More than half believe that channelling marketing communication through a blog is ‘quite’ or ‘very’ realistic. These are the results of the Say Communications’ survey report, ‘Blog the Brand Builder?
The 50 marketers who were polled also voted Twitter and LinkedIn the most popular social networks with 80% usage. And two out of five had a blog or a YouTube site and 70-80% of them considered these ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’.
The inspiration for the report was last year’s suggestion by the Prime Minister’s ‘blue sky thinker’ Steve Hilton that government press officers could be replaced with a single blog. Say joint managing director Louise Stewart-Muir says the idea was to see if a similar strategy might appeal to cash-strapped marketers.
Asked how they would have responded to Steve Hilton’s suggestion to shift communications to a blog, the consensus seemed to be that it offered enormous potential but not at the expense of other disciplines:
- One in five said they would have fired him or ‘sent him to Coventry’
- Over half would have ‘rolled their eyes’
- Nine would have rewarded the keen cyclist with a new bicycle
- And three would have given him a knighthood.
The report is subtitled – Talking Point: Have Your Say – because it aims to prime a bigger conversation. For the moment however, results suggest that for B2B SMEs:
- PR is the most popular communication discipline with increasing focus on thought-leadership. Four out of five businesses considered PR and events as a key part of their marketing communications mix and three out of five aimed to provide thought-leadership in their industry sectors.
- Social media is increasing in importance for monitoring and engaging with audiences. Around two in five are using social media to engage with their markets and over three quarters are monitoring their reputation online.
- Blogging suits the smaller business looking to build brand and thought-leadership profile. Smaller companies and thought-leaders are most enthusiastic about the publishing online. Thought-leadership, brand-building and SEO were considered the big benefits.
For business wondering how to get started, Stewart-Muir has a simple suggestion: ‘Be clear on your business objectives and then map the social media terrain to locate your target audiences and their communications channels. Engage by listening to the online conversation and when you are ready join in.’
‘Blog the New Brand Builder’ looks into current practice in B2B marketing communications, the importance of online reputation, and the opportunities offered by social media.