26 Oct 2017

State of Content Marketing: 2017 Blogging Statistics & Data

October 26, 2017VM News

Orbit Media Studios released their 4th annual blogger survey, collecting insight from 1000+ bloggers around the world. Their original survey started with a simple question: How long does it take to write a blog post? Since then, it has become a welcomed in-depth analysis of the evolving world of content.

Vertical Measures got a sneak-peek at the data and collected the most eye-opening statistics for quick review. If you’d like to see the complete survey, head over to Orbit Media for a full breakdown.

How long does it take to write a blog post?

In 2014, Orbit Media noted the average blog post took 2.5 hours to create. That number has increased ever since. Take a look at the increase in time spent per blog post:

State-of-Marketing-Average-Time-Writing-Blog-Post

Breaking that number down, you’ll notice a sharp decline in the percentage of bloggers who write posts in less than one hour. What’s interesting is the dramatic rise in the percentage of bloggers who spend 6+ hours on a typical post:

State-of-Marketing-How-Long-Typical-Blog-Post

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Does spending more time with each blog post make a difference?

Yes! 49% of bloggers who spend 6+ hours on each article report “strong results” from blogging. That’s a big increase over last year. Those who put the greatest investment into their content see the greatest returns. Rand Fishkin coined the term “10x content” during a Moz Whiteboard Friday webinar:

“Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can be currently found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”

Google one of your keyword phrases. What shows up in the No. 1 spot? Click on it and take a look. How hard would it be to create a piece of content that’s 10 times better than the one that holds the top spot?

Hear from the VM Experts:

Noelle

“We tested the theory of 10x content on our own blog. We shifted our strategy from short, frequent posts, to once weekly, long-form blog posts that are rich with images, videos, social media embeds, graphics, and other visual elements that break up large blocks of text. We 10x’d our existing content by optimizing headlines, inserting internal links, and refreshed older, evergreen posts. The results?

  • Organic traffic to our website increased 33.51% from February 2017 to March 2017.
  • Organic traffic to our blog increased 49.42% from February 2017 to March 2017.
  • Blog traffic was responsible for 84% of total increase across the site.”

Noelle Schuck, Senior Director of Content

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How frequently do bloggers publish?

Most bloggers publish several times per week to several times per month. But Orbit Media’s survey shows that as content creators spend more time on each post, their publishing frequency slows down. A lot of brands are increasing their publishing frequency, but individual bloggers are not. Check out the current breakdown and trends over time:

State-of-Marketing-Frequency-Bloggers-Publishing-2
State-of-Marketing-Frequency-Bloggers-Publishing-Slowing

Does higher posting frequency correlate with better results?

When looking at the connection between publishing frequency and bloggers who report strong results, Orbit Media’s survey shows that quantity correlates with better results right down the line. Bloggers who publish more often are far more likely to get results they seek.

66.7% of bloggers say they publish more than daily, while almost half of respondents claimed to post at least once per day. Keep in mind, however, bloggers who publish frequently are often good at all the related work, such as promoting content and measuring results. These people are dedicated.

As Vertical Measures has been preaching for years: If you have a website, you’re a publisher, and you must start thinking like one! If you’re not producing fresh content on a regular basis, you’re already behind. Print publishers create content to survive because that’s their business. On the Internet, it’s the same for you. You need to keep thinking about content ideas all the time, and encourage your entire staff to do the same.

Hear from the VM Experts:

Arnie-2

“You can’t create something cool once and let it sit idly online, expecting it to be cutting edge or consistently relevant to users. Instead, your job as a digital marketer is to keep producing fresh material, even repurposing your best content, so that it reappears in a fresh form and gives you as many different opportunities to be found online as possible.

Remember to foster a fun environment where creative expression is valued. The more you encourage creativity, the more you can gain from your digital marketing strategy. And always remember, just because you wrote it, took a picture of it or shot a video, it doesn’t mean you have to publish it. But you must start creating content with the intent of using it.”

Arnie Kuenn, CEO

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How is your content typically promoted?

Quality content is important, but unless you’re promoting it effectively, nobody will see it. How is content promotion changing for bloggers? The data here has some surprises.

The most dramatic trend in this year’s survey: the rise of paid promotion. You can amplify your content through many different channels. All content promotion tactics are rising in popularity, but bloggers are buying traffic in greater numbers than ever before.

State-of-Marketing-Driving-Traffic-to-Posts

If you were to remove social media (which is nearly ubiquitous) from these results and plot the other channels from the same starting point, the relative increase in paid promotion is even more dramatic.

State-of-Marketing-Percentage-of-Promotion-Since-2014

What promotional strategies are winning the most this year?

According to the survey, almost half of bloggers who collaborate with influencers report strong results. It works. There are people out there who have already built the audience with which you’d like to connect. Using influencer marketing is a fast, effective way to reach that audience.

Similarly, only 3% of bloggers who use paid promotion reported disappointing results. This might be because paid promotion also provides its own set of reports, helping to justify ROI. At this pace, half of all bloggers will be buying traffic in four years.

Hear from the VM Experts:

Kayla

“Influence is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolbox, but it’s also the hardest to attain and the hardest to predict. There is no “secret sauce” to uncovering what the next influential individual, campaign, or group will be. Despite the ever-changing nature of influence, marketers can build trust and resonance with those individuals who have already built influence in their niche. And, they should!

One question I’d like to answer is why, if influence is so powerful, do we (marketers) only tend to use its benefits at the awareness stage of our buyers’ journeys, or for top of funnel success?

There isn’t just one way or one time to use influencer marketing, as there are multiple stages and touch points at each stage of consumers’ decision-making processes. Using influencer marketing at each stage of the journey creates a more holistic content amplification approach.”

Kayla Tarantino, Strategist Amplified Content

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How often do bloggers check Analytics?

The survey reported a small increase in bloggers using analytics to improve their strategies. More bloggers are paying attention to the data, and it’s directly impacting their results.

State-of-Marketing-Check-Analytics

Does proper measurement equal better results?

This should go without saying, but if you’re not checking Analytics, how would you know if you’re getting strong results? It’s not surprising: Bloggers who use measurement to steer their content marketing strategies get better results.

State-of-Marketing-Check-Analytics-Results

Hear from the VM Experts:

Stephen

At the beginning steps of any digital marketing strategy, it’s vital to have a defined stance on what success looks like for you and your business. Establishing business-oriented goals with corresponding metrics will allow you to review the success of your current campaigns in relation to the success of your business.

  • Define business-oriented goals for your digital marketing efforts.
  • Assign measurable metrics to each goal.
  • Continually review the progress of your goals.
  • Adapt and improve your marketing campaigns.

Every goal should include measurable milestones that will allow you to identify successes in areas of opportunity. Knowing what is working (and what isn’t) will help make more informed marketing decisions.

Stephen Roda, Digital Analyst

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More from the 2017 Survey of 1000+ Bloggers

Be sure to check out Orbit Media’s extensive survey to learn more about how bloggers are generating positive results through established content marketing best practices.

Wondering what type of content bloggers are using the most? Check out my last post: 7 Types of Content That Will Rock Your Inner Monster for some spooky-good ideas.

7-types-of-content-strategy

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