“86% of businesses with a blog credit blogs with generating more business opportunities”
86% of businesses with a blog credit blogs with generating more business opportunities A significant new survey is released today showing that blogging is becoming a key business tool, providing a valuable way for companies to create new and genuine relationships with their customers. The research, carried out for UK PR agency Inferno Communications by Loudhouse Research during August 2007, polled 300 UK companies with over 250 employees. It reveals that 50% of those companies surveyed now undertake some form of blogging – either having their own blog or encouraging employees to comment on blogs.
Of those companies that do have blogs, 64% were launched in the last 6 months. And 86% of these blogging companies state that their blog has generated additional business opportunities. Blogs also compare well to other forms of business information, ranking with business decision makers as equally important as trade shows and internet searching, and more influential than TV and radio advertising.
The research questioned UK managers with direct sales and/or purchasing responsibility to discover how they and their companies use blogs to interact with existing and potential customers and how they engage with the blogosphere to inform their own business decision making. The main findings of the research found:
· 50% of UK companies now undertake some form of blogging
· 64% of UK corporate blogs have been launched in the last 6 months
· 86% of companies that have a blog credit it with generating more business opportunities for their company
· 66% of managers in the survey have visited blogs in the last 12 months
· 80% of blog users visit blogs during working hours
· 33% of blog visitors will access a blog on a daily basis
“The research shows that blogging in the UK is fast becoming a serious business tool,” Grant Currie, Managing Director of Inferno PR commented. “There are many parallels with ‘Internet 1.0’ in that there has been a lot of hype and questions asked about ‘Web 2.0’ technologies and mistakes are being made. But the fact remains that it appears blogging is one of the Web 2.0 technologies that is now taking serious hold in the business world. UK companies are now beginning to adopt blogging as part of their business strategy and those that have done so are pointing to specific business success and opportunity being created. It seems the hype is over and the real business of blogging is on its way.”
Currie also cautioned businesses to understand what is and isn’t achievable in the “blogosphere”before developing their own blogging strategies. He said, “Businesses shouldn’t view a blog as another billboard from which to shout their corporate messages. Starting a blog is essentially starting a conversation and as in verbal communication, conversations have conventions, rules and boundaries. Those businesses in our survey who have derived new business opportunities from their blogs, will have found that these successes came indirectly from the blog, rather than directly. A blog is not the place to sell and businesses should get suitable advice before embarking on their blogs.”
Prominent UK blogger, Neville Hobson, author of the Hobson Report echoes these thoughts, saying: “A business blog is a powerful communication tool, as many companies who successfully use them can attest. Blogs also represent disruptive change and a challenge to traditional business thinking. Companies who recognize the social characteristics of effective communication are those likely to gain the most from business blogging.”
The research also cautions businesses looking to exploit the blogosphere revealing significant difference in opinion between buyers and sellers over what constitutes a ‘good blog’. For instance, only 30% of respondents felt that corporate branding was a positive thing raising questions over the validity of trumpeting the company line on a blog versus allowing individual views to flourish. Furthermore, those respondents with spending responsibilities saw blogs as the second best source for informing a business
decision (behind industry reports), while those with selling responsibilities saw blogs as the least favourable source (behind industry reports, trade press and trade events).