At a time when content marketing is attracting an increasing amount of attention, a new study from the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth suggests blogging has levelled off among the world’s largest companies, which raises "questions about the use of this mature tool".
It is an interesting finding given blogs seem to be staging a robust comeback as brands look for ways to leverage content to establish a strong digital presence, while providing potential and existing consumers with value-added insight and information.
According to the study, 23% of Fortune 500 companies had corporate blogs in 2011, compared with 22% in 2010 and 22% in 2009. Meanwhile, the number of companies on the Inc. 500, which consists of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies compiled annually by Inc. magazine, dropped to 37% last year from 50% in 2010 and 45% in 2009.
"The fact that blogging had leveled off among the world’s largest and most profitable companies raised questions about the use of this mature tool," the study said. "This study indicates that there is now support for the proposition that the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool in the US business world."
So how does one explain the dramatic decline in blogging activity among the Inc. 500 when anecdotally seems to be regaining some of its mojo? Part of it might to have to do with sample size. The study only involved 170 companies, or 34% of the Inc. 500. Another factor may be the make-up of the Inc. 500, which not be representative of the overall corporate landscape.
If large companies and the fast-growing private companies are losing their enthusiasm for blogging, what's replacing it? The study suggests social media is being embraced "at tremendous speed".
"We are now seeing the incorporation of new platforms and tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, texting, downloadable mobile apps and Foursquare, while we note the reduction in use of blogging, message boards, video blogging, podcasting and MySpace."
- Why are America's fastest-growing companies killing their blogs? (businessesgrow.com)
- Corporate Blogs Have Supposedly Peaked (marketingvox.com)
- Another Indication of Blog Doom? (arnoldit.com)