked like a news site. From what I could tell, they had original content, multiple blogs, and even syndicated from other websites. Something tells me they lost their business priorities for a hot minute when they realized how much traffic they could send to their website with good keywords and content that was constantly refreshing. Today, the homepage looks as it should (like a financial website) and they now have a news section, which is mostly syndicated content with a splash of original content from “Fidelity Interactive Content Services”.
So tell me, what are the trends you’re seeing? Are the non-publishers jumping ship to Facebook and Twitter? Why do you think that is?