Social Media, Blogs, & the Value of ROI

April 9, 2013
Blogging and social media are part of the same strategy.

Data released earlier this year shows that consumers trust and are heavily influenced by blogs — yet the bulk of brand spend goes to paid advertising, video, and social media. Digital spend is expected to increase this year, but will brands be spending that money wisely?

Mind the gap

Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report has some interesting statistics:

  • Blogs are the third most influential digital resource when making purchases (31%), right behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).
  • Social spend makes up only 10% of brands’ total digital spend.
  • A mere 11% of total social spend goes to blogging and community influencers.
  • 91% of respondents are on Facebook; only 32% have a blog.

With trust in blogs so high, you’d think brands would be spending more on influencing popular bloggers in the industry, or blogging on their own. Instead they’re throwing more money at social. Why the disconnect?

Measuring matters

Technorati’s report shows that most brands use metrics like Facebook likes and fans, website traffic, and landing page visits to measure success. While these things matter, they’re just scratching the surface of determining ROI, and depending solely upon them is unwise.

For example, we may get a ton of traffic to our website redesign offer landing page, but can we really consider it successful if we’re not measuring the conversion rate? That rate might be terrible, but if all we’re looking at is large numbers of visits we’ll never know how successful the page actually is.

Unfortunately the jury is still out when it comes to calculating social media ROI; on the other hand, measuring blogging ROI is pretty simple.

What’s not so simple is blogging itself — which is why I suspect so few brands are doing it (and doing it well).

Here’s the secret

I’ve ranted written before about why prioritizing social media over blogging is bad, so I’ll keep this section pithy.

Blogging and social media are part of the same strategy. It’s never a choice between the two — there’s no “versus,” no pitting them against each other to see which works better. If you want to succeed with either, you need to succeed with both.

It’s one of the “duh” statements of marketing that you have to go where your customers are, and give them what they want. Thousands of your prospects do research on your products and services, and a good chunk of them trust blogs more than Facebook, online magazines, and news websites.

So now the question is, why aren’t you blogging?

First steps

Want to learn more about content marketing, blogging, and incorporating social media into a larger strategy? Download a free Marketing Plan for Growth to see how a comprehensive digital marketing strategy can help you grow your business.

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[Image: limaoscarjuliet]