September 18, 2014

Not Blogging? You’re in the Minority

If you believed the reports that blogging was dead or that you didn’t need to find a place for it in your marketing strategy, well, think again. A newly released study from Hubspot shows just how wrong those reports were and why blogging absolutely belongs in your small business marketing plan.

Hubspot’s annual State of Inbound Marketing study was released recently and highlighted some growing trends when it comes to businesses, blogging and why the two may just go hand in hand. Impressively, Hubspot found that over the past two years, the percentage of respondents with a company blog has grown from 48 percent to 65 percent.

For those keeping score, that means if you’re not incorporating a blog into your marketing efforts, you can now consider yourself in the minority.

Go ahead; wrap your head around that.

Perhaps one reason for the increased adoption of blogs as a business tool is how cheaply they allow businesses to convert new customers. Fifty-five percent of companies who blog indicated this channel came at “below average cost,” citing more traditional advertising like trade shows, PPC, direct mail and telemarketing as all being more expensive. Even more important, 57 percent of those using company blogs say they’ve acquired a customer through a blog-generated lead, an increase of 11 percent since 2010. Yes, more than half of those blogging are seeing new leads from their efforts. If that’s not a reason to dedicate more time to blogging, I’m not sure what is.

And if you’re wondering how to get more leads via your blogging, well, it turns out you may want to start by increasing your number of posts. Hubspot’s survey showed a direct correlation between blog post frequency and new customers acquired.

According to the data, the percent of companies who acquired a customer through their blog breaks down this way:

  • 33 percent: Blog less than monthly
  • 49 percent: Blog monthly
  • 72 percent: Blog weekly
  • 76 percent: Blog 2-3 times a week
  • 78 percent: Blog daily
  • 89 percent: Blog multiple times a day

Yowza! If you’re surprised by the numbers, you really shouldn’t be. Blogging and small business marketing go hand in hand. As a small business owner, consistent blogging gives you an opportunity to build credibility with potential customers, to build up your authority, to create news around your brand, and to woo the search engines.

Not sure where to start or what to blog about? Here are 100 blog topics your small business can use today to build awareness, credibility and trust. Now get going. Your customers are waiting.

More in: 28 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

28 Reactions

  1. 89 percent: Blog multiple times a day? (with eyes open wide)

    I mean i know blogging is important and i do believe its is awesome but surprised to seethe numbers special the amount of blogs that updates multiple times a day…

  2. These numbers were also surprising for me. I’d say most businesses I know are not blogging. They are interested and looking into it but most haven’t taken the step. With so many on the edge and after stats like this…I’m guessing this next year may see a surge of companies blogging!

  3. I would go even one step further, blogging is the ONLY way to raise awareness about your business before launching or starting operations. For Small Businesses in the building stage and startups in development, blogging is the only thing you can afford, and a few minutes per day will really make an impact.

  4. I think it’s also important to remember that most companies that take the time to respond to this survey are already a more web-savvy group. Therefore, I’m not surprised to see increasing adoption of blogging. Many companies that don’t blog wouldn’t know who HubSpot was, let alone fill out a survey for them.

    However, as evidence that blogging is indeed more widespread, even my dad who raises grass fed beef in Idaho has a blog on his site – bradysbeef.com/blog – and he’s a farmer.

  5. Thanks, Lisa. Anyone reading this post can get a free and easy to use business blog start-up kit workbook that leads business owners through all the steps to setting up a successful blog. They can learn while getting the blog done. It’s a download from my site, but you won’t go on any mailing list.

  6. Good insight, Lisa. I advise my clients to use a blog as a launch platform for their social media programs (woolfmedia.com/wordpress/2011/04/to-blog-or-not-to-blog-there-is-no-question/). For many companies, the blog gives them focus and a process that can help expand their market reach. I tend to work with smaller companies who are resource-challenged, but more and more they are seeing the value of blogging as part of marketing.

  7. I think Robert makes a good point and I do wonder how representative the sample size is. That said blogging can be an important tactic for small businesses as long as they are prepared to spend the time and not expect unrealistic results especially in the short term

  8. Yowza!

    Haven’t seen you use that word. Ever.

    Lisa, you’re right; if you own a company, (or run one) and you haven’t set up a blog yet, what are you waiting for?

    I’m so glad that my Cleveland friend, George Nemeth, encouraged me to start one up…5+ years ago…

    The Franchise King®

    Ok; from The Franchise King Blog…

  9. Robert’s comment is key. Any company responding to a Hubspot survey is already VERY social-media-savvy and is not at all a representative sample of all businesses. I work with hundreds of small business owners and less than 5% of them are blogging. I think at least 50% of them should be (I have for years), and half of the other half might benefit if they did. But it’s much more believable that 65% of extremely social-media-savvy companies are blogging, not 65% of companies.

    The real number? Probably closer to 5%

  10. Wikipedia sugests there are 156million company blogs out there. The question is how many of those company blogs are any good?

    Moosa, I would have to agree with you I think the numbers on blogging multiple times a day are questionable.

    Rob, good point about the audience who responded to the survey!

    All in all i think that blogging will become; if it is not already, a key ingredient to the success of small businesses.

  11. I’m really surprised with your statistics, especially the 89% that blog multiple time a day. But I probably just don’t know those companies…

    The ones I know fit more in the 2 first categories… And seriously, I’m not sure it worths it to blog not even once a month… It’s not the right way to use blogs… For business, blogs can build a strong relationship with the customers so they really should try to blog more often!

    I love your post by the way!

  12. Another good post. I don’t know if blogging multiple times per day is good, but doing it daily is probably a good marketing tool. The big caveat is that the content has to be relevant and good.

  13. Great article. I wish i had’ve had the details before i wrote a piece on the value of online content to small business that i have just posted! I’ll have to reference your piece in a future post, it is really great info.

  14. I’m so psyched about this. It’s apparent to a lot of us. This is totally it, blogs are becoming so super necessary.. they’re a business imperative.

    Great stats! Thanks for this.

  15. @Moosa Hermani: 89% means that 89% of the people who blog multiple times a day got one or more customers from it.

  16. Not to mention that the participants in the study self-reported, so the data of the study is biased toward the self-image of participants, and not their demonstrated behavior. Measuring what percentage of small businesses actually blog, and then identifying how frequently those that do blog actually do post, would provide a more accurate overall picture.

    I do like the report for what it tells me about the kinds of small businesses who’d respond to queries from HubSpot.

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