Published on January 24th, 2017
Content is still marketing's reigning king and that means blogging should be a top priority for B2B marketers in 2018.
As you plan your content for the rest of the quarter (or next quarter), it's beneficial to take a look at recent data to get a better picture of the current state of B2B blogging.
You'll notice some trends are changing, but there are several things that remain the same. For example:
- Business blogging is steadily on the rise
- B2B companies with a blog receive more leads than those that don't
- A B2B blog has tremendous SEO benefits and organic search attracts high-quality leads
- A company blog has more long-term ROI than traditional marketing efforts
These aside, there are also several emerging trends to plan for as well:
- Longer blog content tends to perform better in search engines and average word count numbers have increased in the last couple of years
- Video is becoming more popular content on blogs.
- Paid promotion/distribution for blog content has dramatically increased
Let's take a look at some more specific blogging statistics for 2018.
1. 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. (HubSpot)
Between lead generation, brand awareness, SEO, and thought leadership -- there are few areas of marketing that don't benefit from blogging.
2. 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts. (Source)
Make your blog stand out. Use headers, videos, and other visual tools to make the most important pieces of your article get noticed and remembered.
3. 36% of people prefer list-based headlines (Source: ConversionXL)
Listicles still have their appeal, but not necessarily as much as you'd guess.
4. In 2017, 66% of marketers reported using blogs in their social media content. (Social Media Examiner)
The value of your blog doesn't stop when you hit publish. It can also be used to drive traffic and engagement on social media.
5. B2B marketers (75%) are more likely to use blogs in their social media content than B2C (61%). (Social Media Examiner)
If you're a B2B marketer, it's likely your competition is using blog content on social media.
6. 65% of marketers planned to increase their use of blogging in 2017. (Social Media Examiner)
The competition in search engines is getting higher every year!
7. Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages. (source)
An important factor of SEO is having a lot of content for search engines to crawl and index. This helps search engines more easily recognize that your website is a resource with tons of information for people to consume.
8. The Number of Bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million in 2020. (Statista)
9. B2B businesses are more likely to use blogging than B2C businesses. (source)
Blogging is essential to B2B business marketing success because there tends to be more emphasis on lead generation than B2C companies.
10. 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
Your blog should include content for all stages of the funnel. While top-of-the-funnel content is likely to draw in new people, more middle-of-the-funnel content will start laying the foundation of working with your organization or considering your product.
11. Blog articles with images get 94% more views. (source)
Including an image or visual with blog posts used to be merely a recommendation. In 2016, it's mandatory and the numbers prove why.
12. 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others. (source)
This statistic illustrates the importance of creating blog content that is actually useful. If your blog content isn't helpful, don't be surprised if it doesn't get shared.
13. B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not. (source)
The traditional methods of lead generation are simply not as time or cost-effective as blogging for B2B marketers.
14. The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words. (source)
Blogging continues to get more competitive and Google favors in-depth content that provides a ton of value over short blog posts that used to be the norm.
15. 71% of marketers report using visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy. (source)
Visual content is more engaging than text alone and as people consume more content from mobile devices, the value of visual assets only goes up. Incorporating these into your blog articles and content strategy show that you are in touch with your audience while ignoring it will be detrimental to your success.
16. Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. (source)
Success with content marketing rarely happens by accident. You have to make blogging a priority if you want to achieve the best results.
17. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. (source)
At the heart of blogging is the goal of getting found by search engines. High-quality blog articles that are keyword focused and optimized for search engines can help you get found by more qualified individuals who are ready to close.
18. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. (source)
Every time an authoritative website links to a blog post (or any page) your entire website reaps the SEO benefits. Attracting links is much easier with high-quality, engaging blog content.
19. Just over half (51%) of business owners report that content management is “very important” or “absolutely critical” to creating a cohesive buyer journey. (source)
The buyer journey should feel like a natural progression for your leads, but creating that experience requires purposeful planning and mapping of your blog and premium content.
20. 70-80% of users ignore paid ads and only focus on organic results. (source)
Paid search can certainly be rewarding, but the most valuable locations in search results have to be earned through blogging and SEO, not bought.
21. On average, Google gets over 100 billion searches a month. Additionally, more than half of those searches are coming from mobile devices. (source)
If there are people in the world who are interested in your products or services, there will never be a shortage of those people on Google. To leave the best impression on those people, your website and blog need to be mobile-friendly.
In the early days of inbound marketing, blogs weren't taken very seriously. However, in 2016, they are viewed as one of the most valuable and credible sources of information. Make sure yours lives up to the hype!
23. While more bloggers reported publishing on a daily basis in 2015 compared to 2014, the majority of bloggers (66%) are still publishing less often than daily, but more often than monthly. (source)
Daily blogging isn't ideal or practical for all businesses, but you should be publishing content weekly to maximize your lead generation potential. Publishing more frequently may not only boost your traffic but act as a differentiator.
24. Only 6% of bloggers publish the majority of their original content as guest posts. (source)
You want your brand's website to be the central hub for all of your inbound marketing efforts, but guest blogging is still a powerful tool for lead generation and SEO. Taking advantage of it is a great way to give yourself a step up on the competition.
25. Bloggers are increasing their use of promotional techniques that drive traffic to their posts – including paid ads, the use of which increased by 93% over the past year. (source)
Although it's not a necessity to be successful with inbound, paid promotions amplify the power of your blog posts by getting more eyes on your content in a short amount of time.
26. On average, compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic. (Source)
In other words, don't neglect your older content! If you're anything like us or HubSpot, a large amount of your traffic is coming from content that wasn't created in the past 6 months. To keep this content ranking and driving traffic and/or leads, optimize it.
27. 61% of the most effective B2B content marketers meet with their content team daily or weekly. (Source)
Communication in any team is key, especially for content marketing teams that want to remain flexible and adapt to changes in their business on the fly. If you're not meeting with your team regularly, now's the time to get started.
28. Only 8% of marketers plan to add Medium publishing to their content strategy. (HubSpot)
Republishing/distributing your blog content on Medium can be an extremely effective strategy for driving traffic and building awareness. Learn how we do it here.