I am not certain that Google will maintain Google alerts for very much longer. It seems, to put it in Forbes’s words, that it is broken. There is another cool innovation from the olden times which is still working though, I mean Google web trends. I still find it very interesting to see how things evolved through the use, or disuse, of certain keywords in the Google search engine. Lately, I went back to Google in order to check what was happening to corporate blogs. The only thing I was able to find out, was a 2005 report on corporate blogging. Does that mean that corporate blogging is over? Not at all! It is now part of a much broader subject, named content marketing. In essence, content marketing is bit different from just corporate blogging and it is a much better term. The replies of the interest for content marketing over the past few months is showing that something is happening in the web world again. Maybe it is a sign that companies are now more interested in what they get from the content which they produce rather than just spend time producing it. Let us review the 2013 content marketing survey report which gives us some interesting insight into the use of content marketing in 2013 (courtesy http://www.imninc.com/).
Interest for corporate blogs has clearly shifted from blogs to content
Key Survey Findings by IMN
- “Content marketing was a medium or high priority for 90%
of respondents …” however, one may point out that comparisons with the 2012 survey my IMN (the first in the series) is showing that the realisation that content marketing is important is fairly recent, even in the US,
- “31% of respondents have had a content strategy in place for more than a
year, with 18% stating they put one in place within the last year and 33%
working on implementing a strategy” … as stated above, all these content marketing programs are still fairly recent and there is still room for improvement,
- “67% of respondents use a newsletter to distribute content to their
customers and prospects” … this is namely true with regard to newsletters for which a great number of users are sending them once a year therefore showing little or no understanding of how the medium is used,
- “78% of respondents curate content; 48% having run into permissions /
attribution issues during the process” … But 15% of respondents are worried that they could use copyrighted content on their own resources,
- 44% of respondents cited lead generation as the most important goal of
content marketing programs; an increase from 16% last year.
Awareness is widespread now. Content marketers are no longer regarded as zombies… well… I have a few recent counter examples but they are not American.
Increasing leads is clearly what makes corporations tick. Yet, my personal experience in that area shows that few are able to go beyond buzz words and stick to their guns. Lead generation is a difficult trade, it requires a lot of fine tuning, and stamina. A trial and error mentality must be adopted; typically something that large companies have trouble coping with … long term thinking!
Blogs are still here in that picture but they are not alone and part of an ecosystem. This makes perfect sense. An overarching strategy for marketing content must be adopted vs. piecemeal technical approaches which lead nowhere. Yet, if your blog is lousy, you are bound to go nowhere at all. The fundamentals must be remembered.
Success is shifting away from readership to leads. Well… in the States maybe, in Europe, we still have a long way to go!