Orbit Media Services conducted a survey of over 1,000 bloggers for the second year in a row to see how this core content marketing tactic is changing. The survey included some of the most common questions asked by marketers beginning new blogs, like how often to blog and how long posts need to be. This is great data to benchmark your progress as you get started. There are a few more questions on the original post, as well as expert analysis on each one of the questions.
There are more bloggers that are blogging 2-6 times per week, although that number is down slightly from last year. Both daily and weekly bloggers have increased since last year, and those are good targets to hit. If you are currently blogging a couple of times a month, try to get to weekly and if you are publishing a few days a week, see what it would take to get to daily. Ignore the 15% of bloggers that are blogging irregularly, because from a business perspective, you will see greater results by blogging regularly and more often. This doesn't mean publish just for the sake of publishing, but a regular cadence of solid posts will be more likely to catch on with your readers.
Nearly 60% of blog posts are between 500 and 1000 words. The same was true last year, but the trend is telling a different story. This category is shrinking, as is the under 500 word category, while posts over 1000 words are increasing. Bloggers have seen longer, in-depth posts gaining traction in the past year, so they are creating long form content. This also follows the quality over quantity trend of content marketing.
If you are not including images in your posts, you are behind the times. Even though the number is down slightly, it is most likely because bloggers are using more that one image in their content more often. We are in the visual age of content and one or more images are needed to draw people in to your post, especially if you share the post on social networks. The uptick in audio is likely due to the explosion of podcasts in the past year. The downward trend of video in blog posts is interesting, as video is soaring as a content medium on other social channels. It is also currently buoyed by the revived livesteaming craze. And finally, the other category includes calls-to-action, so bloggers are getting serious about converting readers into prospects.
While more bloggers are spending 1-2 hours on their blog posts, this follows the trends of blog length above, and bloggers are spending more time on their posts. In some cases, they're spending a lot more time creating in-depth posts that resonate with their readers. Providing that kind of value is paying off, as the educational nature of those posts are what build the relationship with prospects. If you are not tracking production metrics, you should consider it, as this is becoming a more common success metric across content teams.
Almost all bloggers use social media to drive traffic to their posts. This is not a surprise, especially for B2B companies, where the blog is the hub of their content strategy and social media is the means of distribution. Even though it is down slightly, every other tactics, from SEO, email, influencer outreach and paid services, are up as bloggers are looking to replace the ongoing declining organic reach of social networks. Follow their lead and expand your activities that drive traffic back to your blog home base.
Read more about how all of the above blogging tactics feed into a content marketing strategy and download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Content Marketing.